We have returned from our annual Cajun Family Vacation, and this year we learned a few valuable things about planning ahead. Here we give you (with some help from my wife) some useful vacation tips.
A Vacation Tip is to visit the Halton Radial Railway
- We bought our La Ronde Season passes in April, and it ended up costing less than a Single Day’s pass. This was a Gold pass too, so free parking made it a great deal. Same is true for Canada’s wonderland.
- The Toronto CityPass is another great bargain if you want to go to the Aquarium, The Science Centre, Up the CN Tower, the zoo and some other stuff that my son didn’t want to attend.
- Always have a Plan B on vacation as well. Thanks to my son getting a bad strep throat infection we ended up not doing a lot of what we had planned to do.
- Never a bad idea to investigate medical facilities around where you are staying. We found a walk-in medical clinic and got my son some antibiotics. Always bring your health cards and medical/drug plan information with you as well (free antibiotics). It could end up saving you a lot of money and headaches (if you are inside Canada). Travel insurance would be a good idea if you are out of the country.
- If your hotel room has an issue, like a raucous party that goes on until say, 4:30 AM outside your door, remember to call the desk to ask for help instead of hoping for the best. When you check out mention it again, and most hotels will rebate you some of your nightly rate. I tend to be quite polite and compliment the hotel in this situation (and ask “… why do people do that?”). Worked for us, twice this summer.
- We like to stay at hotels that provides a fridge and microwave in the room to help save money (it also helps ease our son’s anxiety to have familiar food from home). We have even been known to travel with our own toaster.
These are a few simple tips, there are plenty more out there. See which ones work for you.
That is what a Pollara survey done for BMO suggests, that 34% of Canadians, “…they take a mental vacation from thinking about their finances during the summertime….“.
For those of you who think this is a good idea read the next line very carefully:
This is a very BAD idea!
This guy may be on vacation, but he isn’t forgetting about his finances
Agreed I am being a little laid back, but it is the summer.
The summer, when you are going on vacation, out of your regular spending rhythms and are prone to more spontaneous purchases and such, the last thing you should be doing is taking your “eye off the ball”.
BMO’s resolution to this issue is to use one of their mobile tracking tools, but just keeping track of your receipts and spending is what you need to do (I really don’t care how you do it, but you need to do it). \
You might want to check your investments too, since many interesting things can happen in the markets over the summer (you might think the markets shut down for the summer, but surprisingly they do not).
I was trying to figure out what the family could do while on vacation next week and I looked around at a few places to see how much this might cost, and saw the following:
- At La Ronde(a Six Flags associated amusement park in Montreal), if I and my 3 daughters went for the day, this would cost around $140 with parking included (3 adults one kid under 12). If my wife comes kick another $35 (not including food and such). So about $175.00 for a day (I am not ragging on La Ronde, we have been there and the kids like going there, I am just using them as an example).
- If I buy a season pass I can then go to Darian Lake’s six flags park, and that would cost about: $400, I figure, but I could be wrong. The family passport doesn’t fit my family any more, oh well.
- There are also discounts available if you buy your tickets earlier, but not much.
- Paramount Canada’s Wonderlandwould cost you around $290 for the day (not including food, parking, etc.,).
- A set of season passes would cost around $390.00
- Marineland in Niagarais going to cost us somewhere around $220.00 (parking is free, but food is not).
- The one nice thing about Marineland is for an extra $25.00, you now have season passes (which is nice).
What does this really mean? Man it’s expensive to go to a theme park these days, holy cow!!! Now that I have this information, I need to confab with the family and see whether this is the choice, or whether we look for a nice beach and spend the day there, or go to a movie, or many other family things that are a little cheaper.
Why is it I end up spending so much on vacations, that I start out thinking are frugal?