Travel 2023: Ways to Save Money and Live a Life of Bleisure
When some planning, you can score a deal on transportation costs and accommodation. Photo: CatLane/Getty Images
Escape and find a purpose! In our February/March 2023 issue of Zoomer magazine, we featured “23 Reasons to Travel in 2023”. In this edition, we have tips to save on your trip, and for living a life of bleisure . Click on the link at the bottom of the story for more ideas and inspiration for your next trip.
Despite high travel prices, you can still go on an affordable vacation in 2023 – with some planning.
Take airfares: John Gradek, a McGill University lecturer who researches transportation, says competition between Canadian airlines will likely spark a domestic price war in early 2023. “We have an oversupply of seats,” he explains. As a result, budget airlines such as Flair, Swoop and Lynx will probably offer deeply discounted tickets on Canadian flights until mid-May, when demand for summer vacations will start pushing prices higher.
If you’re heading to Europe, you might score a deal by flying Icelandic carrier Play. It’s slated to start daily service between Hamilton, Ont., and Europe in June 2023. For trips to Asia, flying via the Middle East on airlines such as Etihad may yield the best prices, says Gradek.
You can also save money on flights by booking on the right website, says Russell Hannon, a budget travel expert based in Calgary. If you must travel to a specific place on a particular date, he suggests Hopper.com. If you have a destination in mind and are flexible on dates, Airfarewatchdog.com or FareCompare.com may be useful. And if your dates are set in stone but you’ll consider many places, try Kayak.com.
Navigate Hotels: According to real estate experts CBRE, the average Canadian hotel room will cost $171 a night in 2023. Hannon, author of Stop Dreaming … Start Traveling, advises making cancellable hotel reservations, then using Pruvo.com to monitor prices. If room rates go down, Pruvo will alert you, so you can cancel your reservation and rebook.
He also suggests considering hotel alternatives. Search HostelGeeks.com for upscale shared accommodations or FreeCampsites.net to pitch a tent at no cost. Or buy a $109 annual membership to Quebec-based Terego.ca and get free access to 1,300 RV parking spots at wineries, golf courses and other attractions across Canada.
Once you’ve planned where you’re going, you can save money by pre-purchasing attraction tickets. For instance, CityPASS offers bundles of discounted admissions to museums, theme parks and other sites in 15
North American cities, which can save 34 per cent or more. Check tourism board websites, visitor centres and hotel concierges for more discounts
In the end, planning can bring even the priciest destinations within reach. “How you travel impacts costs more than where you decide to go,” says Hannon.
— Laura Byrne Paquet
A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Save Money’, p. 79.
Join the Bleisure Crowd
Work-from-home fatigue, return-to-the-office angst, “Is this all there is?” syndrome: COVID-19’s impact on how we live and work has been seismic. No wonder the bleisure travel trend is on the rise. Also known as blended travel or, adorably, workations, the concept is to extend, or combine, a business trip with some personal time. It’s not new, but highly relevant in this restless day and age. Let’s say you have business to attend to in a location that excites you. Perhaps the weather is appealing, the culture is intriguing or bucket-list activities beckon. You may keep working remotely or clock off completely, but either way, your employer sanctions it and, voila, you’re living a life of bleisure.
That’s how Kelley Burns-Coady, national prestige engagement manager at Corby, a Canadian wine and spirit distributor, got to visit wineries and wander San Sebastian’s tapas trail in Spain. After a conference in Scotland, she and her husband headed to the continent. Corby’s travel agency booked the flights, added a few perks and the couple took care of the rest. “It’s a massive benefit,” says Burns-Coady, who recognizes the strategic value of her employer’s current policy.
“Blended travel is having a renaissance now because of the pandemic,” says Debbie Iannaci, head of communications, PR and research for the Global Business Travel Association. COVID catalyzed a major rethink about work and life, and how flexible travel “can make for happier and more loyal employees,” she adds. Depending on a company’s philosophy, corporate culture and travel policies, it’s also an effective tool for attracting and retaining talent. Of course, technology is driving the evolution of work-life habits. These days, with a strong Wi-Fi connection and the self-discipline to stay on track across time zones, you’re ready to hit the road.
A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Join The Bleisure Crowd’, p. 78.
For more ideas and inspiration for your next trip, go here.