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Canadian Winter Migration

Many Canadians are planning warm weather getaway this year. Certainly the strong dollar encouraged many to enjoy warm winter last year.

Canadians are known as enthusiastic world travelers and many of them are finding interesting ways to escape without breaking the bank. Some travel agencies are offering special deals, such as early booking discounts, specifically aimed at consumers worried about the rising travel prices. Customers are biting and some companies are even reporting sharp increases in travel to destinations such as the Caribbean.

Most snowbirds will do anything to keep going south. When the snow falls, it's like people's feet start to itch, and they must going south - they're addicted. It's like a national fever.

Many snowbirds, however, are deeply concerned about their finances, because their average annual income is only $22,000 to $24,000. They are particularly sensitive to basic costs, such as food, fuel and accommodation. Many are already trying to protect themselves from unexpected price hikes.

Short-term vacationers, are avoiding the United States in much greater numbers, although they do not appear to be giving up their annual dose of sun. Sun-spot bookings are up, especially for less expensive places like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela.

Unlike other Canadians with only a few weeks for a holiday, snowbirds are less likely to turn their backs on the United States because of currency fluctuations or economic conditions. They often have close ties, such as real estate or well established routines in particular communities that keep them going back in bad times as well as good.

  • Always carry Canadian identification, such as a driver's license or passport; otherwise, it can be difficult to take advantage of specials restricted to Canadians. 
  • When traveling in the U.S. search out so-called "par specials" offered by merchants willing to treat a Canadian dollar as if it had the same face value as a U.S. dollar regardless of currency.
  • When traveling to the U.S. check with local tourism authorities. States popular with Canadians, like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, often offer special deals. Many restaurants and local businesses are promoting their services in a booklets of discounts offered to travelers. Deals may include specials at some local restaurants, hotels, attractions and local stores.
  • The trend in the travel industry is toward shorter booking times, but travelers who pay for their holidays well in advance can often take advantage of early booking discounts.
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