High travel season is just around the corner and there's nothing quite like a pre-planned vacation to help get you through the colder weather months. What's even better is maximizing your savings so you can enjoy your next trip to the fullest.
Travelling within and outside Canada is expensive, but with some online legwork, research and patience, those far away destinations can be within your reach. Here are a few hacks we learned from Aliya-Jasmine Sovani to prepare you for your travel journey.
Hack 1: Ask a world traveler. From covering MTV pop culture and sports to documentary work and environmental journalism, Canadian celebrity Aliya-Jasmine Sovani has travelled the world as a TV host, producer and journalist. So who better to advise on travel advice?
Sovani recommends booking your travels in off-season. "I know it's not always ideal for the weather - but for me, it's worth it to avoid line-ups, crowds, and jacked up rates."
Hack 2: Get the most bang for your buck. Never before have there been more ways to book budget-friendly accommodation. From private offerings through websites such as Airbnb, to aggregate online sites that provide reviews as well as great prices, you are sure to find the accommodations that suit your travel style. Remember to take the time to price compare, this can save you quite a bit!
Hack 3: Get the local experience. While being right in the centre of a travel destination may be your want and desire, you can get the local experience and save while you're at it, by booking an accommodation that is just outside a main tourist area. Depending on where you're travelling, staying outside of the most popular areas typically has its own perks. For example, you can look for easy access transit into the main touristy areas and you can explore lesser travelled areas, which may just turn out to be the highlight of your trip.
Authentic cuisine at reasonable prices is another perk of staying outside touristy areas. Sovani highly recommends the experience of going off the beaten path and trying local eats in new cities.
Hack 4: Don't be a travel shopping hoarder. There's lots of savings to be had while planning a trip, but budgeting should also be top of mind during your travels.
"Shop wisely! A few times I've bought random things while travelling that I never ended up wearing or using. Can anyone relate? When I bought my first home I decided that every time I travelled I would only buy one item from each destination that was for my house. Whether it was a brass hook shaped as a horse from Vienna, a rug from Turkey, or a wine bottle opener from Italy, I would have memories all over my home, but without the clutter! I suggest sticking to a shopping theme; maybe buy a photo frame from each place you visit, or an accessory," Sovani shares.
Hack 5: Save on your travel supplies. Stalking up on your go-to beauty products in travel size can end up costing an arm and a leg.
Invest in a little case of travel size bottles and squeeze your favourite product into them."
"That being said," Sovani adds, "I do believe we are much closer to being our 'true selves' when we travel - without having to conform to expectations of who we need to be or how we should behave - and I believe that should extend to our vacation beauty regime too. Skip all the stuff you normally wear to work, and keep makeup to a bare minimum. Let your natural beauty shine through when you travel. Plus, it's way easier to pack that way!"
What's your next dream vacation? We asked Sovani quick fire questions. Beach or mountains? Hot or cold? Relaxing or adventurous? Beach! Hot! And relaxing - "my life is already adventure in overdrive, my vacations are for chilling!"
Sari Friedman is the Marketing Director of Ebates Canada and resident shopping expert. Ebates.ca is Canada's largest cash back shopping site. As a fashion enthusiast and new mom, Sari has an eye for finding and sharing amazing deals on the hottest trends and must-have styles.
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