Two reasons to book your flight and hotel separately. There are some hot bargains on flights and hot bargains on hotels for Black Friday. Get the best of both.
Marriott Hotels offering rates as low as $79. Booking Nov 25th to 28th only.
Are you interested in Abbotsford or Edmonton? Flight prices around the $200 mark, return and taxes included with Westjet. Even dates over Spring Break 2017. For example: $187 to Edmonton March 26-30th.
Or what about Nashville, Tennessee? Flights from Winnipeg are on sale for $314 taxes included, with Air Canada. March 1st to 7th. OR, if you’d like to catch a Winnipeg Jets hockey game, (13th of March) fly from the 9th to 16th for $356 and make a holiday of it.
There are lakes, resorts and towns; wineries, national parks and historic sites abound. There’s literally something worthwhile to visit every 20 minutes, so you’ll want to stay mobile and cover some ground. The highway 97 north from Kelowna is double lane to Vernon and then single lane (with passing lanes) to the Trans-Canada and Revelstoke. I found it beautiful driving in the sunshine. Though I’m sure it would be more challenging in the winter and poor weather.
2) Stay flexible.
Don’t over-plan or over schedule yourself. There is something around every corner that you’ll want to stop and see. For example. We had no idea that we wanted to go to a Kangaroo Farm. But when one of the tourism kiosk volunteers told us about it, and it was only 10 minutes away we decided heck ya! And now we’re going to recommend it to everyone we meet. Kids and youth admission is just $5, adults $10, or if you arrive before 10AM, everyone is just $5. (Cash only and at the gate. No advance tickets)
3) BC… Bring Cash
Roadside stands, u-pick fruit, and places like the kangaroo farm were cash only. And things in BC tend to be a little bit more expensive than on the prairies. For example, gas. In Winnipeg it was 96.9 cents per litre. In Kelowna 1.14 and in Revelstoke 121.9 on the same day.
4) Save room for fruit and wine in your baggage allowance.
You don’t have to worry about packaging, or even making a stop on your way to the airport, YLW has it all conveniently inside the departure lounge. Once you’re past security, you can pick up a couple bottles of regional wine. They’ll even pack it in a carry-on approved box. (Bottle packs for 2 or 4)
I love to travel with my kids and take every chance I get. You see, I feel like there’s a pending expiration date. I really feel like our time together is limited. Right now my son is 14, but I know it won’t be long before he’s 18 and an adult and travels exclusively with his friends, or (gasp) a girlfriend. So, I’m honestly making a conscious effort to spend time with him now.
This takes me out of my comfort zone. A lot. It’s a constant challenge to plan and search out things that would appeal to him and his teen sense of adventure. I know it’s a time in their lives where they push boundaries, but I can tell you, that as a parent, I feel like I’m the one constantly outside my comfort zone.
Like today. Where truthfully, I’d rather be sitting on a patio sipping a cocktail and reading, I found myself looking at bike rentals, white water rafting brochures and considering ziplines. Yikes.
I’m not telling you that I’m going to do all these things. And I have no interest in being the coolest mom on the planet. BUT, I do want to show my son how to travel and explore.
Here are 3 ways in which I achieve my goals without having to do it all.
Enlist help. Do you have a cool uncle, a friend or somebody in your life who regularly does the activity you’re considering? Have your teen hang with them for the day. This makes you the awesome mom who can hook them up. This gives your teen a taste of independence and another adult role model.
Let your teen take the lead. Let them find, research and pay for the activity. When it’s their own money, they tend to consider their choices more carefully. It shows them that you can’t do EVERYTHING you see in a brochure.
Look for hotels with added value or partnerships. Does your hotel offer a stay and play package? Ask at the front desk or concierge. The more you ask, the more you learn. You’d be surprised how many tour companies actually pick up at the hotel and offer door to door experiences. There’s so much more than “kids’ club” available. For example, we were staying at the Westin Kierland in Arizona and while a round of golf was well over $200, they offered golf lessons for kids and teens at $25. Or when we stayed in Revelstoke BC, the cabins didn’t have a pool. but they offered FREE passes to the city’s Aquatic Centre.
The best advice I can give, is to admit to your teen that you don’t know everything and that you haven’t been everywhere. When you learn and travel and explore together you do more than just vacation, you make memories and you make them stronger and more capable in doing so.
When you see a fabulous deal, you have to jump on it, if you possibly can. The under $200 flights to Kelowna were too good to pass up. And while I absolutely couldn’t get the time off work at spring break, my son could. (He has a fabulous boss!)
So, he went snowboarding in the mountains of British Columbia.
In an effort to include me (and the readers of SheTalksTravel.com), he’s shared some fun helmet-cam GoPro video that he shot.
He followed his friend down the mountain at Silver Star Ski Resort in Vernon. Not bad for a couple of novice snowboarders, and a helmet cam.
This clip is a little longer and shows more of the scenery at Silver Star Mountain Resort. It was taken by my older son, on a snowboard, as my youngest skis and blazes the trail.
Absolutely a fabulous hill. Great for the novice skier and beyond. Really great conditions for end of March. Top marks to Silver Star Mountain Resort, from my correspondent!
Ps. I will follow up soon with recommendations for hotels in the area and a few more of the fun photos he took.
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.
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.