Air Miles & Vacation Packages

Starting January 8th, 2019 Air Miles collectors will now be able to easily purchase their vacation packages online. Air Miles has entered into partnership with online Canadian travel agency RedTag.ca and has assigned a dollar value to miles.

Almost as straightforward as using a gift card  users should be able to pay for the vacation of their choosing with Air Miles. As I understand it, purchases can be made in whole or in part with Air Miles and the balance paid by credit card.

Air Miles will be valued at 909 Air Miles = $100  towards a vacation package. Therefore a $3000 vacation would cost 27,270 Dream Miles. Or a modest, and well timed vacation to Las Vegas, for 2 adults could cost as little as 9090 Air Miles.

Air Miles used to pay for vacation packages must be redeemed through RedTag.ca and can not be redeemed over the phone or at a local travel agency.

Air Miles can be collected through numerous retailers. Those Air Miles can be collected in two categories: Dream Miles (for travel, merchandise etc) and Cash Miles (for money off groceries, gas etc at point of sale.)

Visit Airmiles.ca to learn more.

How to take advantage of Black Friday travel deals with very little cash.

Don’t you wish you had a couple thousand dollars sitting in your account that you could use to grab some of these fabulous Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel deals? Yeah, me too.

Here are 3 ways that you can take advantage of the great deals without putting a lot of cash down.

  1. Hotel deals. Book flights and hotels separate. You can book almost any hotel with just paying a 1 night deposit and holding the reservation with your credit card. So, book 7 nights at a great rate, and just pay for 1 night upfront, and the rest when you arrive whether it’s in a month or 8 months from now. But you are locking in today’s discount price.
  2. Think long term, not short term. If you are travelling within 60 days you will be asked to pay the whole package price. It you are booking 3-11 months in advance, you are only asked for a deposit when you book through a travel agent. It’s almost like paying your autopac insurance in monthly instalments. There is an upfront booking fee (about 40 dollars) and a deposit (most often $250-$500  per person.) but then you can pay the rest on monthly instalments or however you choose so that it’s paid in full typically 60 days before you depart. So, if you want to grab the sale price for an Easter or Summer holiday, do it now. Then you’ll pay the vast majority in 2019 after you get your tax refund or Christmas bonus. But again, you lock in today’s sale price. (Yes, you can literally sign up for a $3000 vacation package with under $300 per person upfront cost. Now this deposit is non-refundable and you will lose it if you cannot pay the rest of the commitment, but if you CAN make payments, this is the easiest way to do it. No loan or interest charges from a bank.)
  3. Collect points. Sign up for Air Miles, or Westjet Rewards, or Aeroplan programs. They are free programs. Or get the Westjet World Elite MasterCard (perks like no charge for checked bags) and start collecting points that you can use towards future travel. Even if all you ever accumulate is a free hotel night, or a short haul flight, it is something that you can use to bring more travel into your life without a cost.

Bonus tip: If you collect Westjet Rewards, you can keep accumulating them and “cash them in” with your final payment on your holiday. And yes, you can still redeem these reward dollars when using a travel agent.

 

Edmonton: Bargain Alert!

HOT DEAL!

4 Westjet Flights from Winnipeg

3 nights in a Westin hotel in Edmonton

Taxes included $1200.37

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 8.23.11 PM

Why so cheap you ask? It goes like this….

New Leaf Airlines announced a Winnipeg to Edmonton route. (That’s YWG to YEG in airline speak.) Rock bottom prices of $200 round trip taxes included. So, then, Westjet quietly beats the prices on the exact route. $198. That’s pretty fabulous, right?  The route flies Thursday to Sunday. That’s even more amazing. So, you can actually make a long weekend of it.

But here’s how you take the bargain to the next level, go to a package re-seller like Expedia.ca. Their automated system updates flight prices and calculates and discounts packages. All you have to do is get the right dates. So, I typed in any Thursday to Sunday in September, and voila! $300 per person, for a family of 4. Price includes Westjet nonstop flights, and 3 nights at a really fabulous hotel. #WIN

Why haven’t I tagged any of the airlines in this post? Prices disappear very quickly and when this word gets out, the deals will be snapped up.

If your kids would like to stay at West Edmonton Mall before school’s out,  the August 25-28th price is $359 per person at the Fantasyland hotel.

Other hotels available, from $250 per person (near the airport), up to $424 for the Fairmont.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 8.10.40 PM
Shown Sept 8-11. Prices will vary according to dates

One last tip. If you’re an Air Miles collector, log in through Airmilesshops.ca and you can collect Air Miles on your Expedia purchase.

You’re welcome! And yes, please share with your friends and family if you think they could use a little trip and a heck of a bargain!

Screenshots from 8pm Monday July 18th, 2016.