As an alternative of hopping on a plane to travel, Michael Downie opts for the train.
“You could have your bedroom, you get three meals a day, and you simply look out the window and watch the country go by. You get to experience all of it,” said Downie.
For the YouTube travel blogger, the journey is the trip itself.
With the spring break travel season approaching, those trying to flee the cold, wet Canadian snow for sunnier skies will likely be met with a hefty price tag for his or her getaway, with inflation and increased demand pushing costs up.
But Downie said there are cheaper ways to travel in the event you know where to look and in the event you’re not afraid of the unconventional.
The Vancouver resident has travelled by train to most parts of Canada and the US by Via Rail, Amtrak and the Rocky Mountaineer.
Most recently, Downie went from Jasper to Vancouver by train, as a part of Via Rail’s route called The Canadian which departs from Toronto and arrives in Vancouver 4 days later. The 24-hour stretch from Jasper to Vancouver costs as little as $190 for an economy fare or as much as $4,250 for the more luxurious option.
While on the tracks, Downie said he enjoys weaving out and in of the Rocky Mountains, stopping in Kamloops and participating in wine tastings on board the train.
“When people go somewhere warm for his or her vacation, they usually come home they usually lost their luggage, it’s stressful,” said Downie. On the train, “you simply get to take a seat down, rest and loosen up because the train rocks backwards and forwards. And also you miss (the scenery) if you fly.”
In case you do decide to fly this spring, Barry Choi said those searching for a deal should avoid the week of March break if possible.
The non-public finance and travel expert suggests travelling outside peak times as an alternative, say, per week before or after. If that’s not an option, Choi said travellers should consider destinations that aren’t as expensive, like Portugal reasonably than Spain, or countries within the Middle East as an alternative of those in Europe.
And when you’re within the country, you’ll be able to reduce costs by considering more about your accommodations, noting those within the downtown core of cities cost way more than staying 15 or 20 minutes out.
“You mostly should think outside the box,” Choi said. Even easy things like searching for museums and attractions with free entry or loading up on groceries so that you’re not eating out for each meal can save your cash in your journeys abroad.
Really, it’s about managing your costs as flights and hotels have develop into dearer, and as travel dynamics have modified post-pandemic, Choi said.
“In case you’re attempting to snag that last-minute deal to some far-off destination, it’s just not going to occur,” he said. “More often than not in the event you’re searching for a last-minute flight, airlines will charge much more because they know you wish it.”
It’s vital to listen to sales and vacation packages as an alternative, said Choi.
Choi also recommends setting yourself up with a bank card that can earn you points toward travel.
“If you wish to fly to Italy, it’s best to start collecting Aeroplan points now,” he said. Say you’re unsure where you wish to go, then select any program, like American Express Membership Rewards or Scene Plus. Some bank cards also include a “generous welcome bonus” in the event you can meet the minimum spending requirements.
To budget to your trip, prepare a rough estimate for what you’ll spend on flights, hotels, food and entertainment, then work backwards, he said. In case you’re planning a visit that can cost about $3,000 and wish to go in 12 months, that you must save $250 per 30 days, for instance.
Saving for travel reasonably than impulsively booking a visit is very important, but what’s more vital is ensuring your debts are paid off beforehand, said financial educator Jessica Moorhouse.
“If you will have really expensive bank card debt, that needs to be your priority because it might probably be an enormous drain in your funds,” said Moorhouse. Once that’s paid off, it’s best to also consider saving for an emergency fund which generally covers your cost of living for six months should an event occur where you’ll be able to now not work, like being laid off from a job.
Constructing upon Choi’s suggestion to save lots of little by little every month, Moorhouse suggests opening a separate banking account with higher rates of interest for savings. Besides growing your money, keeping your savings in a separate account prevents you from spending it impulsively, she said.
While social media feeds are sure to be crammed with travellers showing off their getaways this upcoming travel season, the fear of missing out shouldn’t be a reason you’re willing to risk your financial stability, said Moorhouse.
If you will have that probability to go on a visit and you’ll be able to’t afford it without delay, likelihood is there will probably be more opportunities to go in the long run, she said.
“It sucks to go on vacation, come back home and proceed paying for something that already happened. But in the event you end up in that situation, make a plan to pay it off by the tip of the 12 months at the newest.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2023.