If you travel to relax, worrying about spending too much and going off-budget can cause stress! You can travel on a budget. Here’s how:
Travel When Others are Not Travelling
That means avoiding travel in high season. High season is from about mid-June through August, shoulder season from April through mid-June and September through October, and off-season, November through March.
Within those seasons, holidays such as Christmas and March Break will be high season, when even higher-priced seats sell out.
Travelling midweek or any other less desirable time like early morning or late night will mean more availability of lower fare seats.
Once you have decided when to travel, the next step is to choose to fly on one of Canada’s ultra-low-cost carriers.
Canada’s Ultra Low-Cost Carriers
In Canada, the duopoly of two airlines, Air Canada and WestJet are being challenged by new ultra-low-cost carriers. This is good news for you and your budget. Competition brings the cost of travel down.
Though owned by WestJet, Swoop can offer fares that can be up to 40% less than their parent company and other national carriers. How do they do it? By being a no-frills airline.
Ticket costs are lower because they cut “add-ons” which Canadians had previously paid for that were hidden in the ticket price.
If the flight is all that you want, then the advertised ticket price is what you get. Be advised that some things that were previously a given are now considered an add-on.
Add-ons include seat selection for any standard seat (including a middle seat), extra legroom, priority boarding, checked baggage and carry on-baggage. The price for baggage goes up if you pay at the airport counter instead of in advance of the flight.
With their motto of “Plane and Simple,” you know you will get the basics.
Like Swoop, Flair cuts back on any add-ons. If you print your own boarding pass, you will save on the fee they charge if your boarding pass is printed at the airport. If you want snacks or drinks on the flight, you are charged for them.
Air Canada Rouge
What makes Rouge different from regular Air Canada flights? Their Airbus A319 has 16 more seats than a regular Air Canada A319. More people mean less legroom, but more savings.
If your flight is to Europe, there is complimentary food with for-purchase alcoholic drinks. For all other flights, you buy your food on board.
You can avoid extra entertainment costs on Rouge by bringing your own headphones and mobile screening device. You have to download the Air Canada app in advance in order to get access to their entertainment system, which includes movies.
The baggage policy is the same as regular Air Canada.
For now, the launch date for Canada Jetlines keeps changing, but once launched it is expected to compete and perhaps bring down prices further.
The choice is yours. You pay for what is a priority for you, giving you more control over your budget.