If you’re looking to book a vacation on a budget this year, you’re not alone. According to a new poll from Ipsos conducted exclusively for Global News, around 60 per cent of Canadians are cutting back on their vacation plans because of inflation and economic uncertainty.
With such a high cost of living, it should come as no surprise that nearly a quarter of Canadians feel that there is no way for them to afford a summer vacation. While the inflation rates aren’t as high as they were last summer, the cost of things like hotels, dining out and other travel expenses have skyrocketed.
Unfortunately, travel feels inaccessible for many Canadians at a time when they need it most, with 71 per cent of poll respondents revealing that they really need a vacation this summer. But of those respondents, nearly one third say that they won’t be able to afford one.
So, if you’re one of those people who are really in need of a vacation right now, but are feeling some financial pressure, here are a few ways to travel without breaking the bank.
Consider local travel
Ipsos Global Affairs Senior Vice-President Sean Simpson believes that it could be time for Canadians to look a little closer to home for vacation this year, instead of heading out overseas.
“They’re going to need to find something to do. And I think those things… are readily available in our backyard,” Simpson explains. “I think we’ll see some of the local spots being quite, quite popular this year.”
If you’re traveling abroad, pick a location where the Canadian dollar can stretch further
While popular international destinations like Europe may be out of budget for many Canadians at the moment, Omar Kaywan – co-founder of travel app Goose Insurance – encourages travellers to head somewhere that the Canadian dollar may be worth more money.
For example, instead of looking to somewhere costly like Europe, find more affordable deals in destinations like the Caribbean or South Asia for a picturesque vacation on a budget.
Use your reward points
If you’ve got some reward points laying around in your back pocket, use them. As Kaywan details, loyalty programs are constantly changing, and your points are probably more valuable now than they will be in the future.
“A great example would be if you were with Starwood before, now it’s Marriott Bonvoy and the redemption points and the levels have changed,” Kaywan adds. “So it is a good idea for you to be using your points whenever you can before the value on them changes significantly.”
So, if you’ve got some points saved up with hotels or airlines, use them when you can.
Look at your travel budget holistically
Instead of dividing up your expenses and looking at them individually, Kaywan says that travellers should approach their budget holistically. For example, instead of looking at your budget for your hotel, consider how a certain rental might impact your food budget. If your rental is a bit more expensive, but it has a space where you can meal plan and cook for yourself instead of dining out, it could allow you to save big in the long run.
Hopefully, these tips will help you find a more budget-friendly vacation option. Plus, if you’re looking for a relaxing local getaway, check out our list of the top Canadian spas for budget-friendly escapes.
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