∼ How She Travels by Kathy Buckworth
The Canadian dollar is at an all-time low and that can mean a lot of re-planning or at least careful planning for Canadians looking to get away during March break.
So where can you go to get away while not having to plan a getaway from a bank just to pay for it?
Stay in Canada
The easiest solution of course is to stay in Canada. Time to either embrace winter and book a March break ski trip or find a place to sit by a cozy fire and get some pampering. Hotels.com recommends these All-Canadian locations:
Upper Hot Springs, Banff, Alberta: The Hot Springs are the perfect way to combat the cold Canadian winters, and to get the whole family outside…and maybe a bit cleaner. There’s a kids’ area as well, and snowshoeing and hiking are a great prelude to a spring(s) warm up. The Rimrock Resort Hotel is an ideal family escape hotel.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario: Just a 90 minute drive from Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake is becoming just as popular in winter and spring as in the summer and fall harvest months. Long famous for its hundreds of award winning wineries, the village also has a playground, shopping, dining, and Fort George for the whole family to get historical. The Prince of Wales Hotel is ideally situated in the middle of town – just look for the horse drawn carriages.
Quebec City, Quebec: A taste of Europe without the foreign exchange and dipping dollar affecting your joie de vivre in this cobblestoned yet busy and dynamic city. Stroll the streets of Old Quebec – no kid no matter what age can resist riding the Funiculaire. Quebec cuisine at its best and fun shops for the kids to explore. The Auberge Saint-Antoine is conveniently located across from the Musee de la Civilisation, which has terrific family programming.
Sooke Harbour, Vancouver: Renowned for its sunsets and solitude by the Pacific Ocean, this is contrasted by a range activity
choices the whole family can enjoy, including zip lines, hiking, touring, and museums before heading back to stay at picturesque Sooke HarbourHouse.
Lake Louise, Alberta: As beautiful in the winter and spring as it is in the summer, a frozen Lake Louise provides a beautiful backdrop to exciting family activities such as dogsledding, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing or a more relaxing horse-drawn sleigh ride all the “kids” will love. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the jewel in this emerald green and white wonderland.
Want to avoid big or small cities altogether? Take yourself away to Ste Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario. Pick the “Train Package” and travel in style from Union Station in Toronto, and be picked up by the spa for first class treatment right at the start. Enjoy their spa and wellness facilities, as well as their world class cuisine. Stay in the main building, or choose from one of their cozy cottages. Great for a mother/daughter spring break getaway.
Have your heart set on getting out of Canada?
It can be hard to find “On Par” Offers but they are available. One of the biggest offers this year is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who is offering everything from hotel, dining and entertainment at 30% off for Canadians, which puts it up on par with Canadian dollars. Disney is also offering great deals for Canadians traveling to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Another way to avoid at least the “after the fact sticker shock” of conversion is to go all-inclusive, and avoid a big bill at the end of your trip, with an exchange rate that seems to grow every time you sign a bill. Check vacation deal sites like www.pctravel.ca for terrific all-inclusive offers that will be charged when you pay for your trip, and avoid unwanted surprises. Plus, you’ll get 3X the PCPlus points back on your PC World Elite Mastercard, and that can translate into free clothes from Joe Fresh that you can take with you on your holiday.
Author, I Am So The Boss Of You (Random House)
Chief Family Advisor, PCFinancial & PCPlus
Columnist, SiriusXM Canada “How She Travels”
Columnist, “Parent Hacks” Post City Magazines
Travel Feature Writer, Metro News