Travel Tip: Border Run

Are you feeling the pinch of our weak Canadian dollar?  You’re not alone. Thousands of Canadian snowbirds are cutting their trips short, or staying home. With an exchange rate near $1.45 per $1 US it has made travel to the United States far less attractive or affordable.

Don’t despair, you may still be able to afford a border run for your Cherry Coke and your Powerball ticket. The key is to do your homework. With a drop in Canadian tourists, many of our neighbouring American cities, like Grand Forks and Minot are sweetening the deals. When was the last time you were offered a room at a brand new hotel for $70?

The key is to do your homework and think frugally.

  1. Research before you go. Don’t assume you will find deals when you get there. Go to sites like EzMarketing.ca and print your hotel coupons first.
  2. Call and deal locally. The 1-800 numbers for booking hotels are not routinely updated with the local specials. Look for the franchise Facebook pages and check there for current deals.
  3. Look for hotels with added value, like free breakfast, manager’s reception or in-room kitchenettes. Many hotels will also offer area coupons (for restaurants and shopping) at their front desk.
  4. Time to order pizza. Grab a large pizza to share, rather than going out for a sit down meal for 4.
  5. Speak up. Ask for Canadian specials by e-mailing the tourism sites and getting on their mailing list.

www.visitgrandforks.com

https://www.facebook.com/visitgrandforks/

www.visitminot.org

In this situation, it is to your benefit to think and act locally. Southern states, like Texas and California are less likely to offer Canadian deals. However, if you have your heart set on a sunshine trip, the same tips will apply. Research and get connected to find the deals that fit your budget.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 11.56.41 PM

 

California Mansion

With recent chatter of Powerball Lotto dreams, one can’t help but imagine…. what if?

I stumbled upon this YouTube video for a California mansion in the Newport Beach area and I thought, “Wow! Wouldn’t that be amazing.” And for 3 minutes I was lost in the the moment.

I thought I would share. In fact, it’s inspired me to add a category, “Just Dreamy” and I’ll scour the web to bring you dreamy clips of the world and travel inspiration.

 

Deal Alert: Toronto $185

Nope, $185 isn’t for a one night stay in a Toronto hotel. It’s for a round trip Westjet flight. Taxes and airport fees included!

It’s an unadvertised deal. A price match to New Leaf’s bid for Canada’s business. You won’t find this deal on Westjet’s twitter feed or on a fancy rotating banner on their website. Heck, it doesn’t even register on their ‘best price calendar.’ But it’s there!

Prices subject to change without notice. Grab a deal while you can. Maybe take in a Blue Jay’s game in late April? Or jet away with your girlfriend for a romantic February weekend in the big city.

You’re welcome!

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 2.15.44 AM

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 2.18.21 AM

Bucket list trip on budget.

Travel Tip:

Get closer to your dream trip in 2 easy steps.

  1. Get the Kayak APP on your smartphone
  2. Set an open price alert on your chosen route. Pick your dream budget price. Then let Kayak work its magic. If/when your flight comes into budget Kayak will send you an alert immediately.

Example:  Winnipeg to Maui (YWG to OGG);  open dates;   price alert $410

I know that $525 is an typical “good” price for the route. I have seen it as low as $408. I kick myself for not booking it then. I’ve seen $424 a few times too. So if Kayak alerts me to a deal of $410 or less, I’ll at least know that I have an option.

This is the perfect “set it and forget it” APP. Let Kayak do the leg work, while you focus on family and more important things.

Girls’ Trip: Kelowna $400

Westjet is offering some nearly unbelievable prices on the Winnipeg to Kelowna route. The return trip, taxes included is just $187.  We have the upstart airline, New Leaf, to thank for this price war.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 1.37.11 AM

To take this deal to the next level, we turn to Expedia.ca to pair it with a hotel. Choosing a well rated hotel you can pair it up for just $385. This is a 3 night vacation with fabulous flight times. Both the hotels shown include breakfast, adding extra value.

The weather at the end of April should be lovely. You could enjoy a game of golf or take a winery tour. To plan your activities visit Tourism Kelowna.

Price wars are very volatile, meaning the prices could disappear without notice. It’s not like an advertised sale with dates. Act quickly and you could be bragging about the deal all year long.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 1.49.42 AM

Not cold enough? $325 to Yellowknife

If you love winter and winter sports, you might want to take your ambitions north.

I’ve rarely seen such a deal on Yellowknife, NWT.

To my surprise, you can leave Brandon Manitoba at 6am and arrive just after lunch in Yellowknife. The Westjet service will cost you as little as $325 if you choose the right dates.  From Winnipeg, also $325.

If you’ve got a friend in Fort McMurray, Alberta do let them know of the sale on their destination as well. And ask them if it’s ever been as low as $313, taxes in, return flights.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 12.53.51 AM  Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 1.00.21 AM