Canada's Condominium Magazine

10 Tips for travel savings this summer

Canadians are currently a population of 35 million and each year we travel to the tune of at least 50 million trips abroad and 200 million excursions at home, with 90 per cent of those in our own province. If you too are busy making travel plans this summer, take a look at these top 10 tips to plug the holes in your wallet every step of the way:

• Many of us don’t have time to comparison shop online, so why not ask a travel agent to alert you to discount opportunities? Stay loyal to that agency for VIP treatment.

• Book air reservations early. Prices typically go up 21, 14 and 3 days before flying. Research early, wait for airline seat sales, and act fast.

• North American airfares are usually cheaper if you depart mid-week and stay a Saturday night.

• Redeem loyalty program points, or ‘miles’ for air tickets, hotels, car rentals, gasoline, merchandise, services and more. Use miles for an Air Canada gift card to reduce flying costs and/or, an American Express gift card can reduce travel expenses anywhere in the world, says loyalty program, Aeroplan. And, they point out, loyalty programs can make your summer-fun activities much cheaper too.

• Redeem miles for: sightseeing, galleries, whale watching, race car driving, concert tickets, show tickets like Cirque du Soleil and theme park passes to Disney World, Universal Studios Hollywood, Legoland, SeaWorld and more. See Aeroplan.com.

• Airline fuel surcharges are a fact-of-life nowadays and are a part of each airfare, so be sure to shop around since this add-on varies between airline carriers. Surcharges for flights in North America are usually lower than flights abroad.

• When driving, fuel-saving hybrid cars are rentable. Ask for one at Avis or Hertz.

• Learn about the bonus perks of premium credit cards, like the travel insurance offered on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, and the American Express Aeroplan Plus Gold Card. Each transaction also adds reward miles.

• City hotels often give tourists a deal on the weekends after their business guests go home. Suburban hotels are usually cheaper than downtown. Cross-check on the websites of Best Western, Starwood, Delta, Fairmont and more.

• Reduce restaurant expenses by eating your main meal at lunchtime instead of higher priced dinnertime. Overseas especially, check to see if the gratuity is already included on the bill.

 News Canada

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