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.
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.
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.
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.
Time to order pizza. Grab a large pizza to share, rather than going out for a sit down meal for 4.
Speak up. Ask for Canadian specials by e-mailing the tourism sites and getting on their mailing list.
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.
There was only really one thing that I wanted to do in Hawaii that trip, learn to paddleboard. And by learn, I mean do it successfully enough to get a good picture. Isn’t that what it’s all about nowadays anyway, just getting that next great Instagram photo?
At my age, I should get a ribbon just for participating! Isn’t that the thing though? You just want to be able to show your kids that you’ve still got it. Be one of the cool moms, one of the moms that gets the likes on Instagram, not the laughs on YouTube. One of the moms that doesn’t fall flat on her face and go stomping off the beach cursing.
There’s a lot of pressure on vacation. Pressure to enjoy yourself, get along with your family, source picture worthy food, get good value for what you’ve already spent and learn everything from the region’s history to the state flower so you can share it on your blog. (Haha. I never learn about the state flower. There’s wikipedia for that!)
Good thing I’m a rockstar under pressure. (As the mom to a hockey goaltender, it’s in my DNA.) I’m pretty sure that’s why the kids always volunteer me to go first, I’m good under pressure. First to catch the wave during surf lessons, first to try that new sushi place, first to open the hotel closet door. Yeah, you could say I’m their leader (read… family guinea pig).
So when I rented the paddleboard that day, I signed the waiver form and listed my “next of kin” as the hotel bartender, not the kids waving and pointing my way. But it’s all good. Grab that camera, mom’s got this!