My money saving tips for vacation

My money saving tips for vacation

Last week, last minute Aaron and I planned a family vacation to Toronto. We thought it would be a great experience for the boys to see Ontario's capital, with all of it's wonderful attractions.

I immediately started googling all of the attractions and their ticket prices. There were three major attractions we wanted to see: the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre and the Toronto Zoo.

So this was how the ticket prices broke down:

  1. CN Tower: $99 (family pass)
  2. Toronto Zoo: $92 (2 adults, 2 children)
  3. Ontario Science Centre $70 (2 adults, 2 children)

Total: $261 for the three attractions.

When looking at another site I saw an ad for CityPass. CityPass is a company that will sell a package of tickets to attractions in major cities, Toronto being one of them. for $223 US I was able to get tickets for the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre, the Toronto Zoo AND the Royal Ontario Museum AND Casa Loma.

Huge savings plus 2 extra attractions!

Now I just needed to find a room. Most room rates in Toronto are $150+ per night, I decided to check out Priceline allows you to pick an area you want to stay, as well as the star rating of the hotel and you can submit a bid price. I submitted a bid price of $60 per night. If a hotel agreed to give me a room for that price I was obligated to take it, I wouldn't know which hotel I got until the transaction went through. It's a bit risky not knowing which hotel you would get, but if you do your research well, you can usually deduce which hotel it is, by the amenities they offer.

Sure enough we got a 3 star hotel for $60 per night. Now bringing my grand total to $369 for room and attractions!

Before we left we packed up coolers and baskets with food for the trip, no stopping for expensive snacks on the road. Most of our breakfast's were eaten in the room with the stuff we brought from home.

We built in some money lessons for our boys, each child was given $20 at the beginning of the trip for anything they wanted to buy. They carried it around and if they wanted a souvenir they would have to decide if they wanted to use their $20 or not. The nice thing was that we didn't get pestered all trip for money and they were much more picky about what they bought in the gift stores.

Public transportation can be a great way of saving money on parking in a large city. We used to TTC Subway system to get around and it was quite convenient.

Some other costs:

  • Gas: $60
  • Food: $200
  • Kids Spending: $40
  • Public Transit: $40

All in all we spent $709.00 for a 2 night 3 day vacation in the heart of Toronto. It worked out to $177 per person. Not too shabby for all of the attractions we were about to visit.


~ Nicole Olsen

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