(TORONTO, ON) – If words like polar vortex, frost quake, and special weather statement are becoming a part of your everyday vocabulary, you are probably looking for any opportunity to escape to sunnier locals.
However, with a weaker Canadian dollar and high consumer debt, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada warns consumers to consider their bottom line before booking that winter escape.
“With freezing temperatures and record snowfalls, I can understand the temptation to reach for your credit card and book the first beach vacation you can find,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit. “But before you start packing your bags, consider the long term cost of a week of fun in the sun.”
According to Sunquest Vacations, the high demand for southbound travel combined with the deteriorating dollar value has caused tour operators to increase their prices over the past month – which could be bad news for Canadian travellers.
“Warm weather travel comes at a cost. And if you are already struggling with debt, that cost has the potential to double or even triple over the months or years, that it takes you to pay it off,” adds Schwartz.
If you’re ready to call it quits on the winter weather, Consolidated Credit offers these tips to save money on travel:
Membership has its perks If you are a member of a consumer club such as CAA or Costco Travel Club, you can often save money on hotel stays, car rentals, tourist attractions or even complete vacation packages.
Use your reward points If you collect frequent flier miles with one of Canada’s many reward programs, take some time to figure out if it’s worth it to cash them in for a southbound ticket. Eliminating the cost of your flight can potentially result in huge savings.
Pick up the phoneDon’t just look online for the cheapest vacation you can afford. Pick up the phone and call several hotels and resorts to ask about special discounts or offers not available online.
Home swap An often overlooked vacation opportunity is a home swap – where a family stays in your home while you stay in theirs. Websites like www.Intervac.com can match you with other families looking to swap homes, and can provide you with an affordable alternative to a resort vacation.
Last minute travel If your only requirement is warmer temperatures, consider booking a last minute vacation. While your destination choices may be limited, travellers can often find heavily discounted prices on a warm weather escape.
If you are one of the countless Canadians who are sick and tired of this wild winter weather, Consolidated Credit offers further money saving travel tips in the e-book, Vacation Budgeting. This free publication is full of savvy tips and great advice to help you escape to the sun without getting a case of financial frostbite.
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
Through unbiased debt-counselling services, assisting with consolidating payments, and providing consumer education, Consolidated Credit is dedicated to assisting individuals and families in ending financial crises and solving money management problems.
Consolidated Credit also offers a free online learning centre with a variety of tools to manage personal finances. Visit the site at www.consolidatedcredit.ca for free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Also offered is a free iPhone and iPod application, “Budget Tool”, which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.
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For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Kylie-Anne Doerner, Communications & Public Relations Manager, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. (B) 416.915.7283 ext. 1057 (C) 289.231.7900 or [email protected].