Culture & Entertainment

Last-minute summer travel deals for Canadians

By: Doug O'Neill
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Last-minute summer travel deals for Canadians

By: Doug O'Neill

5 budget-friendly travel Web sites for your summer holidays! As a cabbie in downtown Toronto said to me on the Civic holiday weekend when I commented on the quick passing of summer, "Summer? She ain't over 'til it's over." Point taken. We're into the first week of August but we do have a full month of vacation time ahead of us. With that in mind, here are five Web sites to help you land great deals on your summer getaway.   1. Redtag.ca Vacations:  Get up to 65% off deals to such destinations as Kissimmee, Florida. There's a lot for the family to do after you visit the requisite theme parks. Choose from swamp tours, airboat excursions, zip lining experiences, paddle-boarding, and some surprisingly good family hikes and eco tours. Kissimee Floriday kayaking

Enjoying outdoor Florida: Kayaking in Kissimmee, Florida

2. CanadaTravels:  If you've got Europe on your radar, you'll be glad to know you can still get  reasonable deals. The  CanadaTravels  web site lists numerous European destinations from flights out of various Canadian cities. One recent option from Vancouver to London, England listed a starting price as low as $709 for trips booked before August 31. That's a decent price point for peak season. Changing of Guard, Buckham Palace, London, England

 Changing of the Guards, Buckingham Palace,  London, England (Courtesy: Visit London)

3. Hotels.com:    At time of research, one night stays at the elegant Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, PQ were down from  $228 to $199 per night. That's a 15% savings. Hotels.com, under the Expedia umbrella, is worth bookmarking as you plan ahead for other family vacations such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. 4. SeeTorontoNow:  the official Tourism Toronto site curates package deals that combine lodging with admission to popular attractions. One I'd recommend is the Ripley's Aquarium Family Package, which is paired with lodging in the grande dame of Toronto hotels, the Fairmont Royal York. Bonus: it's about a 10-minute walk to Ripley's Aquarium. (Side note: if you're wondering if the aquarium is just for kids – think again. I took my brother, sister-in-law and my two nieces one morning in late June. My young nieces had to practically drag us adults out. Ripley's Aquarium, Toronto, Ontario

 Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto (Courtesy of Ripley's Aquarium)

5. Flight Tonight: This app can save you big bucks on flights. We're talking last-minute discounts when the airline still has empty seats or has experienced a slew of late cancellations. They want bums in those seats!  Download the Flights Tonight app from iTunes, set to app to the airport nearest you and review the list of destinations that meet your price point. Where did you spend your best ever summer vacation?
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Last-minute summer travel deals for Canadians

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