December 29, 2015 7:45 pm
Updated: December 29, 2015 8:28 pm

Low Canadian dollar changing travel plans

File photo of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

Sean Leslie/Global News

WINNIPEG — The low Canadian dollar is making it expensive to find relief from the cold temperatures by heading south.

The exchange rate is driving up prices for beach vacations, particularly in US cities and other countries that use US currency.

“People are very aware and they’re paying attention to it and they’re changing their plans,” said Philip Houde, general manager and owner of River East Travel.

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It’s causing people to either cancel their travel plans for this year or alter the way trips, either shortening them or planning to spend less.

As of Tuesday, 500 US dollars cost over 690 Canadian dollars.

“It’s about 30 per cent more, yeah it kind of sucks but what are you going to do?” said Gary Griffith, whose family of five is headed to Florida.

“You’ve got it planned and you’re kind of paying as you go, that’s the way it is,” he continued.

However, travel companies are taking notice and offering deals specifically aimed at Canadians to counter some of the sticker shock prospective travelers may be feeling.

“The cruise lines for example have come up with programs for Canadian residents, 25 per cent off only to Canadians, trying to make it more palatable so the dollar isn’t having as big an impact on them,” said Houde.

Others say there are still opportunities to find good vacation deals, “Book and then fly within a week or two you’re probably going to get a pretty good deal but the last minute booking isn’t for everybody so the other advice we give is book as early possible so you can be a little bit more immune to the fluctuations of the dollar,” said Liz Kulyk with CAA Manitoba.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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