Tag Archives: expensive

Where You Book Your Vacation From Matters

On a recent vacation search, one of our employees have decided to go down to Riviera Maya for a much needed rest. After searching through multiple reviews on Tripadvisor, he has came upon a wonderful resort of Grand Palladium in Riviera Maya.

Problem started when he started booking it, he got a price different from his wife’s travelling in England at that time even though both of them looked at the same hotel , same room , same dates.

A Big Difference

The difference was over $300 Canadian for each room. Because they were travelling with another couple and 2 kids, the savings went into over $1,000 difference for all them. So it does matter where you book from.

Booking Grand Colonial from Berkshire, England

Booking Grand Colonial from Toronto, Canada

 

A Travel Bug?

MustangJoe / Pixabay

We wondered if this was an error and went asking different people whether they had the same issue – Jason (last name redacted as per request) from Saskatchewan wrote to us in an email with a similar issue:

“Yeah.. I booked once from France, and then again a week later from London (cancelling the first booking as my dates were wrong). The total came out about the same. 2 weeks for like $4500 USD I think it was, for 4 of us. A travel agent here in Saskatoon was getting a price over $7000 CAD, or about $6100 USD, which is the price I got when I VPN’s through my home office in Saskatoon. Exact save everything – $4500 USD when going to their site from Europe vs $6100 USD when visiting from Canada.

The reason I cancelled and rebooked to change the dates was that I had free cancellation, and on contacting their reservations team to change the dates, they said they could only do it by changing the rate back to what I was quoted when visiting their site from Canada. This just to shift our days by one. So I went and cancelled and rebooked. Nothing was said when we checked it in. $1600 USD is a large difference. If anything, I thought it would be cheaper from Canada where our dollar for income takes us less far on an international basis.”

Not just Hotels – Airlines Also

dariolafelicia / Pixabay

If you are booking a flight, it is always advantageous to book from inside the country where you are flying to. It works when you are booking domestic flight in that country specifically vs outside.

Below quote and price comparison is taken from:  http://maphappy.org/

Take a look when we search of a flight to Ho Chi Minh City from Hong Kong. The normal pricing for this route is around $300, give or take. Frustratingly, I kept landing on the Hong Kong version of the United website, with price estimations at over $700 after figuring in the exchange rate. This was definitely more than what I wanted to pay, so I jumped on to the U.S. version of the site. Things got a little more affordable: the price dropped down to below $300. Sometimes the price difference isn’t this dramatic; sometimes you just end up saving a few dollars here or there. To test how prices differ, I ran a search for the exact route just now testing the French, British and American versions of the website, using the same dates. The small differences are palpable:

Lesson learned, where you book from can end up saving you and your family thousands of dollars. Beware!

Uber Charges Toronto Rider $18k for 20 Min Ride

Uber Users – make sure you double check your Uber receipt emails from now on. You might have $18k to pay if you are not careful.

As you probably know, Uber and Lyft (which recently launched in Toronto – yey!) use surge pricing when demand spikes up for the rides, and that ride that usually costs you $15 can end up being $50 if you are not careful. But $18,000? That’s what happened to a Toronto user this week.

Life-Of-Pix / Pixabay

The ride itself was a 5 km ride that took about 20 min to complete, the bill that came was for $18,518.

When Uber when initially contacted, they said that the price was right and they are sticking with it. The story went viral as you can imagine.

The Uber said that the fare was correct when using pick up and drop off location:

A bit later – retracting from its initial comment, Uber released the following statement saying that it was a mistake on company part and they are looking to see what and how it could have happened like that.

There was an error here and it has been resolved. We have provided a full refund to this rider and apologized to him for this experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred.

So just in case, double check your Uber bills to make sure you do not have any $18k+ bills for your recent Uber rides.

Vancouver To Target AirBnb, $1k Fine if Unlicensed

To combat shortage of rentals in the city, Vancouver passed a by law limiting short term rentals.

This ban does not affect individuals renting out their own place / principal residence, but affects businesses or individuals who own or rent our more than one property.

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Vancouver’s real estate prices have been through the roof, and is now known as most un-affordable place to live in the world when it comes to purchasing real estate. On top of that, long term rental have extremely low vacancy as most of them are listed as short term.

Vancouver City Officials hope this by-law will free up some long term rental vacancy but they had no studies done / no hard evidence that this will fix the problem.

AirBnb says that this is unaffair and that it might be taking the city to court.

“We really think it’s going too far,”

– Ms. Dagg, the public policy manager for Airbnb in Canada, said from Toronto

Vancouver by law will require $49 annual registration fee and the owner to be principal resident to be able to rent out his or her own place. The fine for non compliance? A steep $1,000 penalty.

Vancouver said that they will police AirBnb website to find and fine illegal listings.

Viateur / Pixabay

Vancouver house prices soared in the last 10 or so years and average house price is now over $1 million dollars.

Ms. Dagg is pushing Airbnb in British Columbia to collect lodging tax like they do right now in Quebec, where 3.5% from each rental is collected and can be used by the government as they please. Maybe building more subsidized / public housing with that money instead of banning it outright?