Weak Canadian dollar, recession ground trips to U.S. for some Calgarians

Some Calgary travel agents are seeing a significant downturn in the number of people jetting off to the U.S. because of the low Canadian dollar and the recession.

Business down by 40%, says Calgary travel agent

Fewer Calgarians are heading to warmer destinations in the U.S. because of the low dollar and economic downturn. (Associated Press)

Some Calgary travel agents are seeing a significant downturn in the number of people jetting off to the U.S. because of the low Canadian dollar and the recession.

Hazel Affonso, owner of Affordable Travel that has been in business for more than 30 years, is seeing a big reduction in bookings.

"I would say a good 40 per cent," she said.

While others are not seeing the same slow down yet, they are bracing for it this year.

Burakama Kazmiro prices out a trip to Phoenix to see family because he worries he won't have enough money saved with the current exchange rate. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

Still, deeply discounted flights to the U.S. are motivating some people to go anyway, even if it means doing some careful budgeting.

Burakama Kazmiro is pricing out a trip to Phoenix to see his cousin. He's been saving up and isn't sure he'll have enough given the current exchange rate hovering around 72 cents.

"Of course you know, I'm even thinking about the budget and I will have to save more to cover the expenses and all that," he said.

Meanwhile, Affonso offers some tips to travellers to save a little extra cash, including booking into accommodation with a kitchenette or staying with friends. She even suggests packing some food items, suggesting it's worth it even if you have to pay extra luggage fees.

"I'm going to be very upfront and tell you what I tell everybody, take your groceries with you," Affonso says. "I know you're going to pay for luggage ... but it's really cheaper in the long run."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.