You’ve found the vacation you want, but it’s just a little out of budget. Now what? Here’s a few tips that could potentially save you 10% or more.
Change your dates. Even if it’s one day earlier, or later, it could save you hundreds of dollars. Pro tip: Choose “flexible dates” in your search whenever that’s an option.
Take the long way. Rather than the direct flight, take a look at a flight with a connection. Think of this as talking the bus to work rather than driving yourself. The bus is less expensive, will take longer, and is less glamorous, but you’ll still get there. BUT if it eats up another half day of your vacation, is the lower price worth it?
Look for re-sellers like “Sunquest Vacations.” They don’t operate their own flights, but rather purchase packages from other providers (like Air Canada) and re-sell them. Think of them as the Winners (discount clothes/housewares retailer) of travel packages. They are more likely to cut prices than to sit on inventory they’ve already paid for. They will not have the same wide selection of packages, but what if they actually have the one you want? Same as shopping at Winners…. always worth a look. And lastly, just like at Winners, if you see a deal, GRAB IT. Don’t hesitate. If you go back tomorrow, it’s very likely to be gone… sold to someone else.
Use a travel agent. While there is a service fee attached to using a travel agent, he/she has has access to superior search engines, travel consolidators and the inside scoop on promotions. Using an expert (and paying $40+ service fee) could genuinely save you hundreds of dollars over booking a standard vacation package yourself. Think of a travel agent as a coupon…if you have one, you should use it and save yourself some money.
It was clear, detailed and pointed us in the right direction. It was just a simple sign, but it did its job.
As a tourist, looking for the historic waterfront in downtown Shelburne, Nova Scotia (pop 1800) I got the information I needed.
I took a photo of the sign to use as an example of how to be tourist-friendly. And while I acknowledge most people will have access to GPS or a Google map, that’s not how everyone travels. GPS can often be unreliable and while it is excellent for highways and major attractions, it doesn’t understand concepts like ‘waterfront’ or ‘arts/culture.’
As host cities we would be making a grave mistake if we left it up to GPS systems to tell our potential tourists where to go. Let me be clear, like the sign, we need to help people in every way possible. It’s impossible to dazzle them with hospitality if they can’t make it to their destination.
Competition is a good thing and Canadians are now enjoying lower everyday fares on (at least) a few routes.
Thanks to Flair Airlines and now (Westjet’s new discount carrier) Swoop, you can typically fly to these cities, from Winnipeg for under $300, return, all taxes in. While you will find discount fares with the new airlines, Westjet and Air Canada have also lowered their typical fares on these routes.
These are sale prices, which pop up a couple times a month. I consider them “target prices” or what I would be happy to book at. These sale fares have become the norm.
However, holidays and high-demand dates will always be at a higher fare.
Edmonton (Average price about $170)
Abbotsford (Average price $220)
Hamilton (Average price $220)
Calgary (About $265)
Ottawa (About $265)
The new Canadian discount airline, Swoop, can be found online at www.flyswoop.com