Travelling in the U.S.? Stretch that Loonie!

With the U.S. dollar and the Loonie being so out of whack, Canadians are feeling the sting of the currency exchange. What’s the average Canuck to do in the face of this currency war?

While the most obvious answer would be to ground your cross border shopping expedition, there are those who have to travel south for business or to visit family.

Costs associated with travelling when the currency exchange is not in your favour can really add up. Here are some ideas to help stretch that Loonie further.

Pick up the phone

When’s the last time you booked a hotel room? Okay- when’s the last time you booked a hotel room that wasn’t online?

Call the hotel you want directly and ask for their best rate. Ask if they offer any “Canadian Dollar at Par” specials. You may have most luck with these in towns that are near the border, or who rely heavily on Canadian tourist traffic.

Don’t forget the extras

Not only is that hotel room going to cost you more, everything else you need to spend on while you are travelling is going to add up in a hurry as well. Expect to spend more on gas and food while on the road, or layover snacks in the airports.

When at your destination, cut down the cost of your stay by putting hotels with free parking and free breakfast at the top of your list. Whenever possible, get a room with a mini-fridge in it to stock snacks and light meals.

Reap your rewards

While the currency is still going to put a dent in your overall spending, if you’ve got reward points, it might make sense to use them now.

Reward points are not just for airline tickets either; cash ‘em in for car rentals, excursion tickets and hotel rooms. You could conceivably do an entire trip if you had a rewards balance to support it.