Travel in Canada Grows Due to Weak Loonie

Travel in Canada grows due to weak loonie

The low loonie hasn’t stopped Canadians from taking a well-deserved vacation – but we’ll be staying within the border to do so. A recent survey by Expedia finds many travellers are planning holidays on home soil to avoid hefty exchange rates, while others are taking shorter trips or forgoing a trip altogether. This is in addition to another survey from PC Financial which finds 59 per cent of would-be travellers say the weak dollar has impacted their travel plans, and that 63 per cent are considering a “staycation” this year to save money.

Tip: Offset your trip costs with big travel bonuses. Check out the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada>

Dealing with Slashed Spending Power

The loonie’s drop means the same holiday you took to the U.S. last year will now cost you about 30 per cent more. Prices may have remained the same in the destination you want to travel to, but you’ll need to spend more to get the same goods and services. According to Expedia, the top destinations booked on on the site between January and December 2015 were Toronto, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Calgary and Montreal.

Related Read: Canadians Shop Less as Loonie Dips>

Make your Loonie Go the Distance

In the midst of making your March break travel plans, or even getting a head start on a summer getaway? Check out these top tips for getting more value on the mile.

  • Travel to places where your dollar goes further. Places in Asia like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are still relatively cheap, once you arrive.
  • Tickets to fly overseas can be a major expense, but you can cut that down by travelling mid-week. You can also fly off season to cut down on airline fares.
  • Places in Europe like, Poland, Croatia, and Hungary are cost-effective alternatives to the more traditional European destinations like Paris or London.
  • A great tip for flying within Europe is to fly to a major port like London and then use a discount carrier to get you to your final destination. In some cases flights are as low as $25 CAD one way.  Book up to six weeks in advance to get the best deals.

Sticking Close to Home

Despite the slide in the value of the Canadian dollar, Expedia’s survey results show 64 per cent of consumers surveyed are planning to travel and another 83 per cent wish they could be travelling. Adam Francis, brand marketing director at Expedia Canada says a lower loonie is actually good for travel in Canada. “This is great news for Canadian tourism and for Canadian travellers. For many who have yet to set foot in the Maritimes or others who have always wanted to see the wonders of the west coast, 2016 is a great year to see what our beautiful country has to offer.”

Opting for a staycation doesn’t mean you’re confined to your house. Book a five-star hotel in your city, and have a holiday close to home, without the hefty cost to get there. Check out group buying sites to find deals on local attraction and restaurants to make your dollar go even further. It’s a bit of a cliché, but a vacation is about who you go with not where you go and that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on international travel.

Will you be going on vacation this year? Tell us in a comment, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

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