Ontarians love to travel, but with costs rising due to inflation, it has become more important than ever to find ways to save money, while still crossing off destinations on your bucket list.
“This year, more and more people across the province are eager to embark on their next adventure, whether that means disconnecting in a tropical paradise or exploring the history of an ancient city,” says Susan Postma, regional manager, CAA Club Group. “While we are seeing a renewed interest in travel, we know the costs associated with it will be factor for many people.”
With the help of our travel professionals, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has compiled a few tips to help save you money.
- Plan ahead. Start planning your trip well in advance of your departure date. Determine what your budget will allow and book flights, hotels, and rental cars early to get the best deals and rates possible. With the higher demand for travel, last-minute planning will result in higher airfares, hotel rates and even disappointment from no availability.
- Redeem your loyalty points or member benefits. Use frequent flyer miles or credit card points to pay for flights or hotels. Take advantage of CAA member benefits and discounts at hotels and attractions, or tap into hotel loyalty programs. Now is your time to finally redeem all those accumulated rewards points from a member program or credit card. Also, don’t forget to check the expiration date on unused vouchers or credits.
- Look for hotels that include breakfast or allow self-catering. Food costs continue to rise and will quickly eat into your budget when you’re paying for three meals (+ snacks) each day. A free breakfast, offered by many hotels, or a hotel room with a kitchenette or fridge will help reduce food costs and give you more money to put towards excursions and other experiences while you’re away.
- Travel during off-peak times. There are both days of the week and times of the year that are cheaper to travel. Consider travelling during these off-peak times or leaving for your trip during the week versus on a weekend.
- Partner with a travel agent to get the best deal. A travel agent will know when there are active sales. Travel promotions happen several times throughout the year, and a trusted travel agent will know the best time to book your next getaway.
While everyone likes a great deal, the one thing you should never skip is travel insurance says Postma.
“You may be in good health before your departure, but unexpected medical emergencies can still happen while you are away from home. If you get sick or injured, travel insurance is important to ensure your medical treatment is covered, along with any related out-of-pocket expenses.”
If you’re uncertain what coverage you need, CAA encourages you to talk to your travel insurance expert who can help you find the most suitable coverage for your trip and your needs