Top ‘travel hacks’ Canadians use to save money this year


Published April 9, 2024 at 10:13 am

travel hacks canada

As the busy summer travel season quickly approaches, many Canadians may put off a vacation due to cost of living challenges.

A recent report found people need to earn more than $25 an hour to afford to live in Mississauga, Brampton and the GTA. So setting aside money for travel may not be a priority.

Yet, the 2024 Global Travel Trends Report from American Express Travel found 82 per cent of Canadians plan to spend more or the same on travel  this year.

Globally, Canada ranks the second highest market for anticipated highest average spend for leisure trips at an average of $8,824 for all leisure trips in 2024, the report found.

And the report found 36 per cent of Canadians plan to spend more on travel compared to last year.

“The Global Travel Trends Report highlights the continued desire for Canadians to prioritize unforgettable travel, from spontaneous trips to once in a lifetime experiences,” said Vanessa Crooker, vice president of brand, partnerships and lifestyle benefits at American Express Canada.

But the report finds many Canadians use “travel hacks” to help save money.

Of those surveyed, 44 per cent plan to travel during off-peak seasons.

Travelling off-season, for example in the summer to hot destinations or in winter to European destinations, usually means cheaper flights, cheaper hotels, and the chance to see a destination at a less busy time.

But it could also mean dealing with less-than-ideal weather conditions.

The report found 41 per cent of people will use credit card points to pay for flights or hotels.

All travel credit cards in Canada usually work the same way — for each dollar you spend on the card, you earn points or miles that can be redeemed to partially or fully cover travel expenses, according to a report from RateHub. 

Most major banks have travel credit cards and RateHub found American Express Cobalt, Scotiabank Gold American Express, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite and TD First Class Infinite are four of the best general travel credit cards in Canada.

Another popular travel hack is to book through companies that offer complimentary hotel benefits (e.g. room upgrades, hotel credits). About 20 per cent of Canadian travellers use this hack.

And 85 per cent of Canadian adults agree that they are interested in finding flight deals so they can spend more on accommodations or upgrades. Flight Centre, Kayak and Cheap-o-Air are popular websites for finding deals on air travel.

The information for the report was based on a survey conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 2024, among a sample of 2,005 US adults, 1,007 Australian adults, 1,002 Canadian adults, 1,002 UK adults, 1,002 Japanese adults, 1,006 Mexican adults and 1,005 Indian adults who have at least a $50,000 income equivalent and typically travel at least once a year.

See the full 2024 Global Travel Trends Report here.

Lead photo: Kevin Woblick

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