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As travel prices rise, Canadians are looking for ways to save during the peak winter season

As travel prices rise, Canadians are looking for ways to save during the peak winter season

MONTREAL – As temperatures begin to cool, the price of a winter getaway is heating up as Canadians look for ways to save on travel costs during the peak season.

Accommodations sell out quickly during the holidays, but those willing to splurge can save big, says Macca Shirifi of the travel blog An Adventurous World.

“You can usually get great last-minute deals if you’re happy to wait,” Shirifi said.

For those looking to book their reservations now, there are other ways to keep lodging costs lower.

“Make sure you’re using a private browser when booking online so cookie searches don’t drive up prices,” Shirifi said.

Hotels are now cheaper than private accommodations like Airbnb rentals, as those prices rose significantly during the pandemic, Shirifi said.

For traveling in Canada, Shirifi also recommends opting for a shorter three- or four-day trip over a longer two-week trip for a budget-friendly vacation.

When choosing a shorter trip, consider planning your getaway around one of Canada’s many winter festivals, said Marsha Walden, president of Destination Canada.

From the world’s largest winter festival, Quebec Carnival, to Fredericton’s ice sculpture show, FROSTival, there are plenty of festivals across the country to make the most of a short getaway, Walden said.

“The best thing about festivals is that they’re often free and span multiple days,” Walden said.

Canada is known for its renowned natural beauty, from skating on frozen lakes to hiking exciting mountain trails, Walden suggests exploring Canada’s great outdoors this winter at little or no cost.

However, after more than two years of pandemic restrictions, many still want to get out and fly.

When planning a flight in Canada, the price can depend on when the flight is purchased, as Expedia spokeswoman Melanie Fish recommends purchasing the flight two months before departure.

“The savings can be huge,” Fish said. “We’re talking an average of 40 percent in that sweet spot if you book two months in advance.”

For international travel, Fish said Canadians should book at least three months in advance, as booking too soon or too late doesn’t offer the same savings.

As for which international destinations Canadians are heading to, Fish said Mexico, the southern US and Costa Rica are among the top sun destinations this winter.

A recent Expedia report also recommends booking flights on Sundays to save up to 15 percent, and said Fridays are the cheapest day to travel, saving travelers up to 20 percent on Canadian flights.

Domestic flights departing on Thursday are also a great alternative, with savings of around 10 percent, the report said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 24, 2022.

Caitlin Yardley, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version entered the wrong day of the week for the cheapest day to travel.

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