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Is the road trip making a comeback amidst Covid19? My Banff Alberta Travel Guide for Summer / Fall 2020

This week we decided to dip our travel bug toes by going on a short little road trip to Banff, Alberta. I’m not going to lie to you I was a bit apprehensive amidst the pandemic. As a family, we decided to go on a couples trip and leave the kids behind for this fist summer road trip so we could experience the potential changes Covid19 has had on one of our favourite mountain destinations. Here’s a list of our accommodations, restaurants and activities we tried on our 2 night stay and I will note any safety precautions changes we saw at each:


We stayed at the newly renovated Mount Royal Hotel in downtown Banff. The location is prime time to say the least. We were in the heart of the iconic Banff Avenue, surrounded by the majority of the restaurants, shops and nightlife we love to visit. From here, we also enjoyed effortless access to Banff’s world-class natural attractions and year-round adventure activities. It was a short drive of only a few minutes to the Gondola and cave/ basin. Notable Covid19 related changes to the hotel, we did not have house keeping come into our room during the 3 days we stayed. They had removed many high touch items like glassware and replaced those with disposable. The elevators had hand sanitizer at the door and the expectable was groups of 3-4. We did the elevator alone each ride and used the sanitizer on the way in and out. Some of the other transmission-reducing tactics we experienced were the plexiglass barriers at the front desk. All staff was wearing personal protective equipment, contactless payment and we called down for an express check-out. There was plenty of on-site signage and pre-arrival communications aimed to be clear and straight-forward so we as guests could get on the same page as staff supporting each other with these measures and changes.

Restaurants & Attractions

We didn’t go to as many places as we would have normally pre-pandemic. We took the approach of sticking to a few favourites that would be indoors. And focused on walks outside, it was amazing having the iconic Banff Avenue closed both directions to traffic. This allowed for ample room to walk the Avenue and socially distance. We only went into a handful of shops instead of almost all of them like we usually do. Hand sanitizer was available at the entrance, some stores provided disposable masks but I suggest you have one on hand to wear in stores. Plenty of directional arrows in the stores and reminders to maintain distance. They all had lowered capacities, so we did experience a few outdoor line ups to browse stores so they could easily limit the number of guests in store for our and their staffs safety.

We booked tickets online in advance for the Banff Gondola. They spanned my pass on my phone through a plexiglass screen. Please note this mom price hack, kids go free before 12 PM with the Family Experience. And ages 5 and under ride free anytime! They loaded every second gondola and cleaned each before a new group entered. Staff was also wearing masks and there was plenty of safety protocol signage.

Magical Mountaintop Sunsets

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