Saturday, December 4, 2010

Vancouver Island Cheap Getaway

We travel quite often to Vancouver Island to visit family. Last weekend Hubby was sent to Vancouver on business so we took advantage of his free airfare and made a mini-holiday out of it. I flew on Avion Points ($95 taxes only) and hubby took the ferry over ($14) to Victoria.

I always find the money spent on car rental well worth the cost as you are able to go off the beaten path and see far more than you would if you were limited to taxis, and buses. The best car rental deals are usually made with CAA discounts but this time I got a great deal using the Westjet Corporate Code (see - then look for car rentals). My mother lives in a tiny mobile senior trailer park therefore we normally get hotels when visiting, which frankly makes it more of a holiday for everyone.

Free things we did on Vancouver Island (Gotta love nature)
1. Viewed sea lions at Cowichan Bay on government pier
2. Viewed bunnies (previously domestic, now wild) on the lawn of UVIC campus
3. Walked down to Victoria's fisherman's wharf and met the resident seals
4. Picked sea glass, rocks and shells on the beach
5. Walked through the Fairmont Empress Festival of Trees
6. Viewed the Vancouver Island Christmas Parade of Lights
7. Gathered holly picked out of my Mothers yard for Christmas Crafts
8. More wildlife viewing: deer, snow geese, ducks, squirrels, birds

We also:
1. Signed up for Coast rewards prior to checking in to the hotel (free membership) and got free parking at the hotel as a member benefit ($13.50 per night savings)
2. Put expenses for meals, hotel and car rental on the credit card for more points
3. Stocked up our mini fridge with muffins, drinks, cocktails and fruit so less money would be spent on meals out.
4. Did not Christmas shop there as why would we pay HST when at home we only pay GST (Alberta)? (I forgot, Hubby reminded me :))

We had a very nice holiday.

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