While the Canadian dollar has bounced back over the last few weeks, the loonie is still low enough to make travel more expensive than we’d like it to be. That doesn’t mean you have to plan a staycation – in fact, you can still get that dream getaway – you’ll just need to get a little more creative to make it happen.
Learn to fly for less
Most of us like to take off on a Friday after work, but if you can leave mid-week then you’ll likely save some money. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually cheaper than peak days, such as Friday or Sunday.
Double that up with a discount airline, even if they don’t fly out of your home city. Many American airlines fly out of border towns, such as Buffalo or Grand Forks and they may have deals that you can’t find on Canadian travel sites.
You may need to stay in a hotel overnight to catch an early flight, plus you’ll be spending money on gas to get there, but in many cases it’s still worth it. Also, run the math to see if you’ll save by booking two separate flights – one to the city with the discount airline, and another to your destination with that airline.
Pick up the phone
To many, phone calling is a lost art, but to the budget conscious it’s a must do. While there are many sites that can give you a great deal on a hotel, you may find an even better one talking to someone.
While there are many sites that can give you a great deal on a hotel, you may find an even better one talking to someone.
Have a chat, tell them why you’re travelling and maybe they’ll throw you a bone. Or simply ask them if there’s a better rate than the online one or if they can upgrade you to a better room for free.
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Stay at someone’s place
Hotels aren’t the only accommodations these days. Many people are renting out their homes or condos, especially on sites like Airbnb, which connect renters with travellers.
These places offer more room and more privacy and often for the same rates, if not cheaper. A house is ideal if you’re travelling with a family or a large group.
The only drawback? You have to cook and clean for yourself.