Here are the best times for Canadians to book international and domestic travel

Souvenir shops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica | Shutterstock

Do you have the holiday-booking blues?

While there are a number of fantastic places to visit during the frosty season in Vancouver, not all flights are easy on the wallet. In fact, locals find that even domestic travel can end up costing big bucks. And, when it comes to the winter holidays, the cost of booking both international and domestic airfare rises steeply.

In response, Kayak, an online global travel search engine, has released its 2019 Holiday Travel Trend Forecast, which reveals where Canadians are jet-setting to and the best time to book for a great price. 

The travel company notes that, “Canadians should book domestic travel in advance, but the price is right to book international flights last minute.”

For holiday travel, Kayak states that the most inexpensive time to book domestic flights is five to seven weeks in advance. For international travel, Canadians can expect the cheapest flight prices if they book within the month leading up to their departure. Further, locals can score a good deal by flying on a holiday, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve travel.

Despite the cost of airfare, however, the travel company found that Canadians have more ambitious holiday travel plans than their U.S. neighbours. For example, popular international selections for Canucks include far flung cities like Bangkok, Tokyo, London and Puerto Vallarta. 

Kayak adds that, “the appearance of Bangkok and Tokyo indicate an appetite for Asia,” whereas their American counterparts prefer primarily domestic cities like Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

“We’re seeing Canadian travel habits shift this holiday season compared to last year, especially when it comes to New Year’s Eve travel,” said Steve Sintra, KAYAK’s Regional Director for North America.

“Europe, for example, had a bigger presence last year likely due to the entrance of low-cost carriers to the market, but has been replaced this year by Caribbean hotspots like Bermuda, Curacao, Jamaica and Aruba.”

While most Canadians look to escape the cold during the winter break, Kayak notes that Mexico and Hawaii lure Vancouverites. In contrast, Torontonians prefer to soak up the sun in Florida.

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