A higher loonie and back to school sales looming may have you contemplating a quick trip across the border. Whether your U.S. trip is purpose driven or simply for leisure these tips shared today on The Morning Show will help ease the burden on your wallet.
5 Ways to Save while Travelling in the U.S.
- Look for Canada -Friendly Promotions
Many American destinations are anxious to get Canadians (and their high spending habits) to their door.
A great example of this is Virginia Beach
They so want Canadians to visit that they offer Canada Weeks twice a year.
Between April and June and again between August and November you can show your Canadian ID for discounts of up to 30 % on hotels, activities and attractions.
The deals are great but the fact that the area also has a ton to offer is what makes it worthwhile. Virginia Beach is actually several beaches and where you’ll want to go will depend in part on who you’re traveling with.
With young kids? Try Chesapeake Bay where there are smaller waves perfect for little ones. With teens? They may like the hubbub of activity at the boardwalk. And if you’re after some peace and quiet, you may be happiest at Sandbridge.
It’s a lot to choose from but luckily there’s a great website to help you out: http://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/international/canada/canadaweeks
And Virginia Beach isn’t the only U.S. area that does this. Other great areas to investigate throughout the year for Canada-loving savings include: Scottsdale, Arizona which has Loonie-loving savings in the summer and Myrtle Beach which offers CANAM days in March.
2. Look for discounted package deals on the things you want to do
The popular CityPASS is available in a bunch of cities across North America including Toronto. The CityPASS simply takes the main attractions of a city and bundles them together for you at a discounted price. It’s guaranteed savings over what you’d have paid for each ticket separately. You can also check with the tourist office in U.S. cities you’re visiting for similar local offers. Sometimes museums and galleries will partner to save you money on multiple admissions. Be realistic though: If it’s unlikely you’ll have time to maximize the tickets they can cost more than they’re worth.
3. Act like a local
U.S. cities that we think of as expensive for tourists can actually be full of great deals that locals know about. New York City is a great example of this. It’s typically considered a very expensive city but those who go often know ways to slash the costs.
One way to save in the city: Get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty by riding the free Staten Island Ferry or splurge and shell out a whopping $2.75 on the NYC ferry which will get you out of Manhattan to the currently hip boroughs of NYC including Brooklyn and Queens.
Looking for a great place to eat? Consider timing your trip to match NYC Restaurant Week – July 24 – August 18. (It’s like our Summerlicious.) And at other times of the year you can get similar savings during Broadway week for plays or Spa week for a bit of pampering.
Finally, keep in mind that value can be had not just by spending less but by having experiences that make what you’re spending worthwhile. LOCALIKE is a trip planning service that canvasses NYC locals to help plan unique – you’d never find it on your own – experiences for your trip. Options range from a “New York Personal” experience, which is priced at $169 for three days ( the traveller fills out a profile with their interests and receives detailed recommendations from a NYC local) to A “New York Selection” itinerary for just $49 ( the travellers choose just one category such as restaurants & food or arts & culture to receive some “best-of” suggestions from the LOCALIKE team).
For the money, you’ll come home with more than just the typical experiences to talk about. An example: The team holds a key to the exclusive Gramercy park – usually only available to residents – and can get you in.
4. Skip the Taxes
Book your trip into one of the sales tax free states. This is a great way to save money, especially if you’re looking at crossing over to do some back to school fall wardrobe shopping. Pair an outlet mall and a tax free state and you’ve got a winning combination. Add a destination that also has great affordable tourism options and you’re winning. One to consider New Hampshire! Why: It’s an easy road trip from Eastern Canada which means you’re also saving on airfare costs and is known for its great outlet shopping as well as being about an hour from Boston. It’s also a great spot to do some less expensive types of accomodations and activities including camping, hiking, kayaking and more.
Others states with no sales tax include:
And Colorado has the lowest sales tax in the USA at 2.9%
5. Go for the Freebies
Look for destinations that offer free admission or other incentives, and save your dollars for other special treats while you’re away.
One example of that is San Diego: There are more than 50 Free summer activities happening throughout San Diego this year. Among them free concerts, free movies under the stars and a whole host of street fairs and festivals.
You can also check out places like Washington DC where great options include the new National Museum of African American History and Culture and other Smithsonian hot spots – all free.
Another is Philadelphia where the President’s House exhibit, the Liberty Bell center and posing with the Rocky statue area all free activities.
Great article Heather! I was very excited to learn about CityPASS as that will add incredible value to travelers. I will be sure to share it on our “Travel USA Discounts” facebook fan page and perhaps do a feature article about CityPass on our BLOG page too!