Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia snowbirds fly south despite low Canadian dollar

Travellers and travel agents say snowbirds are flying south this winter despite a low Canadian dollar.

'People just want to get away,' travel agent Karla Hatfield says

Travel agent Shelly Monroe says her clients are planning trips to the U.S. despite a low Canadian dollar. (CBC)

Travellers and travel agents say snowbirds are flying south this winter despite a low Canadian dollar.

The Canadian dollar is current worth about 71 cents US right now — the lowest since 2003

But a senior travel consultant with Maritime Travel says people planning to head south won't let the exchange rate slow them down.

"They're still going," Karla Hatfield said Thursday.

"It's funny — people are always able to find the extra money if that's really what they want." 

Another travel agent says no clients have cancelled plans for a destination wedding, cruise or even March Break in Disneyland.

"They're changing and tweaking their plans a little bit to try to bring the costs down, grumbling about the dollar being so low, but they're still going ahead with their vacation plans," said Shelly Monroe of Sweet Escapes Travel in West Porters Lake, N.S.

The Powers say they're considering driving to Florida this year to save money. (CBC)

'Because of last winter'

Two travellers in Herring Cove, N.S., look at it the same way. They say it's easy to find an excuse to spend the extra money.

"Because of last winter, that would be one reason," Diane Power said.

Power and her husband plan on being in Florida next month — no matter what the dollar looks like.

"At some point, it might make us go to a different country rather than the U.S.," Bob Power said.

The couple also says they may drive to Florida this year to save a little money on renting a car. But they say the dollar will have to dip a lot lower than 71 cents before they give up a snowbird life style.

Hatfield says the cost of a travel package to Mexico has jumped around $400 in one year. (CBC)

Prices are up everywhere

Travel everywhere is more expensive this year, Hatfield says. She's seen packages to Mexico that cost $1,100 last year now being sold for around $1,500.

Regardless, she says more people than ever, it seems, are travelling, especially once they're bitten by the travel bug.

"They do it once and they're back next year, as well," Hatfield said.

"They get now what everyone is saying and doing ... People just want to get away."

About the Author

Preston Mulligan has been a reporter in the Maritimes for more than 20 years. Along with his reporting gig, he also hosts CBC Radio's Sunday phone-in show, Maritime Connection.


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