Get this, today, January 28, is National Plan for Vacation Day. I know, it’s hard to compete with National Donut Day and National Fruitcake Toss Day (January 3), but it’s still worth celebrating! Just as Valentines Day is your cue to reconnect with your sweetheart, National Plan for Vacation Day is your reminder to use up your vacation days.
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A whopping 600 million vacation days go unused each year in North America. Who does this? (The Huz notwithstanding.) I’m proud to say I’ve milked every company I’ve ever worked for out my well deserved time off.
You might have caught my segment on CTV News at Noon today talking about the best tips for turning vacation dreams into reality. If not, one efficient and unusual way to this is by using a random holiday generator to find travel deals.
I wrote about that at length in this post, so cruise there if you’d like more information on how to quickly use a meta search engine to find the best travel deals. That service is free!
Best value destinations for Canadians in 2020
And when we’re talking about finding best value travel destinations, Skyscanner just released their 2020 Canadian Travel Trends Report. It delved into the best value destinations when flying from Canada this year. They are:
- Havana, Cuba – down 28%
- Martinique -24%
- Lisbon, Portugal -22%
- Miami -21%
- Athens, Greece -18%
This means that flights to these exotic locales are approximately 20% less than they were last year.
How to find deals on the ground
Once you’re at your destination, you’ll probably want to keep costs in check. For attractions, my biggest piece of advice is to find discounts from the tourism website of the region or city you’re visiting.
Ottawa Tourism has a great section for their museums and attractions, as does Tourism Calgary. You can score up to 40% Calgary’s most popular attractions by visiting this site that I reveal here.
Winter long weekend getaways
The upcoming Family Day (President’s Day) weekend is going to be a super popular one. That’s because Valentine’s Day is on that Friday, before the long weekend. Forewarned is forearmed, my friends!
Weekend travel is a smart way to use up your vacation days – especially over a long weekend. You get all the benefits of the break, have something to look forward to and it’s easier on the wallet. Sometimes it’s just hard to get those longer holidays in, which is why mini-breaks work so well.
I found a fab deal at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver starting at $205. Or, you could stick around and have a stay-cation in Calgary. The Delta Hotel Downtown Calgary has rates starting at $137 CAD – for that long weekend!
That Delta has a fab new restaurant – their museums (go for the line caught cod from Fogo Island!). You may not want to leave the property, but if you do, the property is close to the East Village, Telus Spark and the Calgary Zoo.
These rates are what you’ll get if you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member. It’s free to join. That’s another travel tip I revealed on-air. You can find excellent rates when a hotel is newly opened or has just launched a rewards program, like the Marriott Bonvoy travel program, which just came out in 2019.
Do you have plans for a winter vacation this year?
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