2017 vacation planner: Best times to book a Canadian staycation

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Between the country’s 150th birthday and the accolade of being named a top place to visit this year, all eyes are on Canada in 2017. And while Canadians have an adventurous travel spirit that often directs our travels overseas, there’s plenty to do in our own backyard, this year more than ever. Due to the success of our recent “When to fly, when to buy” report on timing your vacations (and vacation planning) for the best value, we’ve done another data deep dive, this time to determine when to book a Canadian staycation. We’ve calculated how far out from your travel date you need to book, on average, to score the best deals on flights to the 25 most popular domestic destinations. So, if you’re thinking this is the year to set and about explore all that Canada has to offer, start by getting your calendar out now and keep these points in mind:

Here are some key findings

  • Want to head to a big city like Toronto or Vancouver? Getting a deal will take more planning. A 4- to 5-month lead time is key to the best deals.
  • Go a little off the beaten path if you’re late to the planning table, or try a smaller airport serving a region. Think Abbotsford over Vancouver, or Hamilton over Toronto.
  • Remember these are averages. If you are looking to travel in the height of summer or over the holidays, plan even further ahead. If you can swing an off-season vacation, you might be able to score an affordable fare closer to your trip.
  • Bonus summer travel tip: If you’re looking to travel in July or August, the week leading up to Labour Day is generally the most affordable time to fly. Read below to find when to start booking your trip based on where you plan to go:

2017 Vacation Planner

Destination How far in advance to book, on average
Vancouver, British Columbia  143 days (4.75 months)
Montreal, Quebec  140 days (4.5 months)
Toronto, Ontario  138 (4.5 months)
Edmonton, Alberta  121 days (4 months)
Calgary, Alberta  118 days (4 months)
Ottawa, Ontario  118 days (4 months)
Whitehorse, Yukon  109 days (3.75 months)
Victoria, British Columbia  103 days (3.5 months)
Halifax, Nova Scotia  98 days (3.25 months)
Winnipeg, Manitoba 92 days (3 months)
Kelowna, British Columbia 90 days (3 months)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 89 days (3 months)
St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador 88 days (3 months)
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories 84 days (2.75 months)
London, Ontario 81 days (2.75 months)
Regina, Saskatchewan 75 days (2.5 months)
Quebec City, Quebec 72 days (2.5 months)
Abbotsford, British Columbia 72 days (2.5 months)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 67 days (2.25 months)
Moncton, New Brunswick 66 days (2.25 months)
Thunder Bay, Ontario 61 days (2 months)
Fort McMurray, Alberta 59 days (2 months)
Windsor, Ontario 56 days (1.75 months)
Fredericton, New Brunswick 54 days (1.75 months)
Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador 53 days (1.75 months)

*This data is based on averages from departure points across Canada and is intended as a guideline only.

Where will you be going in 2017? Let us know in the comments.

2017 vacation planner: Best times to book a Canadian staycation was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Jess Hopper
Author: Jess Hopper (27 posts)

Jess is a traveller and writer currently putting down roots in Boston as the Content and Social Media Executive for Cheapflights Canada. Originally from New England, she has also called France and New Zealand home. She has visited 22 countries including Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, Indonesia and South Africa.