Updated: Jan 19th 2020
Trying to escape the blistering cold winter is an unofficial Canadian sport. We all need a break from the wind-chill, so where are the best places for Canadians to travel? And where is still affordable?
Sure you can find insanely cheap flights to exotic places like Bermuda or the Turks and Caicos Islands, but even the cheapest hotels there can easily run you $400+ a night, not to mention absurdly priced food.
You can also just default to an all inclusive resort in Cancun, but what if you’re looking for something different?
So much of the travel advice out there is tailor made for Americans and their US dollar... until now! It’s our turn! 🇨🇦
If you just want to take a vacation without emptying your bank account and without enduring 36 hours in airports, we’ve got you covered. We’ve found the cheapest places for Canadians to travel in 2020 so you can have a dream getaway this year.
In this article you will learn:
1- The Cheapest (and Easiest) Destinations for Canadians in 2020
2- The Cheapest Flights Out Of Canadian Airports in 2020
3- The Cheapest All Inclusive Vacations for Canadians in 2020
The ‘Cheapest Places’ Criteria: We researched dozens of locations and are only recommending places that: have high rated (8/10+) accommodation between $50 to $150 a night, roundtrip flights from Canadian cities under $500, good prices for dining and of course… locations that are great for a vacation! (Note: these are NOT for all inclusive deals, they come later in the post!)
Yes, ALL prices are in CAD and include tax.
Cheapest Places for Canadians to Travel in 2020
One of the MAIN reasons why we decided to move to Mazatlán for the winters is the PRICE!
Without a doubt, Mazatlán is the most affordable coastal city in ALL of Mexico.
Before we heard about Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta was our ‘go-to’ vacation spot in Mexico. That was until it started to get really expensive. This year we found ourselves ‘priced-out’ of Puerto Vallarta, which caused us to find Mazatlán. Talk about FATE. Mazatlán turned out to be our favorite place in the world!
Mazatlán is only a 4.5 hour direct flight from many Canadian airports, has perfect weather in winter (less humid and cooler nights!) and has beautiful sunny beaches.
Best of all, the prices for hotels, monthly rentals, food, entertainment and transportation are dirt cheap!
I can take an Uber from one end of town to the other for $5, the bus for only $0.77, and even see a ballet for $11.
Mazatlán Hotel & Food Costs:
Depending on the time of year, Mazatlán has more than 100 hotels for less than $100 a night. Even at peak times you can stay in Hotel La Siesta on the Malecon near centro for $50/n or the newly renovated beach resort Gavianas for $90/n.
With enough digging, we’ve even found flash deals on the authentic all-inclusive resort Hotel Playa Mazatlan for 50% less than normal.
Mazatlán Flight Costs:
Edmonton – Direct $183 (Jan–Apr) Swoop
Abbotsford – Direct $123 (Mar & Apr) Swoop
Vancouver – Direct $237 (Mar & Apr) Westjet
Calgary – Direct $360 (all year round) Westjet
Kelowna – 1-stop $388 (Feb-Apr) Westjet
→ See more cities with direct flights to Mazatlán
Myrtle Beach, USA
Myrtle Beach has some of the CHEAPEST beachfront property in all of the United States. If you head down in the middle of winter, you’ll get the absolute rock bottom prices. In 2018 we spent 2 months in Myrtle Beach and paid less for ocean front accommodations than we did in South East Asia!
Take a ride on the sky wheel, stroll down the boardwalk or hit up the wax museum. There are tons of attractions like Ripley’s, a hands on science exhibit and even a live alligator show. Myrtle Beach is also home to the most lazy rivers in the US, so spend some time floating the day away.
Attractions and accommodations are affordable enough to bring the whole family, without going over budget.
Myrtle Beach Hotel & Food Costs:
Over the winter months, you’ll find over 500 hotels in Myrtle Beach priced between $75-$150 CAD per night.
We stayed at Compass Cove in an Oceanfront 1 bedroom hotel room for only $40 a night! It was the cheapest beachfront we had ever found, so we stayed for an entire month!
You can’t visit the south without gorging on BBQ! Pop Pop’s Pit BBQ has filling pork bowls, plates of ribs and other meaty delights for under $10 CAD a meal. Even the restaurant at our hotel Compass Cove had great lunch deals for under $6.50 CAD every day!
Myrtle Beach Flight Costs:
Toronto- Direct $165 all year round Westjet
Montreal- 1 stop $167 (Jan-Apr) American Airlines
Vancouver- 1 stop $248 (Jan-Feb & Oct) Delta
Curacao is a tiny Dutch island in the Caribbean that should be on every Canadians list. Turquiose water, white sandy beaches and beautiful weather, especially between Feb-May.
Curacao has an incredibly diverse history because its been ruled at different times by many empires. First the Arawaks, followed by the Dutch, Spanish, French and English, not to mention an hub for the African slave trade. You’ll fall in love with the mixture of cultures, each lending inspiration in the local foods, languages and flavours!
Curacao Hotel & Food Costs:
Curacao is a bargain Caribbean destination with deals on accommodations for up to 70% less than places like Bermuda or Sint Maarten. In April, when the cheapest flights from Canada are, you can find almost 70 hotels rated 8/10 that are under $150 a night. The gorgeous oceanfront Lagun Blou resort runs $150 a night, but features huge 800 sq ft suites with sea view. If you really want to save, stay in a pool view cabin at the Westhill Bungalows for only $80 a night.
Food isn’t as cheap as Latin America here, but you can still find decent places to eat. At Brisa Do Mar you can have a dinner on the beach of red snapped caught earlier that day for $13 CAD, or for a light lunch head to La Boheme cafe for chicken salad sandwich for $6.25 CAD.
Curacao Flight Costs:
Montreal– Direct $340 (Feb-Apr) Air Canada
Toronto – Direct $350 (all year round) Air Canada
Edmonton– 1 stop $380 (Oct & Nov) Westjet
Montreal– 1-stop $226 (Feb-Apr) Copa
Cartagena offers the best of both worlds with a gorgeous coast line, mixed with an historical old town. Beach lovers can take a stroll down Bocagrande in search of fresh ceviche, or enjoy the Caribbean breeze under an umbrella. History buffs can tour castle ruins, old cathedrals, or the local gold museum. You’ll really immerse yourself in the 4 C’s here, being: culture, colors, castles and cafe.
For the question that’s bound to be on your mind… YES… Colombia (especially Cartagena) is safe to visit. A direct flight from Toronto only takes 5 hours to get to this vibrant coastal South American paradise.
Cartagena Hotel & Food Costs:
Take your pick between staying in the handsome cobblestoned centre of town, or getting a hotel right on the beach at Playa De Bocagrande. You can stay at the Hotel Summer Frente Al Mar in an oceanfront suite for under $100 a night, or downtown at Hotel El Viajero for under $60 a night.
There are over 300 hotels that Canadians can vacation in for under $100 CAD per night!
Hungry travellers will love how cheap the fresh seafood is! You can scarf down a ceviche for around $5, drink some local wine for a couple of Twoonies and share some seafood plates with friends for $10.
Cartagena Flight Costs:
Toronto– Direct $380 (Feb & Mar) Air Transat
Montreal– Direct $315 (March) Air Transat
Vancouver– 1 stop $364 (May) Delta
A few years ago, Merida was an untouched cultural gem, but now the secret has caught on. The time to go is now while it still retains its quaint city vibe and colonial atmosphere.
Walk down it’s pastel colored streets, have a cafe outside a grand cathedral, and head to the plaza to salsa dance the evening away. No, Merida isn’t a beach destination, but with so much to do, you won’t even notice!
Merida is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the diverse beauty of the Yucatan peninsula. Within a 2 hour drive you can visit over a dozen ancient Mayan ruins, underground caves and cenotes and cultural attractions.
Merida Hotel & Food Costs:
Stay in the heart of the city at Hotel Caribe, just a stones throw away from the city’s main square. With rates at only $60 CAD a night, you can afford to stay a while. (Trevor just stayed here Jan 2020 for 2 nights for $120 CAD all taxes in and really enjoyed it!)
With a bigger budget of $120 a night, you can head to the ultra luxurious boutique hotel El Palacito Secreto.
Merida scores major points for diverse gastronomy, earning worldwide respect for its local dishes. Foodies can explore local markets like Mercado Lucas De Galvéz for cheap street food. For budget sit down restaurants, head to La Cubanita for $4 cubanos or La Terraza for pork tacos at only $1 each!
Merida Flight Costs:
Toronto- direct $267 (Mar-Apr & Dec) Westjet
Calgary- 1 stop $347 (Sep-Nov) United
Vancouver-1 stop $289 (Jan & Mar-May) United
Las Vegas, USA
Love it or hate it, Vegas is one of the cheapest and fastest getaways for Canadians. In the fall, when the snow starts coming down, you can easily escape to 25+ temps in under 3 hours.
The hotels are insanely cheap because they’re really hoping you’ll use your savings at the casino. If you can limit your gambling, you’ll come out a winner with those rock bottom accommodation prices.
Las Vegas Hotel & Food Costs:
If you want to have a 5-star Vegas experience, you can find packaged deals for a 3-4 day trip, airfare included at places like The Palazzo for $580 CAD all in.
You can also choose from dozens of 3 star flight/hotel packages that will only set you back $325 CAD.
Check out package deals on Orbitz, WestJet Vacations or other flash deal providers.
Since SWOOP launched in Canada in 2019, Las Vegas flights are DIRT cheap from smaller airports. Take advance of these while you can!
At first glance, food prices in Las Vegas (especially on the strip) can look astronomical! If you do some research, you’ll find ultra-discounted specials at even the fanciest of hotels. For example, Rockhouse a bar located inside the Venetian hotel, has $2 CAD hotdogs, wings and tacos on different days of the week. Food trucks are also a great way to save money while exploring sin city.
Las Vegas Flight Costs:
Abbotsford – direct $71 (all year round!) Swoop
Kelowna – direct $85 (Feb-April) Swoop
Hamilton – direct $92 (all year round!) Swoop
London – direct $93 (Feb-April & Oct) Swoop
Edmonton – direct $95 (Feb-June & Sept-Oct) Swoop
Winnipeg – direct $99 (all year round!) Swoop
Regina – direct $209 (Feb-June) Westjet
Liberia, Costa Rica
Flying into Liberia is your gateway to vacationing in lush jungle or beautiful sandy beaches. Explore the culture of the small city for a few days and then head out to the sandy coast, only a 30 minute drive from town.
Tamarindo, Samara, Playas Del Coco, Playa Conchal and Playa Flamingo are some of the most popular beach towns in Costa Rica that are perfect for a warm getaway.
Liberia Hotel & Food Costs:
Over 200 properties in Liberia and Gold Coast region come in under $150 CAD per night, giving you enough flexibility to stay under budget.
At La Colina Pura Vista you can book your own sea view villa for under $140 a night. For a cheap beach stay M&M Beach House has the cutest rooms feet from the water for $60 a night.
Little Lucha is one of the top rated restaurants in Tamarindo and serves it’s famous tacos for only $3.50 CAD. Toucanoos in Playas Del Coco has almost every item on the menu under $7, even healthy salads and cauliflower tacos.
Liberia Flight Costs:
Calgary- direct $364 (Jan – Apr) Westjet
Montreal- direct $281 (Feb & Mar) Air Transat
Toronto- direct $390 (Nov & Dec) Westjet
Winnipeg- 1-stop $396 (Mar-May & Nov) Delta
“Havana na na na…” (I love that song!) Havana is an incredible budget pick for Canadians looking for a memorable vacation. Walking through centro will have you feeling like you’ve just stepped onto a movie set! Colorful classic cars drive down colonials streets while intoxicating latin music starts up on every corner. It’s truly a magical place! If you want to escape the bustling city there are even beautiful beaches just 20km out of town.
Havana Hotel & Food Costs:
Get this- there are 1200 hotels and homestays in Havana for under $90 CAD per night. That can really make your money stretch farther than you ever thought! While you can head out to nearby beach resorts, I suggest you stay in the heart of Havana to drink in the experience. Plaza Vieja hotel is located steps away from Old Square and runs around $110 CAD a night. You can also stay in the cities classic boutique hotels like Aimara’s for under $90 CAD a night.
The cheapest place to find food in Havana is at many of the towns cafeterias. You’ll see many locals crowded around small eateries, so that is exactly where you should head. For under $1.75 CAD you’ll find amazing food at these cheap and easy stalls. Ham, egg and cheese sandwiches, small personal pizzas, smoothies, rice and pork and so much more!
Havana Flight Costs:
Toronto- direct $245 (Mar-Dec) Air Canada
Halifax- 1 stop $320 (All year round) Air Canada
Monteal- direct $289 (Mar & Apr) Copa Airlines
While Orlando might not have the cheapest hotels on the planet, it’s an incredibly EASY destination for Canucks. You can fly direct to Orlando from 5 Canadian airports, with additional cities rumoured to be added soon, making it super convenient. There are countless things to do in Orlando (hello Disney and Universal Studios!) but huge theme parks can get expensive. Don’t worry, there are blogs out there that can help with that. Get money saving advice from articles like: “25 Orlando Attractions under $30” and “20 Things To Do in Orlando For Free”
Orlando Hotel & Food Costs:
The best thing to do in Orlando is rent a luxury villa or townhouse near Disney. You can get fantastic deals on a 4 bedroom house that sleeps 8 adults, with heated pool for $99-$150 a night! Split that up amongst 4 couples and it’s cheaper than staying at home!
Kissimmee has the biggest and best selections of vacation rentals with great amenities. Check AirBnB to find your own deal!
If you stay in the Orlando area in a vacation rental, save a ton of cash on food by buying groceries and cooking yourself! Cooking at home for big groups can save hundreds on dining out. Another tip is to hit up many of the fast food chains that have healthy menus instead of traditional sit down restaurants or theme park eateries.
Orlando Flight Costs:
Toronto- direct $189 (Mar & Apr) Air Canada
Regina- direct $185 (Mar & Apr) Westjet
Edmonton- direct $95 (Mar-Jun & Sept) Swoop
Hamilton- direct $93 (Apr-Jun & Sept-Oct) Swoop
Winnipeg- direct $90 (Feb-Jun & Sept) Swoop
Cheap (but far!) destinations for Canadians in 2020:
There are some considerably cheaper destinations for Canadians if you don’t mind travelling a little farther. South East Asia for example takes longer to get to, but has incredibly cheap accommodation and food.
Scoring a cheap flight to one of the cities below will have you living like a king on a paupers budget. In each city below you’ll find nice hotels for $20-$50 a night and meals for $2-$5.
Cheapest Flights From Canada in 2020
Okay the destination suggestions are great Kashlee, but just show me the cheap flights!
I get it…finding a good priced flight is what I live for these days. When I score a super discounted plane ticket, that means I might be able to visit a city that would have otherwise been completely unaffordable!
If any of these cities are on your bucket list then take this as your sign to finally book that flight!
All prices are one-way, tax included and in CAD.
(And OUTSIDE Canada)
Flight prices can change on the daily! I will update this blog a few times throughout 2020, but prices might go higher or lower depending on sales and how full the planes get. Most of the flights are with WestJet, Air Canada, Air Transat, and Swoop.
Why didn’t you put round-trip prices Kashlee? Because I don’t know how long you want to stay. Usually if there is a cheap flight going there, there is also a cheap flight coming home shortly after. Just double the price below for round-trip.
Last Updated: Jan 19th 2020
Toronto’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Toronto to:
- Nashville $170 ( Feb-Mar) Westjet
- Cartagena $272 (Jan-Mar) Air Transat
- Belize City $181 (Feb-Apr) Westjet
- Turks & Caicos $260 (May-Dec) Westjet
- Mexico City $169 (March) Interjet
- Venice $365 (May & Jun) Air Canada
- Amsterdam $361 (Sep & Oct) Air Canada
- Guangzhou $350 (Apr & May) China Southern
Vancouver’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Vancouver to:
- Los Angeles $137 (Jun-Nov) United
- Mexico City $199 (Feb-Mar & Nov) Interjet
- Costa Rica (San Jose) $358 (Apr) Air Transat
- Orlando $275 (Feb-Apr) Westjet
- London $303 (Apr-May & Sept-Oct) Westjet
- Honolulu $217 (Mar-Jun) Westjet
- Shanghai $363 (Jan-Jun) Air Canada
- Paris $349 (Jun & Sept-Oct) Air Canada
Montreal’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Montreal to:
- Chicago $145 (Jan-Mar) American Airlines
- New Orleans $176 (Jun-Dec) Air Transat
- Cancun $195 (Mar & Jun & Sept-Nov) Interjet
- Paris $249 (Apr & Jun) Level
- Lisbon $340 (May-Jun & Sept-Oct) TAP Portugal
- Havana $239 (Mar & Apr) Air Transat
Calgary’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Calgary to:
- Chicago $149 (Feb-May) United
- San Diego $207 (All Year Long) Westjet
- Mazatlán $253 (Mar & Apr) Westjet
- Veradero $261 (Apr) Westjet
- Belize City $216 (Apr) Westjet
- Honolulu $260 (Apr) Westjet
- London $269 (Jan-May & Sept-Dec) Westjet
Edmonton’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Edmonton to:
- Las Vegas $95 (Feb-Jun & Sept-Nov) Swoop
- San Diego $95 (May-Jun & Sept-Oct) Swoop
- Puerto Vallarta $100 (May-Jun & Sept-Oct) Swoop
- Cancun $100 (Apr-Jun & Aug-Oct) Swoop
- Mazatlán $183 (Jan-Apr) Swoop
- Reykjavík $298 (May & Jun) Iceland Air
Winnipeg’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Winnipeg to:
- Las Vegas $99 (Apr-Jun & Sept-Oct) Swoop
- Phoenix $123 (Mar-Apr) Swoop
- Orland0 $179 (Mar-Jun & Sep-Oct) Swoop
- Palm Springs $183 (Apr) Westjet
- Puerto Vallarta $183 (Mar & Apr) Swoop
- Cancun $249 (Apr & Dec) Westjet
Halifax’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Halifax to:
- Fort Lauderdale $197 (May) Air Transat
- Veradero $262 (Feb & Mar) Air Transat
- Tampa $267 (Feb & Mar) Air Canada
- London $301 (May & Sept-Oct) Westjet
- Dublin $310 (Jun & Sept-Oct) Westjet
- New York City $167 (Jun) American Airlines
Kelowna’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Kelowna to:
- Las Vegas $85 in (Feb-April) Swoop
- Phoenix $172 in (March & April) Westjet
- Cabo $247 in (March & April) Westjet
- Cancun $287 in (March & April) Westjet
- Puerto Vallarta $312 in (April & December) Westjet
Regina’s Cheapest Flights
DIRECT Flights from Regina to:
- Phoenix $175 (Feb-Apr) Westjet
- Las Vegas $209 (Feb- Apr & Oct) Westjet
- Orlando $185 (Mar & Apr) Westjet
- Puerto Vallarta $231 (Mar-Apr) Westjet
How To Book These Cheap Flights:
My #1 tool for finding cheap fights is Google Flights. As much as I shouldn’t admit this, I probably spend 10 hours a week on that site, searching for cheap anomaly fares and rock bottom flight prices. What can I say, it’s a hobby!
When you find a cheap flight on Google Flights that you want to book, it simply refers you to the airlines own website to pay. It’s a very easy process.
What about Canada’s NEW low cost airlines Swoop and Flair?
Swoop just started offering direct flights from my hometown airport of Kelowna (YLW) to Winnipeg AND Vegas for $79 and $99. I took Swoop to Winnipeg on Sept 18th and I wrote and entire Swoop Airlines Review!
The Cheapest All Inclusive Vacations for Canadians in 2020
If you are looking for an easy, pre-packaged vacation than an all-inclusive deal might be your best bet! Granted, they are not my favourite way to travel, but hey, they are a super easy way to get your butt on a beach with ZERO planning!
All Inclusive vacation packages include your round trip flights, airport transfer, hotel, food and beverage and in some cases even tour or spa credits. Most commonly they are 7 nights and hosted in large resorts with tons of amenities on site.
Here are the cheapest places for Canadians to take an All Inclusive vacation this year:
- Varadero, Cuba
- Cayo Coco, Cuba
- Holguin, Cuba
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Mazatlan, Mexico
- Ixtapa, Mexico
- Cancun. Mexico
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
How cheap can you get an all inclusive vacation? That will ultimately depend on the city you are flying out of, as major airports get the benefit of cheaper packages. Here is an outline for starting prices depending on where you are leaving from.
Direct from BIG city airports like: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, etc.
All Inclusive + Direct Flight 7 Day Packages (tax included) starting at:
- 3 Star = $600 per person/per week
- 4 Star = $700 per person/per week
- 5 Star = $900 per person/per week
Direct from SMALL city airports like: Kamloops, Kelowna, Abbotsford, Regina, Thunder Bay. etc.
All Inclusive + Direct Flight 7 Day Packages (tax included) starting at:
- 3 Star = $800 per person/per week
- 4 Star = $1000 per person/per week
- 5 Star = $1300 per person/per week
How to book All-Inclusive Vacations:
The main providers of All-Inclusive vacations in Canada are:
Air Transit, Sunwing, Air Canada Vacations, WestJet Vacations.
Too book you can visit the sites of each provider one at a time, or you can use a site like SellOffVacations, iTravel2000 or RedTag to search all the available vacations at once.
Travelling for Canadians has never been cheaper or easier! Despite our Canadian dollar not quite being as high as our neighbour to the south, there are more budget providers than ever.
Of course the above list doesn’t include EVERY affordable destination for Canadians, so I would LOVE to hear: