travel

April 22

How to Save Money on Your Southern California Vacation

Posted by on April 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on Your Southern California Vacation

Almost one year ago my husband and I flew down to California for 10 days to celebrate our honeymoon. We’d both always wanted to visit The Golden State, but since we had just spent a pretty penny on our wedding and were about to move provinces, we made sure that our vacation in California was both fun and frugal. If any of you are thinking about visiting California this spring or summer, here are a few ways we were able to save money without missing out on anything the West Coast had to offer.

Disneyland

Tickets to Disneyland aren’t cheap, but there are a few ways to save money here and there (just check out all of Clare’s useful tips here). What my husband and I did to shave a few dollars off the entrance fee was to forego the Park Hopper passes (which let you in to both Disneyland and California Adventure) and just buy Single Park passes instead. Not only did we save $35 each by doing this, we also realized that we couldn’t have enjoyed both parks to the fullest on the same day anyways.

As for accommodations, we avoided the pricey Disney hotels, and stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim instead. It was significantly cheaper and still walking distance from the park. We also tried to avoid eating or buying anything at the park too. Instead of buying bottled water there at an inflated price, we brought our own water bottles to fill up at their free water fountains. We also didn’t buy any food there, but opted to bring our own snacks like granola bars to keep us fueled up while waiting in line for all the rides.

Universal Studios

My husband and I were really excited to visit Universal Studios (we’re huge film buffs), but unfortunately we couldn’t find any way to get discounted tickets for entry. The one good thing that did come out of our visit (besides having a blast on all the rides!) was that that the park was giving away free tickets to be part of Jay Leno’s studio audience. Apparently they have promotions like this all the time, and we made sure to take advantage. We may not have saved any money while at Universal Studios, but just being at the park gave us something to do the following day for absolutely free.

Hollywood & Los Angeles

The most expensive part of visiting Los Angeles is actually staying in Los Angeles. Even though we searched for the best hotel deals online, it was hard to find a decent room for less than $170/night. Since that was the case, we made sure to save money in other ways. Instead of eating out everyday we bought groceries at food stores like Trader Joe’s and stored them in our room’s refrigerator. We also tried to do a number of free activities, such as visit Santa Monica Pier, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and drive up to see the Hollywood sign.

Wine Country

We really wanted to explore California’s wine country on our honeymoon, but we knew we couldn’t afford to fly up to Sonoma or Napa Valley from Los Angeles. Instead, we decided to stay in Temecula for 3-nights, which is only an hour and a half drive away from downtown L.A. Not only was it a beautiful town full of wineries, it was incredibly affordable to stay there. We were able to get a lovely suite with a private porch overlooking the orchards at the South Coast Winery & Resort for only $165/night just by searching the hotel deal sites. Our wine tour was also very cheap at only $100/person for a full afternoon of wine tastings, pairings, and transportation through Rockin’ Wine Tours.

Bargainmoosers, have you visited California before? What tips & tricks did you use to save money?

Moose Rating (1 votes)
April 16

TravelZoo Canada: Algonquin 3-Day Adventure For 2 With Meals Only $700

Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

TravelZoo Canada: Algonquin 3 Day Adventure For 2 With Meals Only $700

If you are looking for the trip of a lifetime in your own country, Algonquin Park is the place to go. It is absolutely gorgeous, rugged and an unspoiled gem in Ontario. Travel Zoo has a fantastic deal on for a 3-day Algonquin adventure for two including meals for only $699, was $1056.

I’ve been to Algonquin Park a multitude of times. While I’m not a back-country camper because I need amenities like showers and toilets, I’m sure it is quite the amazing adventure. I’ve been in all seasons and Summer and Fall are my favourite. Spring could mean black flies, and they get very nasty up there on cloudy days. Winter could mean not the greatest driving conditions to get north. When my husband and I were first dating, we made our way to Algonquin Park and right before we entered a 40km stretch where there is nothing, he put windshield washer fluid in the coolant tank. He realized it as we were driving and luckily we didn’t break down, but I sure broke a sweat.

In case you are wondering, I’ve seen a number of moose in my travels to Algonquin, along with a number of other wildlife.

This deal is actually available for May and June or you can pay more for an extra night in July and August. So here’s what you get: three days and two nights in a cabin retreat for $699 or four days and three nights in a cabin retreat for $899 (both with different availability dates). On top of that you’ll get all meals and excursions including canoeing, biking, hiking with expert guides. With the three-day package you’ll also get a $50 gas card, $25 credit for Highlander Brew Co. and $25 meal credit at Iron Skillet restaurant.

(Expiry: Unknown)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
April 15

Lonely Planet Canada Promo Code: 2-For-1 Deal On All Books & eBooks

Posted by on April 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Lonely Planet Canada Promo Code: 2 For 1 Deal On All Books & eBooks

Planning to travel any time soon or maybe even in a far off future? Then you’re going to need to become an expert on your travel destination. Luckily, Lonely Planet is here to help with a 2-for-1 special on all travel guidebooks and eBooks, including those for kids!

Click here to shop @ LonelyPlanet.com now

  • Coupon Code: EGGSPLORE
  • Discount: 2 for 1 deal on all books and eBooks
  • Expiry: 18th April 2014

The internet is great for learning about a new destination, but a comprehensive guidebook is even better. Lonely Planet has a book out for just about any destination in any continent and the best part about their selection is that they also have specialized books like Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand, Food Lover’s Guide To The World, Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2014, The Book Of Everything, and countless of other great sounding titles!

Prices vary per book but you can expect to pay around $20 for a print title and almost $15 for a PDF eBook. Although of course, with the code above, you will be getting two titles for the price of just one.

Keep in mind that all prices are in USD and shipping is also free on orders over $40. If you happen to miss this great promotion, then be sure to grab one of our other Lonely Planet promo codes to save 30% on travel guides instead.

(Image Credit: Kevin Jaako)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
April 15

WestJet Canada: 2 Day Seat Sale

Posted by on April 15, 2014 at 4:00 PM

WestJet Canada: 2 Day Seat Sale

WestJet Canada is having a two day seat sale starting today good for select flights in Canada, the U.S and the Caribbean.

These prices will be valid for travel from April 25th 2014 until June 25th 2014. That means it includes the May long weekend!  The Canadian and US deals are for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays only. If you don’t mind traveling on those days you ca get some great deals.

Check out some of the seats sales right now:

  • Calgary to Vancouver- $172.33
  • Ottawa to Halifax- $192.24
  • Toronto to Charlottetown- $197.98
  • Calgary to Los Angeles- $205.93
  • Vancouver to San Fransisco- $184.93
  • Toronto to Bermuda- $160.66

All of these are obviously one way fares and will have taxes added on.  Additionally, even though these are seat sales, you can still collect points if you are a WestJet Canada member, which is a nice little bonus.

I can’t believe how inexpensive it is to fly to the Caribbean.  After the never ending winter we have had here in Canada, I am very tempted to fly to a beautiful beach to relax and soak up the sun!

(Expiry: 16th April 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
April 8

Sears Canada: Save Up To 55% on Heys Luggage & $10 Coupon Code

Posted by on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Sears Canada: Save Up To 55% on Heys Luggage & $10 Coupon Code

At Sears.ca you can pick up some high-quality hardshell Heys luggage at up to 55% off right now. Plus, save $10 on orders of $50 or more with this coupon code.

I’ve had vacation on the brain lately. So when I stumbled across these  55% off  deals on Heys luggage from Sears, I took it as a sign that it’s time to book a trip. And to get some fabulous new luggage.

I love Heys. Not only are they super light and durable, but they come in some really cool prints. In addition to looking great, these prints make it so much easier to quickly spot your luggage in the sea of black and grey cases at the baggage carousel. Which means you can grab your stuff and start your vacation as soon as possible, leaving the other travellers to sort out their boring luggage at the airport!

As an added bonus, Sears has a coupon code running for $10 off most purchases of $50 right now. I tried it on the Heys Journey 26″ spinner and it worked, bringing my total to $130.49. The same case is also on sale at Heys.ca right now, for $144.97.  The original price on this case is $289.99.

Sears also has the Heys Latitude 21″ widebody case on for $134.99 (regularly $299.99), which is very similar to the Delta Widebody model currently selling for $300 at The Bay. This case is being discounted through June 29 at Sears, but most of the other deals expire on April 10, so you should head over to Sears soon if you’re interested.

Get free shipping on orders over $99 at Sears.

(Expiry: 10th April 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
March 28

Air Canada: Flight Sale On Now

Posted by on March 28, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Air Canada: Flight Sale On Now

Air Canada has a four day only flight sale for travel between April 1 through June 26th. Get great deals on flights across Canada, to the United States, and abroad.

I am traveling to the United States on Thursday but that will be via ferry and bus. If you need a little faster transit for travel over the next three months then take a look at Air Canada’s flight sale. Here are a few of the flight deals I picked out:

  • Toronto (YYZ) – Orlando: $217
  • Vancouver – Los Angeles: $174
  • Calgary – San Francisco: $199
  • Quebec City – Toronto: $154
  • St. John’s – Toronto: $214

All of these are one way flights including taxes. I asked my husband to look up flights from Vancouver to Hawaii because I am dying to escape to somewhere sunny and hot. Unfortunately, there are none included in this sale.

Getting away to anywhere fun and fabulous this spring? If so, drop a comment below and let us know where you are flying off to. If I cannot escape to my own tropical paradise, maybe I can live vicariously through our Moosers!

(Expiry: 30th March 2014 at 11:59 pm EDT)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
March 24

Getting The Best Deal On A Cruise: Tips & Tricks

Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Getting The Best Deal On A Cruise: Tips & Tricks

My husband and I are leaving in a week for our first family-free trip ever!  We have always traveled with family on all of our holidays, and we are excited about the prospect of going on a child and parent-free trip.  Cruising is absolutely my favourite way to travel.  I’m a Pisces, and I love being on the water and having the flexibility of lots of activities on the boat, and different islands to visit.  Being the frugal girl that I am, I always make sure to get the very best price possible for my trips.  Here are some strategies I use:

Book way in advance or book last minute

For the cruise we are going on in a week, I booked our tickets 16 months in advance.  The reason I did so is because we wanted a certain category of room, and a very particular room specifically.  As well, the cruise line which is our favourite (Celebrity), had a stupendous deal on: book a cruise and get a free classic drink package.  Given that we paid for our drinks package on our last cruise, and given how much we used it, I knew this was a deal too good to pass up.  By booking in advance and taking advantage of the drinks package we saved ourselves about $400 per person on the cruise fare, and about $380 per person on the drinks package.  Grand savings per person?  $780!

Conversely, there are tons of great deals if you have the flexibility to book 90 days or less before your cruise.  Check out Vacations To Go for the best last-minute deals.  Looking at the prices on these cruises is upsetting since we paid more than these prices for our cruise.   But by booking last minute you are taking a risk on finding a good price on a flight.  If you have flexibility with your travel dates, however, booking last minute could be the way to go.

Use a travel agent

A frugal trick for getting a great deal on your cruise, is to go to a cruise-quoting website such as Cruise Compete to receive competitive quotes on your next cruise.  You may then book your cruise with the online travel agency that gives you the best deal.  For this cruise we booked with an American-based travel agency called American Discount Cruises, and we have been very happy with their service.  I don’t know why, but it seems like American travel agents give much better incentives to book with them.  For example, if I had booked directly with a Canadian travel agent, I would have received a $150 onboard credit.  With our American TA, we received $175 onboard credit, specialty dining for 1 night, and chocolate covered strawberries, for a total incentive of almost $300.  When you book with a Canadian TA you are covered under their TICO insurance, but due to the increased incentives with our American TA, that is one risk we were willing to take.

Frequent cruiser rewards

Most cruise lines have some type of frequent cruiser reward program.  This will be our second cruise with Celebrity, and we will receive a few small discount coupons to use in the casino and on internet.  The real rewards are reaped when you have a number of cruises under your belt, check out Celebrity’s Captain’s Club program.

Research to find the right ship and the right cruise line for you

One of my favourite cruise-related websites is Cruise Critic, it has cruise reviews, general information about cruising and discussion boards.  I am relatively obsessed with this website prior to any cruise, I love their discussion boards as you can really pick up some good tips on saving money on your cruise.   Cruising is a popular way to travel, and cruise lines are always building new boats.  There are lots of cruise lines with different focuses.  For example, many of Royal Caribbean’s boats have some pretty amazing activities like rock climbing and an ice skating rink.  The cruise line we like is Celebrity, and their tag line is “modern luxury,” which means that there are less activities and lots of upscale restaurants.  Some of these activities and restaurants have costs associated with them, however, so do your research.

Beware of the big bill you can rack up while on the cruise

Like I said earlier, research the type of ship you will be travelling on to determine what your onboard costs will be. Without careful planning you can end up with a huge bill at the end of your cruise.  Remember that unless you get a deal like the one I mentioned, alcoholic drinks are not included in your cruise.  Many people go for broke with drinks, and don’t pay attention to their costs onboard.  Also, you can purchase excursions through the cruise line for the different stops on your ship.  These can be expensive, and you might not get the best bang for your buck.  Be aware of your spending and plan in advance for your out of pocket costs.

Trip cancellation insurance

Generally speaking, if you are taking a trip purchasing trip cancellation insurance is a good idea.  On our last trip, my dad wasn’t able to attend at the last minute due to a health concern.  My parents’ trip cancellation insurance was invaluable.  Check out what coverage you have through your credit card, and check to see what insurance you can purchase through your home and auto insurance company.

Airfare

Remember that if you don’t live close to the departure city, you might have to fly to your cruise.  Booking your airfare in advance can get you the best price for your airfare.  Remember to factor in the airfare price when you are considering your cruise costs.

It’s easy for costs to rack up for any vacation, but with a cruise even more so.  Costs can really increase very quickly if you don’t plan for them.  I try to plan all of my costs for my trip but I know that I will be caught up in something I want to purchase or to treat myself with.  Did I mention the shopping you can do while on the ship?  I can’t wait for our trip, but I really have to restrain myself when I’m travelling.

Bargainmoosers, do you like to cruise?  How do you save money while cruising?

Moose Rating (2 votes)
March 19

Living Social: 9-Day Trip To China Including Flight, Tours, Food & Hotel Only $1499!

Posted by on March 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Living Social: 9 Day Trip To China Including Flight, Tours, Food & Hotel Only $1499!

Anna found this amazing deal for Living Social that almost seems to good to be true. Get a trip to China including your round trip flights, tours, all your food and hotel starting from only $1499! The only catch is that the dates are limited, but if you are flexible and want to see China, you need to jump on this!

I would think that the flight alone to Asia from Canada would be at least $1000. This trip includes so much:

  • round trip flights from varying points in Canada and the U.S., including Vancouver or Toronto
  • round trip ground transportation to airports, hotels and tour destinations
  • double occupancy accommodations for seven nights at the various tour destinations – and the hotels are well-known, brand-name hotels like Sheraton and Crowne Plaza
  • seven breakfasts, four lunches and two dinners
  • all airline and hotel taxes and fees and admissions to any attractions
  • accident insurance

The destinations you’ll visit are also amazing and include an English speaking tour guide as well. You’ll go to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Lake Kunming, the Pearl Factory, the Great Wall of China, Jade Museum, Panda sanctuary, shopping in Beijing, visit Shanghai, plus a World Heritage Site and so much more!

If you are leaving from Vancouver the cost is $1599 for September 19th departure and $1499 for an October 25th departure. From Toronto you’ll pay $1799 for September 5th, $1699 for September 12th and $1599 for October 10th. If you want to leave from an American airport, check the dates and prices available. I also suggest you check the fine print, as there are some extra fees for things like travelling single or getting a Chinese Visa. It also looks like this is a voucher only and you’ll have to book the trip with your voucher after purchase.

(Expiry: 2nd April 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
March 14

Thrifty Travels to Niagara Falls

Posted by on March 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Thrifty Travels to Niagara Falls

This past March Break, I took the family to Niagara Falls. Honestly, I would never recommend that to anyone. It was way too crowded for my liking, and I think I’d much rather go during the off-season, when I’d also get better rates. The terms Niagara Falls and thrifty don’t usually go together, as everything there is at an escalated price, plus there is a tourist tax added on top of these high prices. But, I found a way to do in a wallet-friendly way, both through trial and error and through research. I’ve been to the Falls at least 20 times, so I think I’m a little bit of an expert on what to do and what not to do.

Fallsview vs. Cityview or No View

First, you’ll need somewhere to stay. Most people want the entire package – the fallsview room with the jacuzzi and the full-service hotel. If you want to save some money, you might need to cut back on your expectations. I’ve stayed in both fallsview and cityview rooms and really, the fallsview is much nicer, but you get bored of it rather quickly, especially if you are going out and about quite often. If this is a romantic trip and you’ll be spending quite a bit of time in bed or in the jacuzzi, then definitely splurge, otherwise save your money. Another time you might want a fallsview room is when they will be having fireworks over the falls. It is nice to have the option to watch them from your room in case everyone is tired, or you don’t feel like standing out in the street.

Savings: $30+

Off The Beaten Track

When choosing where to stay and if you’ve already decided you don’t need a spectacular view, decide if you can live with being a little farther away from the action. There are quite a few smaller hotels that are behind the big ones that look over the falls and offer much better rates. The difference between staying at the Best Western on Lundy’s Lane compared to the Hilton on Fallsview Blvd. is a matter of about $100. This is the same with other hotels in the bigger chains that do are not on Fallsview. You can still get a really nice hotel a few streets back and you’ll save quite a few dollars. Take a look at Trip Advisor for reviews and ratings on all the hotels.

Savings $100+

Group Deals

I’ve both reserved rooms directly with the hotel and bought group deals for hotels and I would have to say a group deal is the clear winner. Both WagJag and Groupon have all different types of hotel deals, most with meal and activity credits included. I would suggest using Trip Advisor to read reviews of each hotel and reviews of the activities and restaurants included too. You really have to do your research because you could read “$100 meal credit” as  being an amazing deal on an $80 hotel deal, but that restaurant’s cheapest meal might be upwards of $100 on its own. Our WagJag deal included a $70 credit for Ruth Chris and while you can’t find any information about pricing online, I went right into the restaurant, looked at the menu and found that most entrees were $70+ and your side was an additional $12! My family of five would have spent a few hundred dollars there even with the credit. We turned around and found an all you can eat deal at a Brazilian place, where my two younger ones also ate free.  With our WagJag being only $80, and including a few things we did happen to partake in, it was still an amazing deal as the hotel was nice, clean and not too far from the main drag.

Savings: $50+

Eating Out

Like I said, Niagara Falls restaurants have upsized prices, even the chain restaurants you are used to back home add a few dollars to their prices. You really need to pick and choose where you’d like to eat if you want to keep costs down. Even a simple ice cream cone from Dairy Queen was not cheap. Your best bet might be to get off the main strip and head into the city of Niagara Falls, where there are a number of great restaurants frequented by locals that have regular price meals. I would also suggest you bring as much food as you can and find a hotel with a refrigerator, because all those little snacks you’ll buy really add up.

Savings: $50+

Having Some Fun

There is so much to do in Niagara Falls, it is hard to be bored. This past trip we went to one of the wax museums and Ripley’s Believe or Not. I had actually been to both before, but the kids hadn’t and while they mostly enjoyed it, my little one was not too fond of the life-size and life-like wax people. We hadn’t planned on going in there, but the guy out front offered us a deal, with both places included and didn’t make us pay for the kids. If you’d like to go to one of these places, haggling is always an option. If cutting a deal is just not the way you work, you simply have to ask “is this the best price, or can we do better?” and see what you get. If you do get a group buy deal, many of them come with arcade tokens, laser tag, mini golf and other such fun little attractions. I have to say, they all seem better than they are. While I found many of these attractions fun for the kids, I would never put my money towards them if they weren’t included. Don’t expect much is basically what I’m saying. We wasted a good hour in the arcade and the kids loved it, but with $100 worth of credits, the only prize my kids got at the end were three small candies, even with thousands of earned tickets. If you plan ahead, you can get something like the Clifton Hill fun pass or the Wonder Pass. These will save you money over paying for each attraction individually.

Savings: $25+

Getting Around

Driving is fine to get around in Niagara Falls, but know that parking is very steep. Most hotels cost $25 to park there, but they usually also offer off-site parking for less. Get one person to drop everyone and the luggage off and then park farther away. It is worth it. The same goes for when going to attractions. To park at the Falls, it is at least $15 (seems to change with the season), but if you can park farther away, you can get away with as low as $5. Sometimes the group deals and passes come with WeGo passes, which is the transit system just for the tourists around Niagara Falls. The only downside is that the buses don’t seem to run that often and the waits can be really annoying. You can also buy WeGo passes, and if you aren’t willing to pay for parking, they can  be worth it. Another option is to walk everywhere, but the Falls area is pretty hilly, so wear good shoes!

Savings: $10 – $25

Waterparks

Niagara Falls has a few waterparks and I’m proud to say I’ve been to all of them. Each has their own uniqueness, but I have to say my favourite and the best value is Great Wolf Lodge. Because only hotel guests can use the waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge is really never that crowded and I’ve been there when the hotel was sold out over Christmas break. There are also quite a few other things to do at the hotel, although there is also an additional cost, so be aware that you might spend more money, even if you don’t leave the hotel. The restaurant there offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and while I found it pricey, it is cheaper than going out to the Falls to eat (as I found out the hard way). As I said above, bring any food that you can from home and save some money. We also been to Waves, which is a much smaller waterpark, and while fun, I think it is best for parents with babies and not older children. They also let in people from other hotels, including daycares and school groups, and the cost of a hotel room with an included waterpark pass is not that much cheaper than Great Wolf Lodge. The Fallsview waterpark is what I would call, the worst deal. It gets insanely crowded because anyone can attend and it is $50 a person to get in, aged three and up. You can get passes from Costco, which are only $28 a person, and so much better of a deal, but don’t plan on getting them anywhere near Niagara, because they won’t have them in the store. You can order online and print at home though. You can also get hotel deals for the Fallsview, but the deals I found were still quite expensive and not worth it in my opinion.

Savings $50+

Bargainmoosers, what do you like to do in Niagara Falls and how do you save money when visiting there?

Photo credit: Adrian MB

Moose Rating (1 votes)
March 6

Royal Caribbean: 3rd or 4th Person Sails Free Plus Free Room Upgrade

Posted by on March 6, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Royal Caribbean: 3rd or 4th Person Sails Free Plus Free Room Upgrade

If you are thinking about a cruise, well really who isn’t? But, if you are serious about booking a cruise, I found a great deal for you. Royal Caribbean is offering a limited time promotion of the 4th person sails free! Plus, get a free room upgrade as well.

Cruises somewhat frighten me as I have a fear of really wide open spaces. That said, I’d really love to be spoiled on a cruise. I have friends who have been who love nothing less and it really is a site to see this ship the size of a building moving in the giant ocean. When I was in the Bahamas, we came close to one on our booze cruise and I was really amazed at the sheer size of them.

If you and three friends or your spouse and your kids want to get away, well one of those lucky bums gets to go free. Of course, you can split up the cost so no one is truly free, you just save 25%, but that is up to you.

They also have a deal where you pay the price of a lower priced room when you book one up from that room. So, if you want a balcony room, you’ll only pay the price of an ocean view stateroom.

Both of these deals are available only on certain ships, so check that out before you book.

A 3-night Bahamas cruise starts from only $232 a person. This means a family of four could sail for only $696!

(Expiry: 31st March 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
March 5

Via Rail Canada: Travel Half Price Anywhere in Canada

Posted by on March 5, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Via Rail Canada: Travel Half Price Anywhere in Canada

I have family spread out in three different provinces so I am constantly on the lookout for great travel deals.  Via Rail Canada has one right now worth checking out.  Until March 9th 2014, you will be able to purchase tickets to travel anywhere in Canada for half price!

I often drive or fly but I love the idea of traveling by train.  There is something romantic about it that just doesn’t come with other forms of travel. Maybe it’s because you get to see the countryside instead of the highways or sky when you travel.

Here are some of the deals you will see:

  • Toronto to Montreal was $155/ now $78
  • Winnipeg to Edmonton was $293/ now $147
  • Montreal to Halifax was $238/ now $119

With this deal, you will be able to travel by train to and from anywhere in Canada Via Rail goes to at 50% off the regular cost.  Even though you need to purchase your tickets by March 9th 2014, the tickets can be valid up until June 15th 2014 so there is plenty of time to use them.

Maybe you want to surprise someone for Easter or maybe visit mom or dad for Mothers day or Fathers Day this year. You will get the 50% off the economy plus adult fare (economy class) or the adult regular fare (sleeper and sleeper plus classes).

(Expiry: 9th March 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 19

Porter Airlines: Flights 60% Off

Posted by on February 19, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Porter Airlines: Flights 60% Off

Book by Monday, travel by June 27th and you’ll save yourself 60% off base airfares at Porter Airlines.

If you are planning on flying around Canada and the U.S. where Porter flies, you are in for some great deals on flights.

Some sample one-way prices include:

  • Toronto to Boston – $144
  • Montreal to Halifax – $152
  • Moncton to Ottawa – $135
  • Windsor to Toronto – $83
  • Thunder Bay to Myrtle Beach – $248

The discount is on base fare prices and not applicable to fees, taxes or surcharges. The cheapest prices are to be found on Tuesday and Wednesday departures. As always, the flights are subject to availability.

If you are planning on a Myrtle Beach vacay, a weekend in New York, March Break in Toronto or to visit your aunt out east, this is the time to book the flight! What’s great about flying to Toronto is that you’ll fly to the Toronto Island airport, which is downtown, so if you are planning on a downtown Toronto visit and don’t want to rent a car, this is perfect.

(Expiry: 24th February 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 17

Planning Your Trip In Advance Vs. Last Minute Planning

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

Planning Your Trip In Advance Vs. Last Minute Planning

The weather here sucks.  I can’t wait to get away, and I wish I had booked my winter trip earlier in the year.  Are you considering going on a last minute trip to escape this dreary weather?  Sometimes booking a trip last minute can save you big bucks.  Sometimes, however booking in advance can save you cash.   I started planning my cruise in March over a year and a half ago because of the amazing deals that were on.  Next winter we are planning on taking my daughters to Disney in the winter.  Will I wait until the last minute to book the trip?  Absolutely not, I have already started to plan for that trip, as we have particular needs and wants for our stay.   But what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.  Below are some tips and strategies to help you plan in advance.

Does planning in advance really save you money?

I must confess that by nature, I am a planner.  I know where I like to go, and what I like to do.  I am not someone who seeks the thrill of adventure or takes pleasure in visiting many foreign destinations.  I like trips to Florida with my family, the Caribbean or a cruise (boring, I know).   I am also a planner, and I like to have lots of time to anticipate my upcoming trip.  I love travelling and getting away, and the farther in advance the trip is booked, the more time I have to get excited for the trip, plan different excursions, etc.  But for you, here are a few factors to consider when considering whether to book your trip in advance:

  • Do you have a particular destination and/or itinerary in mind for your trip?
  • Are you travel dates totally inflexible?

My parents were teachers, and we typically took our annual vacation at March break.  Therefore, they had little flexibility if we were going to travel during the winter months.

For our upcoming cruise in March, there was an amazing deal from Celebrity Cruises that we just couldn’t pass up, which gave us a free drink package for our trip.  Additionally, I did some research and discovered that by booking the cruise with an American travel agent, we would likely receive some additional bonuses, such as free gratuities and an onboard credit.  I went to a website called Cruise Compete, which provides numerous competitive quotes on the cruise you are considering.   By booking our cruise this way, I saved well over $1000, considering the bonus of the drink package, the onboard credit and pre-paid gratuities we received.  Once I booked the cruise, I booked our flights.  Because we booked the cruise well in advance, I knew I could probably get a good deal on flights.  In order to do so, I applied for a Westjet Mastercard to take advantage of the $250 credit and $99 companion flight for cardholders.  The application process was involved, I had to go to the bank, apply for the card, then wait to be approved.  Once I was approved I couldn’t get the bonuses until I made my first purchase on the card.  From the time I applied for the card until I could use the benefits, it was around two months.  Obviously, you need to plan in advance if you are taking advantage of a credit card travel deal.  It was worth it in the end, instead of the retail cost of our two flights from Toronto to Miami of around $1300, I paid $561.

Planning an awesome, last minute vacation

On the flip side, if you are flexible with the dates of your travel, you aren’t particular about where you stay, and you’re up for an adventure, a last-minute trip could be for you!  Check out this life hacker article about how to plan a cheap, last-minute trip.  There are lots of great last-minute travel sites out there.  I booked a trip a few years ago through Redtag Deals, and they were awesome to deal with.  My hubby and I have always toyed with the idea of taking a last minute vacation, but it has never worked out date-wise.  Remember that travelling in the off season can get you even better deals.  For example, if you are interested in travelling to Cuba, travelling there in the fall or spring will get you stupendous deals.  Personally, if I am going to an all-inclusive resort, I like to stay at a 4-5 star resort that has lots of amenities.  I know I am more likely to get a good deal on a resort like this if I travel In the off-season.

Professional organization/workplace deals

I am a member of a professional association that has a special “deals” affiliation that grants me free access to a last minute travel subscription.  If I were ever to go on a last minute trip, I would definitely look into this, as some trips are as low as $500 for an all-inclusive week in the Caribbean!  That deal is hard to beat.   They also have deals on cheap airfare.  Check out this article from the independent traveler for more great deals on cheap airfare.

Whether you’re like me and get a thrill through the waiting time between booking your trip and taking your trip, or you prefer the thrill of waiting until the last minute to book your trip, be sure to shop around to get the best rates.  Most people book their travel through the internet these days, but online or in-person travel agents can be worth their weight in gold.

Bargainmoosers, what are your top travel planning tips?

Photo credit: epSos.de

Moose Rating (4 votes)
February 16

Costco Canada: $80 Off Samsonite Gravtec 3-Piece Spinner Luggage Set – Now Just $290 (Was $370)

Posted by on February 16, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Costco Canada: $80 Off Samsonite Gravtec 3 Piece Spinner Luggage Set   Now Just $290 (Was $370)

Costco Canada has a great deal right now on a 3-piece Samsonite Gravtec Spinner luggage set. It’s down by $80 from its original price of $369.99 and can be purchased for just $289.99.

If you’re planning on travelling for spring break of you’re planning any other trip, then a good set of luggage is absolutely essential. This Samsoninte one, which is available in either silver or gold, is light and has been designed to withstand shock (i.e. while being thrown around at the airport). And although it features a TSA combination lock, do make sure to search YouTube for helpful videos on how to secure your belongings, such as with the use of a cable wire because even with a lock, luggage can be accessed quite easily through the zipper.

Here is what one reviewer had to say about it:

Shipping was extremely fast. Good value for money. A minor issue with the Samsonite badge coming off on one of the pieces, but with Costco’s return policy that is not a problem. I will return the original purchase and reorder the same product.

This same luggage set is actually as high as $600 at Staples and is out of stock at the moment. Plus, Costco also offers absolutely free shipping on this great set.

(Expiry: 2nd March 2014)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 14

Sandals Promo Code: Free Pendant With Booking

Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Sandals Promo Code: Free Pendant With Booking

If you are thinking of going all out for Valentine’s Day or getting your honeymoon booked, now is the time. If you book a Sandals vacation today, you’ll get a free $225 pendant.

Click here to book your romantic vacation @ Sandals.com now

  • Coupon Code: FREEGIFT
  • Discount: free pendant
  • Expiry: 14th February 2014

The free pendant is very cute and makes the perfect statement for the lady you are giving it to. It is two sandals with hearts, which I think will always help her remember why she got it. What a perfect way to tell her you booked the honeymoon.

I am partial to Sandals as I was married there 9 years ago. My wedding was truly beautiful, overlooking the ocean in a gazebo in Jamaica. Sandals did mostly everything right and hubby and I really didn’t have to do anything. I am considering going back to Sandals next year for a vow renewal for our 10 year wedding anniversary.

If you’ve never really looked into Sandals, you definitely should. These resorts were made for love and romance and caters to you as such. You don’t have to worry about topless 20-year-olds downing tequila shots with their friends. Everyone there is a couple and there for the same reason as you – to connect or reconnect with their loved one.

If you do book something, please let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear your romantic story!

If this coupon doesn’t do it for you today, check back in the forum for more Sandals coupons that we’ll add.

Moose Rating (1 votes)