Wednesday, August 9, 2017

French Canada on a Budget

I wanted to do one last share from our trip to French Canada...our Budget. Because visiting chateaus and eating gourmet meals is the kind of thing a girl could get used too, within reason of course. 

Travel Date: July 2017 
Travelers: 2 people + 1 dog 
Duration: 3 days // 2 nights 

For simplicity, all the costs below have been converted to USD. The exchange rate during our visit was around 1USD = 1.33CAN

Transportation $102
With Husband living in Boston, it was perfectly manageable for us to simply drive to Canada. The six hour ride wasn't the shortest, but we had the time to do it and it saved us from spending hundreds on flights. Gas is a bit cheaper in the U.S. than Canada right now, so we tried to fuel up on the American side as much as possible. 
We spent about $100 on gas to travel 900 miles. One cost that's not included here are tolls for the Turnpike when driving through the Northeast. We have an EZ-Pass and I'm far to lazy to go check that, so those tolls are excluded from this total.

Accommodations $0 
Normally Tom and I stay in whatever inexpensive hotel we can find on the outskirts of town. We were all prepared to stay 20 minutes outside of Quebec City for $80/night until we decided to take the pup along with us.
 And it seems that only super cheap (and kind of gross) or really high end hotels are willing to accommodate dogs. We obviously went with the high end option. 

Thankfully, I found a great deal ($200/night) and I had a free night to redeem through this travel site, which left us to pay for only one night ($200) of our stay, $50 for our pup to stay, and $50 for parking (boo!) at the hotel. This was all covered with 30,000 points via a barclay travel credit card. So our original hotel cost of $500 was dropped down to $0. 

Food & Drinks $242
I'm honestly surprised that this number is so low because every meal we had was gourmet. Breakfasts always involved fancy cappuccinos and crepes. Dinners with caribou and créme brülée. Drinks every night. I rechecked our purchases several times, just to make sure that I didn't miss anything. I guess we can chalk this up the fact that the exchange rate was in our favor during our visit. 

Adventures $80
The best part of being in a historic city like Quebec is that there is so much to do for free! We found that most of our time in the city was simply spent exploring. Also, we timed this visit to line up with Canada's 150th birthday as they're celebrating by offering free admission to many attractions.
One adventure we did pay for was our visit to Montmorency Falls, which is just outside Quebec. It's Canada's tallest waterfall so we had to visit. There was a $9 entrance fee per car. Then we opted to take a tram ride for two ($21) and do tandem zip-lining ($50) alongside the falls. Worth every penny. 

Souvenirs $66
We definitely picked up a lot more souvenirs than usual during this trip, but that came as no surprise to me. When you truly love a place, you're more likely to want to take parts of it home with you. I'm responsible for most of our purchases (oops!) as I picked up a t-shirt, a pair of 100% wool gloves, and a moose antler hook that now hangs in my apartment entryway. Husband picked out a Christmas ornament for our travel tree. 

Original Total Cost $990
What We Paid $490
This wasn't the cheapest weekend, but I'm happy with our bottom line. This trip turned into a bit of a romantic getaway for us, which was so needed. And thanks to a bit of travel hacking, we paid a little less than half of the original cost.

In case you missed any posts from our trip, they're all linked below:


  1. We have yet to go to Canada and it's most definitely on our list! The hotel is a true win!! xo,Biana-BlovedBoston

    1. Oh you do if you haven't been since it's so close to us in Boston.

  2. OH just found your blog! I love this post, I am all about budget travel. :) My husband and I went to QC on our honeymoon. It was winter and it was so lovely, and yes, romantic! :) I love how many deals you were able to score on this trip, and that you had a great time. I would love to go back in another season! (& I would highly recommend it in the winter as well!) Canada is such a blast. We also did a cruise from Boston to the Maritimes and it was bliss. Just gorgeous, friendly people, amazing! I would do it again but take the longer version which goes all the way to the St. Lawrence river by QC! Also, Victoria, BC is so cute and fun! Ok, I digress about Canada. :) Great post! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    1. Oh I love that you guys did Quebec as a honeymoon and a cruise to boot! I couldn't stop saying that we should go back at Christmas and stay at the chateau because I bet it's beautiful there in the winter. And I'm headed to Victoria later this month

  3. This is amazing and looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls