As a retired mom of a fairly large bunch, I love to visit my kids who are far away – and I love when they visit. I do not tend to plan these trips very far in advance – even though I should. My kids also may need some help in booking their travels – and I am happy to search for deals. What’s the secret to saving money on travel across Canada? There is no secret – I just google, check all of the sites – and then I check again
First I check our Loyalty Points services – Airmiles and Avion Rewards – they both have great reservation systems – and it’s always nice to spend points isn’t it? Then I check my Hotel, Rental Car and Airline Rewards, At this point I start to get questions from the family – “Did you book it? Did you?”
No Way – there is always more site to check…. I’m at my worst if I’m having a glass of wine or I’ve forgotten my reading glasses!
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General Travel Searches:
I take a look at the Travel Aggregators – I like how Expedia shows me the distance from the hotels listed to what I want to see and I like the way that Travelocity shows me things to do.
If I’m booking flights, I may check these sites, but for Canadian trips I also check the discount airlines directly as they don’t always end up in reservation systems. I check the competitive airlines Flair, Lynx, Porter, Canada Jetlines, Air Transat and Swoop directly, I prefer to avoid Toronto Pearson Airport and Montreal Trudeau Airport – as they are just too darned busy. The smaller regional airports London, Hamilton and Kitchener Waterloo are great Southern Ontario alternates.
I confess that I’m not really an AirBnB fan. I like the standardized rooms of chain hotels – I like knowing what to expect and earning more Loyalty Points. I like to call the hotel directly and confirm that I have a ground floor room with it’s own exit (I’m not over avoiding crowds during Covid).
It also drives me crazy that there are so many different prices for hotel rooms. Why can’t these booking sites just give me the Best Price when I press that Best Price button?
I would really like it if it made sense to take trains across Canada – but the prices for trains to the western provinces never seem to be lower than a flight – (that’s’ just my experience). However for trips from Southern Ontario to Ottawa, Montreal or even Quebec city – we often book with Via Rail.
For Vehicle Rentals, I do check all the companies, but I tend to stick with Enterprise because I accumulate Loyalty Points and they come to my house to pick me up. I also check different locations for Enterprise as the prices and availability vary by location.
All these travel search sites are the reason I never get anythng done around the house – and why sometimes we just jump in the car and start driving!
What are your tips for booking travel? Do you have any sites you really find helpful or not helpful?
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8 thoughts on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”
Half the fun with any trip is the planning and preparation which includes researching the best deals.
Ugh. I hate the research part.
I’m a big fan of Trip Advisor for research and the App – Maps.Me and of course Google Maps for GPS locational reference. The research part of travel is very enjoyable but we usually wait to book our lodging until a day before we arrive. We have a massive number of points accumulated on Wyndham. We study reviews extensively online before making any bookings. I guess living in Florida with all its tourist scams, I’m naturally leery of what Intend to read about places we plan to visit.
We accumulate points too and we read the reviews for each hotel. We just visited Alberta last week and used Trip Advisor again to find a quick day drive that we hadn’t tried before – this time we went to the Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary for a nice walk around on a cold day! We haven’t tried Maps.Me yet but definitely use Google Maps everywhere.
Maps.me comes in most handy for air travel as I can track our flight’s progress in the air for the duration of each flight. It’s quite a remarkable tool. I recommend you download desired sites to visit on his app before you use it for ground travel.
Thank you – very good idea – I will give Maps.me a try!
Thank you very much!