Trip Planning 101
So, you’ve made the decision. You’re coming. You’ve seen our ads and heard your friends boast about their time here. And now — now it’s your turn.
Well, before you pack up the Winnebago or book a flight, there are a few things you should know. This is information you won’t find anywhere else — top shelf advice.
Book early, book often.
One piece of timeless wisdom is to never assume anything. We get a lot of folks visiting from all over, and they all want to see the sites just as bad as you. This means that renting a car is not always a guarantee. Our advice to you — book early. You don’t want to be left thumbing your way from place to place; it’s a terrible way to travel, and not at all recommended. Plus, your thumbs get sore.
The same goes for accommodations. People often flock here for conferences during peak travel times. So, if you want to fulfill that dream you have of standing on the most easterly point of North America — well, you’d better book ahead to avoid disappointment.
St. John’s – that extra ‘s’ is important.
It’s a confusing coincidence, but there are two similar-sounding cities in Atlantic Canada. When you are booking your flights, car rental, and any accommodations, make sure that you are booking for St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador (YYT), and not that other one, Saint John, New Brunswick (YSJ).
This province is so big. How big is it?
It’s big. Really big. People don’t always realize that. And with over 400,000 square kilometres of land, you never know where you might find yourself. To put things in perspective, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan, and twice the size of the entire United Kingdom. The island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometres – an area that rivals the size of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island combined. With the addition of the vast territory of Labrador, it goes without saying that there’s plenty of breathing room.
There is a story about a conversation in Corner Brook once overheard where somebody said “yes, we plan on driving to St. John’s tomorrow morning, and then stopping by L’Anse aux Meadows in the afternoon.” That’s not going to happen. (It could happen if you had some sort of quantum physics inspired transportation device, or discovered a wormhole that could move you vast distances in no time at all.) Otherwise, no.
Driving time from St. John’s to Corner Brook is about 7.5 hours, give or take an hour or two. It really depends on your ability to resist the tempting side trips, amazing views, and home-style cooking you’ll pass along the way. Travelling from St. John’s to L’Anse aux Meadows puts you into the 12.5-hour range, not a short trip. And if you want to continue your drive on to Labrador, there are ferries to account for as well. It’s not a bad idea to check out the driving distances before heading out the open road.
Also, be sure to use the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 511 Traveller Information System. NL 511 is your source of up-to-date information on winter driving conditions, construction and major incidents, highway cameras, ferry status, and more. Travellers can access 511 by using the free smartphone app (Apple, Google Play), visiting the website NL511.ca, or dialing 5-1-1 to hear key information over the phone.
No matter how may times you visit, there is quite a lot to see and do here. Explore our Itinerary Planner to arrange the perfect trip and customize your days to focus on the experiences you’re looking for.
All of this is to say, as you plan, you really should take into account the distances you’ll be travelling. Fortunately, for you, this province is filled with breathtaking vistas that will make it worth the drive.
The end of the road.
The bottom line is this, you should plan your trip before you get here. That means taking the time to ensure you have transportation (if you need it) and lodging. The last thing you want is to be stressed out on your vacation. Although, we will say, it’s pretty difficult to get stressed out in a place like this. If you follow these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to have a worry-free adventure that you can brag to your friends about when you return home.
Perhaps we’ll see you out there on the road.
Until then, safe travels.
Do you have a tale to tell about a visit to Newfoundland and Labrador?Tell us your story
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AccommodationsView All (468)
Alma's Cape Shore CottageBonavista
Skipper Tom's Vacation HomeTwillingate
starting at $167Windamere Log CabinsRattling Brook, Green Bay
East Coast CottageBonavista
starting at $139Murray Premises HotelSt. John's
Belle Maison Dine & DreamPort Kirwan
Blue Whales Oceanfront CottageBonavista
COVID-19 UPDATE: Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get to rediscover home this year, and we welcomed our Maritime neighbours on July 3. Call or connect with operators / venues before you go, as details on the website may be modified by COVID-19. Future travellers from elsewhere, please keep dreaming and check back for travel updates.