So, you have accumulated a hefty amount of vacation days and, despite the frailty of the Canadian dollar, the itch to travel won’t go away. You work hard and deserve time away from the daily grind. We hope these money-saving travel tips help relax and refresh you without breaking the bank!
When to Fly & When to Buy
According to farecompare.com, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Flights occurring at dawn or dinner time, and red-eyes, are likely to be cheaper as well.
Yahoo! Finance (Canada) recommends buying your airline tickets on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. EST, as that’s shortly after flight deals are introduced and competitors try to out match each other. Other sources argue that cheap tickets are found with careful surveillance throughout the week. Your best bet is probably to plan in advance and keep track of changing flight costs over several weeks before making your move.
Hotel bills can be scary, especially if hotels are just a place for you to crash after a day of sightseeing. If you’re open to non-conventional accommodations, consider these alternatives:
- Apartment/room rentals. Sites like airbnb.ca/ make it easy to find affordable accommodations. You can rent out rooms, entire apartments/homes, and unique places to stay like castles! And as a bonus, you can save even more money by cooking some of your own meals (if the accommodation allows).
- Hostels are extremely cheap compared to hotels and ideal if you’re travelling alone or with friends, and interested in meeting other travelers.
- We’ve all, at one time or another, heard about exciting timeshare investments. So if you have one that you’ve neglected, now is the best time to use it. Don’t have one? Consider using social media to put out feelers for available timeshares with family and friends. Many people feel good just knowing their timeshare is being enjoyed by someone.
- Couch surfing. Visit couchsurfing.com if you are especially flexible with accommodations, love meeting new people, and like travelling like a local.
Part of the fun of travelling is trying exotic foods and highly ranked restaurants but don’t discount cheaper venues like food trucks, small local cafés for lighter fare, and casual diners. These food destinations are likely to give you a better glimpse into the city’s colorful population and lifestyle.
Avoid relying too heavily on what might seem more convenient when choosing where to dine. Hotel restaurants, room service, and restaurants in crowded tourist areas are tempting but the convenience is not always worth the price.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Depending on your itinerary, renting a car might be crucial to getting to where you need to go. But it might be worth the extra legwork to research what your destination offers by way of public transit (especially in places where public transit is a tourist attraction in itself!), ride and car sharing, and bike rentals. And don’t forget, walking is a wonderful way of finding the hidden gems of your destination!
Travel… At Home
It’s easy to research resorts and far-off destinations when you’re contemplating a vacation but Canada also has its fair share of tourist attractions and it’s a point of pride to learn what our country has to offer. Consider supporting our own economy and spend those vacation dollars right at home!