30 MAY 2018: When your client winces about the cost of a trip, tell them some painless ways they can save money in order to spend a little more on destination. You'd be amazed on how much can be saved on money, yes, money. Avoid currency exchanges in tourist places like airports, train stations and hotels The cheapest is to make a withdrawal from a local ATM when you get there. They'll give a lower rate.

The advantage of this is that all cash withdrawals are based on a wholesale exchange rate, usually reserved for large interbank exchanges. Your client though should pay attention when making the withdrawal. Some banks charge higher fees on international transactions.

Someone was telling me about how he got a better rate of exchange on the street, only to find the money was counterfeit - worthless when he tried to use it.

A neighbour of mine was complaining about the price of air to Amsterdam this summer. Well, yeah, because it is high season. He's booked for early July, but might have saved some money by booking towards the end of summer, and if he hadn't had kids in school, into the fall.

You probably hear a lot of complaints from people wanting to book sun holidays in March, and Canadian resorts in mid-summer long weekends. They've seen all those great ads with fabulously low prices and didn't realize they weren't year-round everyday pricing.

Well, as you've probably told them they're high because that's when most people want to go. Canadian resorts after Labour Day and before fall are a great bargain.

I once visited Cape Cod in December and had a wonderful time. The Cape is packed and pricey in the summer, but it was great value for the off-season dollar. It was also unusually warm for that time of year. But, and this is a big but, if your clients choose off-season they must be prepared for bad weather. I spent six days in Queensland visiting the Great Barrier Reef - it was the coldest on record and rained five of the six days we were there. I don't have fond memories of this famous place.

Tell your clients they can start saving money by doing the little things right. Does your client have a friend or relative that can drive them to the airport and pick them up? Suggest that they start their holiday a day early and stay at an airport hotel where the parking is free.

We discovered with the new Go service from Hamilton to the airport we could save $90 each way over taking a car, and we got there at the same time and the Union Pearson Express runs frequently and is now very reasonable.

For the trip itself, invest in a small insulated bag and pack a lunch for the airport. Airport food is expensive and not always delicious. Pack another picnic for the plane and carry an empty water bottle, to fill after security.

It is more commission for you if you encourage them to book their rental car through you, with Canadian operators-they have some good deals this summer- and don't book the up-grade in advance. They'll often get an upgrade free at the counter.

I read an article recently that started "Things that are cheaper to buy at the airport." The answer was -absolutely nothing.

Because of the high rents, it is hard to find any bargains in those lovely stores.

However, that isn't quite true. The Toronto Star did an article a couple of years ago that I saved.

They suggest that "sin taxed products " like alcohol and cigarettes will be cheaper than in our stores, but may not in the destination your client is going to.

Headphones are more expensive at the airport, and electronics aren't usually the latest ones on the market.

Things like over the counter drugs, sun block, bug spray etc. are much cheaper elsewhere.

Eloy Govea Director of the Cuba Tourist Board of Canada says Cuba has a lot to offer for any budget and there are tons of ways to save money and make the most out of it.

Some Cuban All Inclusive packages can allow for savings of many hundreds of dollars compared to other destinations. That is something many Canadians take advantage of so that they can use part of that to go to the great array of attractions outside the resorts, a favourite being enjoying the fantastic culinary offers that is exploding in Cuba at the "Paladars" (private restaurants.)

The Homestays are growing quickly. AirB&B has more than 22,000 rooms and is a great option not only to save money, but also to experience the Autentica Cuba at its best.

On the other hand: VISA credit cards and Debit-Visa Cards issued by a Canadian Financial Institution are accepted in most hotels and major government managed shopping centres in Cuba.

For more details: https://www.gocuba.ca/tips/types-of-payment/

All the goods and services in Cuba are priced in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) only.

Mostly cash is used, and it's best to change currencies directly from Canadian Dollars to Cuban currency. We recommend exchanging money at the Airport after you arrive.

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Sam Ion

The expert on All Inclusives, Sam delivers up-to-date info on alternate Wednesdays in her column Not Just All Inclusives.

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