December 9

Accounts and Apps that Will Save You Money if You Like to Travel

Posted by on December 9, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Accounts and Apps that Will Save You Money if You Like to Travel

I’m a huge fan of travel, especially international travel.  Over the years and almost 40 countries that I have visited, there have been a few accounts and apps that have been helpful for me when I plan my travel and also during the actual travel itself.  Here are five apps and accounts that may be of interest to you for your next vacation abroad.

Tangerine Chequing Account

I recently signed up for the Tangerine Chequing Account (I already have savings accounts with Tangerine, which used to be known as ING Direct) solely because Tangerine waives International ABM Access Fee (which can usually be upwards of $5 per transaction from your usual bank, in addition to the $3-5 that the International ATM charges you).  The International ABM Access fee is waived except for in Colombia and Panama.

The great thing is that the interest rate is better than any big bank chequing account too, 0.25% as of writing this post.  For current rates, check out Tangerine’s website here.

On a recent trip I tested it out (made a few purchases on an ATM internationally in the Netherlands and Denmark) and checked my Tangerine account when I got back.  Low and behold, the only transactions I saw was the conversion rate, thankfully there were no extra fees charged from Tangerine.

If you are interested, Tangerine often has great cashback discounts for opening an account.

Amazon and Mariott Rewards Visa Credit Card

This is a popular travel credit card, however, I do not own it myself.  The foreign transaction fee is preset by Visa and Mastercard, at 2.5% of your purchase.  With the Mariott Rewards Premier Visa Credit Card, you can stop worrying about the foreign transaction fees that your typical credit card will charge you (which are usually hidden and you won’t be able to see it directly on your credit card bill).  Same goes for the Visa credit card in Canada.  These are both from the bank, Chase.

Check out The Toronto Star’s article on credit cards to save you foreign transaction fees for more information.

Pay Back App

The Pay Back App if one of my favourite apps and probably the app that I have had the longest, pertaining to travel.  I have used it when traveling with friends and they are a big fan of it too.  No more ambiguity when it comes to who owes who for what.  No more complicated charts and records.  With the Pay Back App, you can record multiple trips and use different currencies (as long as you double check with the current conversions to make sure they are accurate).  All you do is input the friends involved in the trip, input the expenses (and to make sure you click on who paid for the expense and who is involved in sharing the expense), and at the end of the trip, click “PayBack!” and you have a summary of who owes what, which can be emailed as well.

XE Currency App

I have had the XE Currency App for years.  It uses live and mid-market rates (but you need access to the Internet, though it can save the exchange rate if you leave the wifi area) and you can add the currencies you want to compare.

You can download the XE Currency App here, the cost is free!  It is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox OS devices.  Although the currency exchanger that you use or the credit card rate that is charged will be different than the lives rates that you obtain from the XE Currency App, you will at least know how much it should be…roughly.

Google Translate

According to LifeHacker, one of the best apps to get if you travel abroad often is either Google Translate or iStone Travel Translation.  For Google Translate, you can either type your phrase or say it to Siri.  Google Translate has the capability to translate 58 languages in text or 23 languages by voice.  Pretty amazing if you ask me!

There you have it, there are some tricks from the trade on how to save money if you travel abroad often.  I hope these will be of utility for you on your next adventure!

Bargainmoosers, do you have any tried and true tips and tricks to save money while traveling abroad?

Image credit: Peter Rowley

Moose Rating (1 votes)
December 1

Air Canada Coupon Code: 15% Off for Cyber Monday (EXPIRED)

Posted by on December 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Air Canada Coupon Code: 15% Off for Cyber Monday (EXPIRED)

Air Canada has a rare 15% off coupon code for travel dates January 12 through June 15, 2015 that are booked today only!

Click here to book your next flight with Air Canada now

  • Coupon Code: CYBERMONDAY
  • Discount: 15% off travel
  • Expiry: 1st December 2014

The coupon expires at 11:59PM in the time zone of your departing city. Thus, if you were leaving from Vancouver this Air Canada coupon code would expire at midnight PST.

Travel dates are restricted to January 12 to June 15, 2015 with April 1 to April 7 blacked out. The coupon is valid on Canadian, U.S., international destinations, and various sun destinations as well for Tango and Flex Fares. You can book for up to nine passengers at a time, so even small groups can take advantage of this promotion.

I am not fond of flying as planes are notorious at arriving so late that I barely make my next transfer, or getting cancelled so I do not make my transfer, or even losing my luggage. However, I love travelling so flying is one of those necessary things especially when you want to get to some place across the ocean in a timely manner – a cruise ship just will not do it.

My partner has a real hankering for visiting England this year. Flights to London are not exactly cheap, so we will certainly be on the lookout for coupons like this one once we narrow down some dates. The conversion between the British pound and the Canadian dollar is always painful, but London is an amazing place to visit and their museums are amazing. The British Museum is even free to visit and one of my favourite places in London. I hope to spend more than a few hours there this time.

As an added bonus, every flight book enters you into a draw for the 10 Million Aeroplan Miles Contest. That would certainly be a nice thing to win! Just think of all the places you could travel with that many Aeroplan points.

This is a Cyber Monday deal only people, so book now! Where is your next flight going to take you?

Image credit: Doug

Moose Rating (2 votes)
November 11

Best Buy Canada: Samboro 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set | Was $600 Now $150 (EXPIRED)

Posted by on November 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Best Buy Canada: Samboro 3 Piece 4 Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set | Was $600 Now $150 (EXPIRED)

Are you going on an exciting journey during these next few months? Do you plan to have a nice holiday getaway? Then you should definitely check out today’s deal at Best Buy! For one day only, you can save $450 on this red Samboro 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set – it’s currently on sale for just $149.99! This luggage set normally sells for $599.99, so this is one heck of a deal! Best of all, you’ll also qualify for free shipping!

This Samboro 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set includes a 28″ expandable upright spinner (with 93-litre + 8L total capacity), a 24″ expandable upright spinner (with 63-litre + 7L total capacity), and a 19″ carry-on spinner (with 33-litre total capacity). With 4 wheels and a retractable locking trolley handle, you can easily maneuver this luggage set when you’re strolling through an airport. You can learn more about the features of this Samboro 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set by clicking on the link above.

I still shudder to think about the first few times that I travelled. My luggage set was a hand-me-down from my parents that didn’t have any wheels whatsoever, so I literally had to grasp on to the oversized handle of my luggage as I navigated through the airport. Also, my luggage was “decorated” with dark green and blue plaid patterns. I can thankfully say that I’ve upgraded my luggage set since that time!

If you wanted to buy this Samboro 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage Set from Future Shop today, it would cost you $599.99. I’ve included a brief review of a similar Samboro luggage set from a satisfied Best Buy customer below:

Attractive, easy to spot , wheels and mobility are the best… lightweight and rolls you smoothly on the way to your destination.

This deal will be gone before midnight, so check it out today. Happy hunting, Bargainmoosers!

(Expiry: 11th November 2014)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
November 4

Bed & Breakfast Promo Code: Free Gift Card

Posted by on November 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Bed & Breakfast Promo Code: Free Gift Card

If you are looking for an amazing gift idea for a new couple, a couple celebrating their anniversary, or just for someone (including yourself) who needs a little getaway, consider a Bed & Breakfast gift card. Right now you can use the promo code below to get yourself a free $100 gift card when you buy $350 in gift cards.

Click here to shop @ now

  • Coupon Code: BIG100
  • Discount: $100 gift with purchase
  • Expiry: 5th November 2014

You might have to think fast on this promo, as its only on until the end of the day tomorrow. What’s also great about this promotion is that you only need to buy a total of $350 in gift cards, but you don’t need to buy one large gift card. You can split it up anyway you’d like. If you are an employer, this might make a wonderful gift for your employees. I’m sure they’d appreciate a $50 or $100 gift card for Christmas and you won’t have to tell them that you got $100 free. If they work for you, you are probably well aware that they need a break! Add a paid day off into the mix and that would make a winner Christmas gift.

Bed and Breakfast has places all over Canada, the U.S., and beyond. This would make a gift for someone who is staying close to home, or going abroad. If this person is you, you won’t mind saving yourself $100 off the total cost of your trip either.

Note that when you search for your destination, it will tell you if the inn accepts the gift cards. For instance, I love Collingwood and while I don’t really enjoy paying inordinate amounts to stay in the village, I could stay a night (or three) at the Pretty River Valley Country Inn. Normally $145 a night, instead of paying $435 for those three nights, I’d pay only the $350 I spent on the initial gift cards.

I noticed that Bed & Breakfast also has another promo code starting on November 6th, so if you are reading this a little late, don’t be shy to grab that promo code to use on your purchase. The free gift cards aren’t as large as this one, but the total purchase is less too.

Moose Rating (3 votes)
October 23

Air Canada: Seat Sale for 15% off 2 Days Only

Posted by on October 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Air Canada: Seat Sale for 15% off 2 Days Only

There is a pretty awesome deal happening right now at Air Canada for just two days only.  Save 15% on select flights with Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge.

There are a variety of flights you can get the 15% off and this will definitely help with all of those extra fees now being issued with airlines.

This deal includes Canadian destinations, US, and international destinations and they are all 15% off without even needing a coupon code. I live in Calgary and I have family all over the US and Canada and even some family in the Caribbean so when I saw that it applies to pretty much anywhere Air Canada flies, I was excited immediately.

All of the prices listed online are one way fares. I have listed a few examples so you can get an idea of some of the great prices.

  • Calgary to Vancouver now $167
  • Toronto to Moncton now $157
  • Toronto to Quebec City now $169
  • Toronto to Boston now $163
  • Winnipeg to New York now $241
  • Toronto to Pairs now $766

As you can see, there are some pretty great deal to grab right now.

Something to keep in mind is that Air Canada is now charging a fee for all baggage.  They announced this the day after Westjet did with the fees varying on where you are headed.  Within Canada and some US destinations, the fee is $20 per bag.  Some US destinations are $25 a bag and international destinations are now up to $100 per bag depending on the country.

Most of the time, Air Canada lists blackout dates and dates of travel for when the deal is valid.  For some reason, they have not done that with this sale, which is a little disappointing since they seem to always have some kind of blackout dates. You may just have to play around to see if your travels will work with this 15% discount.

This is all of the information we know for this sale and as an avid traveller myself with a family of four, I know how awesome that 15% discount will be per ticket. This is especially true during the holidays!

Happy traveling Moosers!

(Image credit to Aero Icarus)

(Expiry: 24th October 2014)

Moose Rating (4 votes)
October 17

How to Make Money Using Airbnb

Posted by on October 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM

How to Make Money Using Airbnb

Airbnb has hit the world by storm and has quickly become one of the most common ways people use to stay in another city or country. With hotel costs becoming more and more expensive and without having access to a kitchen while you are in a hotel, living in someone else’s apartment or suite or even spare room makes much more sense.

Airbnb is in over 190 countries around the world.  While I have not used Airbnb yet I definitely plan to in the near future.  As an Airbnb host, you can choose how much to rent your place out and when.  For a great run down of what Airbnb actually is (the online rental marketplace), check out this great Investopedia post.

What are  the Costs?

The costs to the host are minimal (technically).  Airbnb charges you a 3% fee once the reservation goes through.  The traveler, on the other hand, has to pay a 6-12% fee on top of what you charge as a host for their reservation.

Some other costs include property damage.  While no one wants to think about this, it can be a reality.  You add a security deposit to each booking and Airbnb covers damages up to $1,000,000 but it is a good idea to read the fine print on Airbnb to see what is covered or not.

Also, before you list your place, it is a good idea to look at the laws and jurisdiction in your community to make sure you are allowed to rent out your place, as you may need to apply for a business license from your city in many cases.

Here are some ways in which you can pimp out your pad and market your listing to make sure people want to stay at your place:

Take Advantage of the Professionals

Airbnb offers a professional photographer to come to your place in most cities.  The process is simple but you need to be present with the photographer during daylight hours.  The process is really free.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s especially important when you are considering listing your place out on Airbnb.

Response to Requests ASAP

According to Smart Cookies, one way in which you can be profitable and successful with your Airbnb listing is to ensure that your response rate is high.  Respond to requests within 24 hours because a lot of the travelers booking on Airbnb are last minute travelers and you don’t want to miss their booking request.  Your response rate is listed and shown on your Airbnb host page.  This is something that you can easily control and manage, and there are no reasons why this should not be followed up on.

Include the Little Things

Little things turn into big things as we know.  The little touches, like towels included, coffee and tea amenities, and WIFI (actually that is a big thing because WIFI these days is seen as a necessity and not a ‘perk’) are going to give you big bang for your buck.  Even parking can be expensive and people want to know that they can park their car hassle free, especially in big cities when parking is a pain to get.

Feedback is Key

Forbes has a great article on “Seven Tips to Make Bank on Airbnb” and one of them is to make sure you get verified, which means getting feedback and reviews.  When someone is searching for a place to stay, it is hard for them to trust you when you don’t have any feedback.  People want to know they are staying at a reliable place that other travelers felt were reliable too.  That’s why some websites like Tripadvisor do so well.  Basically this is like Tripadvisor within Airbnb already embedded.  You want to make sure people like your place and want to write a good comment.

There you have it, hopefully these tips help you with your Airbnb listing or at least inspire you to think about getting on the Airbnb bandwagon.  If you need a little push, use this coupon code from Bargainmoose to get $25 Airbnb credit just for signing up!

Bargainmoosers, have you tried using Airbnb or tried renting out your space with Airbnb?  What have been your experiences?

Photo credit: Matthew Trentacoste

Moose Rating (2 votes)
September 9

Disney World: Free Dining Plans With Magic Your Way Package

Posted by on September 9, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Disney World: Free Dining Plans With Magic Your Way PackageThis deal couldn’t come at a better time for me as I’m on the search for an affordable family vacation over the winter to give as a Christmas gift. You do have to travel by December 23rd, but I know that is doable for us, so this is perfect. Bascially you’ll book your hotel and theme park tickets (Magic Your Way package) and you’ll get a free dining plan based on your level of accommodations.

Basically, you need to book a 6 day/7 night package at regular price and you’ll get your dining plan free. If you choose a value resort, you’ll get the quick service dining plan. If you choose a moderate resort hotel, deluxe resort hotel or deluxe villa resort hotel you’ll get the regular dining plan free. There are a few differences between the plans.

The regular plan gives you one quick service meal, one snack and one table service meal per day. It sounds like its up to you to decide when you want to sit down and have a meal and when you want to do something quick. I know with my kids, middle of the day is a much better time to sit down and eat as once they get tired, keeping them wrangled up does not work.

If you are a family who doesn’t enjoy any sit-down meals with your kids, or you want to save some money, the quick service option could be for you. Getting a value resort with the quick service dining option would definitely be your most cost-effective way of seeing Disney. It includes two quick service meals and one snack per day. It sounds like you get the same amount of food with both plans.

I love travelling a the beginning of December as the weather isn’t too horrible yet and I find it isn’t a time when a lot of people go away because they are too worried about getting ready for the holidays.

Not having to worry about paying for your food while you are riding rides, watching shows and generally just having a blast with your family is seriously priceless. I had considered renting a house while visiting Disney but do I really want to clean up after everyone and make them all dinner and breakfast each day on my holidays? Doesn’t sound fun.

(expiry: 12th September 2014)

Photo credit: Tom Bricker

Moose Rating (1 votes)
July 27

WestJet Canada: Seat Sale, Today Only

Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

WestJet Canada: Seat Sale, Today Only

If you are like me and have family living in different provinces, you may be on the hunt for a good seat sale.  Right now at WestJet Canada, they have a seat sale happening with flight deals within Canada.

To get these deals, you must book by the end of the day today and travel between September 2nd 2014 until February 10th 2015. Naturally, there are some black out dates with this sale, as follows: October 9th to 14th, 2014 and December 16th, 2014 to January 5th, 2015.  Basically, they are during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here is a look at some of the seat sale prices you will see:

  • Victoria to Calgary $161.83
  • Toronto to Moncton $157.21
  • Vancouver to Prince George $146.08
  • Regina to Calgary $161.83
  • Calgary to Kelowna $134.53
  • Toronto to Quebec City $152.69

There are no coupons to get any of these deals, and there will be extra taxes and fees charged on top just like any ticket would have. All of the fares posted above are based on a one way ticket. I also love the fact that all of the major airports and cities are included with this deal. A lot of the time, deals like this will just be for select flights from the huge airports such as Toronto. Having such a better selection is a big bonus for traveling.

I love sales like this because normally, the seat sales are for outside of Canada.  I have never figured out why we get charged more to fly inside of Canada than outside.

This is the perfect opportunity to grab a ticket for a low price to make a visit to see friends and family.  I actually have family in two different provinces, so the only way my family of four can travel by plane is with a seat sale like this one. If you figure you are saving even $100 per ticket, that is $400 each way for a family of four being saved.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

(Image credit to Doug)

(Expiry: 27th July 2104)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
July 25

Atlantis Summer Sale: Rates From $99 + Airfare & Meal Credits

Posted by on July 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Atlantis Summer Sale: Rates From $99 + Airfare & Meal Credits

Atlantis is having a summer sale that ends today, with really hot deals that will have you wanting to travel there now.

Atlantis is on my travel bucket list as a place I want to take my kids. If I had the money in the bank today, I would be booking a trip there for us for the fall. I’ve been to Paradise Island in the Bahamas and walked some of the grounds at Atlantis, and it is absolutely amazing. While it isn’t a traditional all-inclusive (and honestly, the food is quite expensive especially since you are paying for every meal) I’m going to say it is worth it.

There are two deals; one is for traveling this summer and one is for travel in the fall. The summer sale includes rates for the last week of August at $99 a night and for the rest of July and August at $179 a night. The fall sale has rates from September to December at only $99 a night! There are some blackout dates, but not many. This is for staying in the Beach Tower, and for double occupancy, so I’m going to assume if you add kids, the charges will be a little more.

On top of those great rates, you’ll also get $200 instant airfare credit when your stay is four nights or more. When I went to the Bahamas, I paid for my flight separate and it was only $300 each. This means if you can find flight deals like this, for two people you’ll be paying $400 for flights and $400 for four nights accommodation. For $800 you’ll get there and stay, which is pretty amazing.

It doesn’t stop there. There is also a free wine and dine pass with $150 in free food at the various restaurants at Atlantis. I really want to try Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill! You’ll also get free unlimited water park access, which is about $139 per person per day and quite the savings. You could literally just go for the $800, spend all your time in the waterpark, get your free food, and spend another few hundred on more food and make this a vacation costing less than $1500 for two people.

(Expiry: 25th July 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
July 16

Lonely Planet Promo Code: 50% Off Everything

Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Lonely Planet Promo Code: 50% Off Everything

Do you have travel plans in the near future, or are you constantly planning that dream vacation in your head?  I’ve found a juicy promo code to help you with your plans, real or imaginary, with 50% off everything at Lonely Planet.  They are calling this code a secret, but we’re letting the cat out of the bag.

Click here to shop @ now

  • Coupon Code: LPSECRET
  • Discount: 50% off
  • Expiry: 18th July 2014

I am currently planning a few trips, both real and imaginary.  We are going to go back to New York City in the fall.  The last time we visited (the first trip there for both of us), we had a whirlwind 36 or so hours in the city.  We saw some of the bigger sites like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, and Times Square.  We did find ourselves a little overwhelmed and slightly lost from time to time.  I found this great deal on the City Box Set Limited Edition (USD$30.00 with coupon offer, reg. $59.99) which includes city guides for Paris, London and New York City.  Paris and London are high on my travel wish list, so this deal will help me out in the present and future.

Another cool resource I found is the Cycling in France Guide.  You can choose from the book (USD$12.50, reg. $24.99), eBook (USD$8.74, reg. $24.99) or you can purchase PDF copies of individual chapters (USD$2.48, reg. $4.95).  A little secret of my own is that I’m hoping my boyfriend will pop the question one of these days, and I’m hoping for a glorious honeymoon in Europe, with a strong focus in France.  I am a lover of all things wine, and my boyfriend is an avid cyclist.  I figure we can both be really, really happy with a honeymoon spent cycling the French countryside with some stops at Chateaux to sample wine along the way.

We recently blogged about another sale at Lonely Planet, you can check that out here to see what Eva had to say about Lonely Planet’s print and digital guidebooks.

Lonely Planet offers free shipping on orders over US$40.  I found that my order was still free as long as the original price was over $40, even if the coupon brought it under that.

Check back to Bargainmoose forums for more Lonely Planet coupons anytime!

Moose Rating (1 votes)
July 9

Expedia Canada: 3-Night Getaways For $249 Or Less

Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Expedia Canada: 3 Night Getaways For $249 Or Less

Do you have big travel plans this summer?  Need some help figuring out where to go and/or where to lay your weary travelling head?  Look no further than for 3-night getaways for $249 or less.

Choose from a long list of destinations, both within Canada and abroad for anywhere from this week to five weeks from now.  Some of the more popular destinations available within this promotion are Las Vegas, Orlando, Niagara Falls and Paris, so there is a deal to please every kind of traveller.

Has a summer girl’s trip been on your mind?  Check out this deal:  Save 45% from August 8th to August 11th at the Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The 3-night hotel deal is only $93!  This hotel is reviewed at 3.7 out of 5 or 87%.  Stay about a mile off the strip at this hotel with a 2-level casino, a bingo parlour, outdoor pool and 2 on-site restaurants.

Thinking of taking the family to Niagara Falls, but want to do it on the cheap?    You can save 10% at Niagara Lodge & Suites  with a 3-night deal for $240.  Now I’ll be honest, this isn’t the prettiest hotel I’ve seen, but I know when I go to Niagara Falls, we are very busy seeing all the sights both in the falls area as well as Niagara-on-the-Lake, so we are just in the hotel for sleep.  I prefer to keep my accommodation costs low in Niagara Falls so that I can spend a little more enjoying all the attractions, so this deal helps with that.

If you have some frequent flyer miles burning a hole in your pocket, maybe you would like to check out the 3-night deals in New York or Paris!  There are some good deals to California as well.  I don’t know when these 3-night deals from will end, so I suggest booking asap.

(Expiry: Unknown)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
June 7

How To Save Money On Your Summer Road Trip

Posted by on June 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

How To Save Money On Your Summer Road Trip

Summer is the time for cruising. If you can, you put the top down or open the sunroof and the windows, blare the music and hit the open road. Destination: Who knows? Well, that type of attitude could be costly and in the end, wasteful. If you love taking fun summer road trips as I do, have a read of this article on how you can do it without ending up at the side of the road with your thumb in the air.

Plan Your Trip

As I always say, planning saves you money. Plan where you are going, what the fastest route is and the one with the least amount of traffic. Sitting in traffic costs you needless dollars and isn’t really part of your free-wheeling plan, I’m sure. If you want to stop at various places along the way, ensure you plan your trip to drive the least distance. Find out when the attractions you want to see are open, so you don’t pass them and have to come back to them later. Make a detailed scheduled of all stops along the way. Planning Fun Road Trips has a super handy calculator to find out all of the costs of your trip.

Save on Gas

With any road trip, gasoline costs are probably one of the biggest expenses. Gas is just insanely expensive right now so every dollar you can save makes a difference. This article from CNBC tells you how to save money on gas costs, and these include using a gas app to find the cheapest gas, filling your tank mid-week and parking in the shade.

Pack your Food

Drive-thru’s along the way are costly, and most of the time, regrettable. Every time I’ve gone through a drive-thru at McDonalds or some other fast food along the way on a road trip, I always feel crappy afterwards and eat too much of something I wouldn’t have normally eaten if it wasn’t so convenient. Pack some snacks and even meals and put them in a cooler in your back seat, even within reach of the driver. If you want to stop and have something, find a rest area or picnic area along the way, preferably with a washroom so you can do that too. Also, don’t feel like you have to buy something at a restaurant just because you stopped there to pee. That is just needless spending. How Stuff Works has a great list of 10 best snacks for a road trip.

Where to Stay

If your road trip is going to comprise a night or a few nights, you will need somewhere to sleep. The most economical way of doing a drive overnight is having a second driver so you don’t have to pay to sleep anywhere. Other than this, camping is your best bet. But, camping is only the best option if you already have the equipment. Buying everything you need for a camping trip, plus your campsite costs can add up to more than the cost of a hotel. Staying in a hotel can be an economical option if you plan ahead and book online, find coupon codes or budget motels along the way.

Need ideas on where to go? Check out Trail Canada for ideas on frugal road trips within Canada.

Bargainmoosers, what are your money-saving tips for road trips?

(Photo Credit: James Wheeler)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
June 2

Saving Money at Disney World

Posted by on June 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Saving Money at Disney World

The Robinson family is planning our first ever trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.   We are taking our kids at some point over the next 10 months.  We know for sure we’re going to fly there vs. drive and we want to take in a few days at the Disney parks.   Beyond that we’re not sure about any other details:  what to see, how to organize our days to get the best bang for our buck at Disney, when to go, etc.  There is a lot to think about, and considering the amount of money we will be spending, we want to ensure that it is an excellent trip.   We have had a lot of luck travelling lately, and I think it’s because of the time we have put in, up front, with planning every detail of our trips.  For some reason all of my friends who have been to Disney have VERY strong opinions on everything: where to eat, where to stay, what to do, when to go.   Honestly, I am very overwhelmed with the enormity of information available, and the varied opinions that people have.   Clare Yeh, another writer extraordinaire at Bargainmoose, wrote an article recently about  4 ways to save money at Disneyland, and her tips are excellent.  Given that our trip will be to Disney World, there are some differences to consider.

Stay on a Disney resort or off-site

The first thing we need to decide is whether we are going to say on a Disney World resort or rent accommodations elsewhere.   90% of my friends who have done Disney stay at a Disney resort, so that is clearly a popular route to take.  We are taking Clare’s advice and are going during the low season: likely November.  For us, the potential savings we can realize by travelling in the off-season far outweigh the allure of travelling to a hot location when it’s icey cold in Canada.  We have never stayed in a hotel overnight with our kids, so this is something that is nerve-racking for us, hence the reason we haven’t travelled with them thus far.  Staying at a rental house (ideally with a pool!) is an attractive option since we can all have our own space, privacy, and we’ll be able to cook our own meals if we wish.  Given that my husband is the best cook ever (and he loves it), we definitely plan to cook a lot of our own meals.  We are food snobs, and we don’t enjoy most food at restaurants.   Conversely, I have heard absolutely wonderful things about the Disney resort experience, from the customer service to the pools.

Price comparison between Disney resorts or staying off-site

Given that we are going on the low season, how do the prices match up?  For comparison’s sake, let’s look at the week of November 16.  According to, Disney is offering a free dining plan for that week.  On, the cost for a 6 night, 7 day package which includes park passes for 7 days, a Disney dining plan, hotel room and transportation to the parks, the total cost for the 4 of us is $2841.82.

According to TripAdvisor, there are thousands of house rental options for that week.  You can do a search based on your exact preferences.  For us, we want a house that has a private pool, grill, enough bedrooms for us all, and close to Disney World.  We narrowed down our options to 4 houses, and they are all around $1000 per week.  In addition, we will have to rent a car for the week, which would cost us around $300.  We are getting our Disney park tickets for $265 for all four of us, (see below for more information on how we scored such an amazing deal on our tickets).  Food costs for the week for the four of us for food we will probably be around $500 in groceries and meals out.  In total, our costs to stay off-site will be around $2065.  Note that if we had to buy our tickets we would need to add on an additional $1300 or so, for a total of around $3365.  Also note that our price to stay off-site is for 7 nights and 8 days versus the 6 night 7 day Disney package.  We will have to pay for our flights regardless of whether we stay at a Disney resort or at a rented house, so I didn’t include that cost in my calculation.  The daily rate for our family to stay at a Disney moderate-priced resort is approximately $473.64.  The daily rate for our family to stay off-site is approximately $295.  If you factor in the Disney ticket costs, the price is actually about the same.  I’m really surprised by this.  Note that there are varied types of Disney hotels, value, moderate and deluxe, and their prices reflect their different offerings.

Save money on Disney tickets

I discovered about a year ago that you can redeem Air Miles for Disney park tickets.  I have been saving my miles ever since, and I now have enough for 2 children’s 5 day passes, and 1 adult 5 day pass which will cost me about 7200 Air Miles.   My kids’ preschool has an annual Fun Fair and silent auction and the past 2 years they have had 4 single admission park tickets which were donated by Disney.  Tickets regularly cost around $100 per ticket, so our goal this year was to bid up to $400, since the money was going to the school anyway.  We were very fortunate and bought the tickets for $265, which is a total steal.  Generally you cannot get deals on park tickets other than through a website called UndercoverTourist, which offers a small discount on Disney prices.  If you plan your trip in advance, it’s worth purchasing your tickets through them.  They also have some really informative links on their site about the park, busy times et cetera.

In addition to the above measures, we are going to ensure that we plan all our Disney days in advance so we can optimize our time at the parks. This Babycenter article is a great place to start the planning process, with some good half day agendas.  I have to admit that I was more than a little apprehensive about this trip before I started doing research, but now that we have a good plan shaping up, I’m actually starting to get excited about it.  The thought of my girls meeting Cinderella in person is pretty exciting.

Bargainmoosers, what are your best tips to save money at Disney World?

Photo credit: Emilio Dellepiane

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 29

Travel Zoo Canada: $29 Off Per Adult For A Niagara Falls Helicopter Tour

Posted by on May 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Travel Zoo Canada: $29 Off Per Adult For A Niagara Falls Helicopter Tour

If you are heading to Niagara Falls anytime soon and looking for something fun and unique to do, consider taking a helicopter site seeing tour. Imagine seeing the falls from above, where most people don’t get to see them! If you thought the price was too steep for your budget, how about saving $29 off each person with Travel Zoo’s printable coupon? Instead of spending $137 per adult, you’ll pay only $108 for this once in a lifetime experience.

I think this deal would be amazing for a number of reasons. I’ve lived in Ontario my whole life and seen the falls probably 30 times, but I’ve never seen it from a helicopter and have always wanted to. My husband and I often go there for a quick getaway together, and this would be something so fun to surprise him with. Just my husband and I would save $58. If you have out-of-town visitors, what better way to impress them than a ride in a helicopter over Niagara Falls? A proposal inside of the Niagara helicopter would also be truly unforgettable. What if you had a bunch of your friends standing beside the falls holding Will You Marry Me signs?

Looking at the Niagara Helicopters site, I see that the flight is only 12 minutes long but takes you over the whirlpools, over all of the Falls and even dips down a bit to see the falls from the front, where you really can’t see them except from an aviation vehicle. It then flies over the city and lands, giving you ample opportunity to snap lots of amazing photos.

Check for more Travel Zoo coupons in our forum, we might be able to save you a ton of money on your next trip!

(Expiry: 31st March 2015)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
May 29

Air Canada Promo Code: 20% Off Flights To Honolulu

Posted by on May 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Air Canada Promo Code: 20% Off Flights To Honolulu

Want to head to Hawaii this winter? Air Canada is giving you another reason to go, which is this fantastic promo code for 20% off your flight from anywhere in Canada to Honolulu.

Click here to book your dream trip @ now

  • Coupon Code: ALOHAROUGE
  • Discount: 20% off
  • Expiry: 10th June 2014

If there is somewhere I’d love to visit, it is Hawaii. If it is good enough for Oprah, it is good enough for me. Typically though, flights are mega-expensive because it is so far away, especially since I’m on the eastern side of Canada. Imagine my shock when I did a test flight and it was less than $400 from Toronto to Honolulu! And this is even including all taxes and surcharges, which usually kills the cheap price of the flight. With this new information, I might skip the heading to Florida that I was planning this Winter and hit up Hawaii instead. There is a layover in Vancouver, but I’ve never been there before either and it would be cool to try and get a long layover along the way.

Travel has to occur from November 21st, 2014 to April 30th, 2015, which is exactly when you’d probably want to get out of Canada. There is a maximum of nine people per booking, which works for me!

Just for fun, I checked on the Toronto price for the week of Christmas and flights were as low as $600, so if you really want to get your family something awesome for Christmas, check out this deal.

As always, Air Canada coupon codes are located in our forum, so if this deal doesn’t spark your fancy, see what else might do it.

Photo credit: Justin Ornellas

Moose Rating (2 votes)