Flights

Comparing The Top 12 Travel Sites – Who Does Vacation Packages Best?

Comparing The Top 12 Travel Sites – Who Does Vacation Packages Best?

Okay, I have to admit it.

I’ve never booked a package vacation for myself.

It’s usually my boyfriend who books our trips, and I have no problem leaving it to him, mostly because he’s travelled more than I have. In my mind, that means he knows how to find the best deals on flights and hotels.

Because of this, it won’t be much of a surprise to hear that writing this piece was quite eye-opening for me. Keep reading » about Comparing The Top 12 Travel Sites – Who Does Vacation Packages Best?

Starwood Preferred Guest Program Review

 SPG and Marriott Rewards Combined Loyalty Program Review

With all the drama Aeroplan has been going through these past few months…

Many consumers are starting to rethink their travel rewards program.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), which has recently been acquired by Marriott Rewards and is now part of a unified program, is an incredibly flexible travel rewards program that allows consumers to earn points to use on either their next hotel stay or a plethora of other attractive rewards.

In fact, it’s my all-time favourite travel rewards program that I once used to fly Maria and I to Paris for 10 days with most of the airfare and hotel expenses paid just with Starpoints (from before the SPG Marriott merge).

Read on to find out why it’s so good: Keep reading » about Starwood Preferred Guest Program Review

13 Fly Ways To Find Cheap Flights

13 Fly Ways To Find Cheap Flights

The search for cheap flights is a tiresome feat.

With constantly fluctuating prices, thousands of third party comparisons and endless airlines to choose from, it’s as if the secret to scoring sweet savings is by staking out your laptop 24/7.

Luckily, there’s an easier way.

This guide transforms the harrowing process into a foolproof crusade, providing you with today’s best money-saving tips guaranteed to help you find cheap airfare.

Want to score the best deals on flights for your next adventure? Download these 13 tips all in one page – read anytime, anywhere.

How to score cheap flights

No matter how frustrating the battle can be, finding the best deal on flights is worth the extra effort, so you can then use those savings on more important experiences.

So if you want to save time, frustration and – most importantly – money when booking your next flight, check out these 13 simple tips: Keep reading » about 13 Fly Ways To Find Cheap Flights

My 5 Principles for Collecting 100 Air Miles Per Visit To Sobeys

My 5 Principles for Collecting 100 Air Miles Per Visit To Sobeys

Most people have a preferred loyalty program.

Whether it’s Aeroplan, Shoppers Optimum, Canadian Tire Money…the options are endless.

But the one loyalty program I’ve had the most success with is Air Miles.

I’m a teacher by trade, and one day, I was having a staff-room conversation about credit cards and loyalty points.

Air Miles came up and a fellow teacher said, "I never use Air Miles. I have the card, but I can’t get any miles to earn anything. You don’t get enough reward miles to make a difference."

I had to smile and tell her: "In the past three years, I have collected enough Air Miles to redeem a four-day trip to New York (flights and hotel included), an electric snowblower, a raised tomato planter, several nights at hotels in my local city, and a bunch of movie tickets."

The truth is: You can earn Air Miles quickly to get great dream and cash rewards. Keep reading » about My 5 Principles for Collecting 100 Air Miles Per Visit To Sobeys

20 Ways To Save Money ‒ and Stay Sane ‒ When Flying With Kids

20 Ways To Save Money ‒ and Stay Sane ‒ When Flying With Kids

Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are surely worth it.

Because the lessons they learn from other cultures, customs and people is an education they will not soon forget.

If thinking about packing up the kids for a long-haul flight makes you and your bank account nervous, fear not. The following strategies have been developed by seasoned family travelers to help make the flying process not just bearable, but smooth.

Most importantly, traveling with kids doesn't have to be expensive, if you consider some of the following tips when preparing for your trip and throughout your travels.

When planning your vacation...

Keep reading » about 20 Ways To Save Money ‒ and Stay Sane ‒ When Flying With Kids

What Is An Aeroplan Mile REALLY Worth?

What is an Aeroplan mile really worth?

With the news breaking that Aeroplan will be replaced as Air Canada's loyalty program in 2020 - its future has become increasingly uncertain.

We know the program will continue on after 2020, your miles are 100% safe, and there will still be some options for redeeming on industry leading airlines, one of which could still be Air Canada. That is what has been promised.

What we don't know is how the reward choices, flight redemption options, and reward value will change after 2020...

Will it still remain a true airline rewards program?

Will they find a new airline partner?

OR ...

Will it become more of a flexible travel rewards program like what bank travel credit cards tend to offer?

Ultimately, what everyone wants to know is "what are my miles worth today?", "what will they be worth after 2020?", and "is Aeroplan still worth it?".

Here you'll find a concrete answer to the first question, my predictions on the second, and a discussion about the third.

So - what are Aeroplan miles worth today?

Want to get the best value for your Aeroplan miles? Download the PDF version of this analysis.

The Quick Answer: 2.5 Cents

Keep reading » about What Is An Aeroplan Mile REALLY Worth?

5 Ways to Save Money on Airport Parking and Transit

5 ways to save money on airport parking and transit

Travel costs can fly high - even on the very first day of your long-awaited vacation.

The one thing that’s often overlooked?

It’s the cost of going between house, airport and hotel.

Paying for parking at the airport adds up after a few days. And yes - it can be expensive. But then again…

I live on the opposite end of the city from the airport so a cab ride is heavy on the wallet as well. When I travel, this is one of the aspects of a trip that requires me to plan ahead.

One strategy I use is to try to stay at hotels that offer a complimentary airport shuttle when we arrive in our destination. But this solution may not be for everyone.

So what are other alternatives?

Consider these 5 ideas...

1) Car Rentals

Keep reading » about 5 Ways to Save Money on Airport Parking and Transit

Intro To Points And Miles For Travel Hacker Wannabes

Intro to points and miles for travel hacking

Travel hacking is like some sort of mystical promised land flowing with milk and honey…

It portrays a life spent floating in first class suites in the sky, free gourmet food and drinks galore, and unlimited hotel upgrades to fancy hotel rooms complete with turn down service and a chocolate on your pillow every night - all practically free - *sigh*...

The truth is, achieving all of that is a lot of work and requires jumping through all kinds of hoops. Many beginners get put off by the crazy language barrier (hello acronyms!), the insane points strategies, and the attention to detail it takes to pull it all off.

The upside is you CAN start small and work your way up.

This guide will ease you into the points and miles game. You'll learn to earn miles faster and redeem them smarter so you can jet off on your next vacation much sooner than you ever thought possible. Keep reading » about Intro To Points And Miles For Travel Hacker Wannabes

The Best Sites For Finding Cheap Flights

The best sites for finding cheap flightsLet’s face it, trying to find a good deal on airfare can be intimidating!

There are so many sites to look at from airline sites, to online travel agencies, to third party comparison services. Ultimately, you’re left wondering if you are getting the best price and that isn’t a good feeling.

The best place to start is always with comparison websites that don’t actually let you book directly. The reason for this is because not only do they have access to the same inventory as the others, but they also partner with a wide array of online travel agencies to ensure you get the absolute lowest price.

In fact, most sites should have very similar prices and inventory because they all use a small shared set of backend systems. Therefore, the biggest savings come when you either find an interesting booking that is a mish-mash of multiple airlines or one of the online travel agencies decides to get aggressive on their pricing and pass on some of their usual profit to you.

Top Airfare Comparison Websites

Keep reading » about The Best Sites For Finding Cheap Flights

Lost Luggage: How To Minimize Your Losses

Lost luggage: how to minimize your lossesI travel a few times a year (some trips for business, some for pleasure) and have been lucky with my luggage - it's only been lost twice in the past 5 years and both times the airline was able to quickly recover the luggage.

Others aren't so lucky. They wait for their bag to arrive and when it doesn't show, they are sent to airline customer service to go through the long process of claims and paperwork related to finding the bag. Each year about 2% of lost bags aren't recovered, and it's important to know what to do if it happens to you.

Reporting Lost Baggage

Most airlines have a customer service area in major airports (located near where the bags come out in the arrivals level) that deals specifically with baggage issues. If your bag doesn't arrive your first step is to go here. It's important you report the lost bag immediately - if not, the airline won't be responsible for it.

If you had connecting flights with a different airline, the airline that you last flew on is responsible for your bags. For example, if you flew Westjet to Toronto and then American Airlines to Florida, then American Airlines would be responsible for your baggage.

Related: Top Aeroplan Credit Cards Compared

Once at customer service you'll be asked for your baggage claim ticket that was originally given when your bags were checked while checking in for your flight. It's a small barcode that has all the tracking information for your bag. The airline can still look up your bag's information without it, but it takes longer to search the system and isn't as accurate.

A customer service rep will then ask you for the details on your bag. Important details on you baggage are the approximate size, colour, contents, identifying marks (such as a ribbon), where your trip started and what connections you had (if any).

This information is entered into the system and delayed baggage form is given to you with a unique reference number and a toll-free number you can call to find out the status of your bag. At this point your bag isn't technically lost - it is "delayed" and you'll need to give the airline a chance to find it first before claiming it as a lost bag.

Delayed Baggage Compensation

Keep reading » about Lost Luggage: How To Minimize Your Losses

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