Travel offers to benefit from now, and save for later—when it’s protected

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As social bubbles, provinces and countries slowly open up again, many people are looking to salvage their travel plans for this summer while others think about 2021. Admittedly, there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the world, but that isn’t preventing some providers from tempting lockdown-weary Canadians with discount deals on travel and accommodations.

Locking in savings is usually a win for travellers, but is it worth buying now when there’s currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and, in some cases, no guarantee you’ll be able to travel safely? There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you do your due diligence, you may find that booking now can work to your advantage. Here’s what you need to know: 

Air travel may or may not be more expensive

Some people think that flying will be more expensive in the future. The theory is that since there will be less demand and airlines will need to follow new health regulations, which may include an empty middle seat, prices will go up. 

This is entirely possible, but I did a quick search of various destinations, and I have not noticed prices that I would consider higher than average. I’d argue that prices are going down in some cases as some airlines are eager to get passengers back on board. 

Right now, Aeroplan has one of their best promotions ever. If you book an Air Canada flight within Canada or the U.S. with your Aeroplan points before July 1, 2020, you’ll get 50% of your miles back. That means if you book two flight rewards, you’re getting one free. Travel must occur between July 1 through Oct. 15, 2020, and there’s no fee to cancel if you do it by August 31, 2020.

That’s just one offer currently available, but I’m sure there will be more once airspace starts to open up.

Hotels have some of the best deals

Even if you don’t have set dates in mind yet, you should be paying attention to hotel deals as some of the offers are incredible. 

One of the best deals out there right now is Fairmont’s Stay Close promotion, where you get every second night free on stays until the end of 2020. There is a one-night prepaid deposit required, but it’s fully refundable. This deal applies to many of the Fairmont hotels, but note that you need to book by June 26, 2020, for some of the properties.

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