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.