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Why 2024 is the Year to Book a Summer Trip to Canada

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Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

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Travelers don't give Canada enough credit. With everything to see and do just north of the border, how easy it is to get there, the strength of the U.S. dollar, and how cheap flights to Canada have gotten recently, it's time to set your sights on a trip north – especially this year.

Why? Because flight prices to Canada keep dropping to levels as cheap as we've seen – and the cheapest fares are during June, July, and August in many cases. We're talking about peak summer fares to Banff National Park, Vancouver Island, or the Canadian Rockies for around $300 roundtrip or less, nonstop flights to Montréal (YUL) from $196 roundtrip during the Formula 1 race or the total solar eclipse; and more!

Why is Canada so cheap lately? Airlines have been ramping up flights between the U.S. and Canada (especially Western Canada) over the past two years, including WestJet's recent massive expansion into many markets all across the U.S. Ongoing competition from other carriers like Air Canada, American, Delta, United, and a ton of low-cost carriers like Sun Country, Swoop, and others drives down prices for you and me.

But most importantly, data shows that travel demand to Canada has stagnated, leaving airlines with some empty seats to fill this summer and beyond. And the easiest way to do that is to cut prices even more.

I'm not talking about off-season or shoulder season travel here, either. Usually, you have to aim for the edges of peak season to find great flight deals – but not this year. In 2024, you can fly to Banff, the Okanagan, or Quebec in during the popular summer months from many cities. It's an unprecedented trend that you should not ignore.


Cheap Flights to British Columbia: Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler & More

The landscape of British Columbia is jaw-dropping. Its largest city, Vancouver (YVR), is possibly the most beautiful city on the continent. Nestled between the mossy, coastal mountains and the sea, the Sea-to-Sky region of British Columbia needs to be seen.

Our Thrifty Traveler Premium members have had plenty of opportunities to see it for less…


Vancouver flight deal


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Vancouver is a perfect starting point to plan a Canadian vacation. For one, the city of Vancouver is a week's worth of fun all by itself. Spend the day in the city's Gastown neighborhood to find the best contemporary cuisine in a historic neighborhood. Or rent a bicycle and take a lap around the city's famed Stanley Park, which is, for my money, the best urban park in the world.

Want to get out of the city? Consider a day trip up to Whistler, just a 90-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. It's a world-class ski destination if you want to hit the slopes but don't sleep on Whistler as a summertime destination, either. The town's mountain biking and hiking scene makes it a vibrant place all year round.


Ikon vs Epic ski pass guide


As you can see, getting yourself up to Vancouver doesn't have to be expensive, either.


Vancouver flight deal


The coast of British Columbia is chock-full of activities all year round. And one hidden gem region on the Pacific Coast has also been inexpensive lately: Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


Victoria, British Columbia


Vancouver Island doesn't pop into the minds of most U.S. travelers, but I suspect that could change soon. For one, flight prices to the island's major city, Victoria (YYJ), are as cheap as they've ever been lately. Fares that are typically $600 or more have dropped to less than half the cost recently.


Victoria BC flight deal


But beyond the flight prices, Vancouver Island is an adventurer's dream come true. It features mossy landscapes, dense, Pacific Northwest forests, and maritime vibes that make for a dream hiking trip. Plus, it's chock full of coastal Airbnbs and adorable seaside towns, and its remote location means you won't find crowds here, either.

If you've ever wondered what lies between Banff to the east and Vancouver to the west in British Columbia, the answer is the Okanagan Valley. And while the Okanagan isn't typically top of mind, it probably should be at these prices.


Kamloops and Kelowna flight deal information


This flight deal to Kamloops (YKA) or Kelowna (YLW) in British Columbia would put you right in the Okanagan Valley in peak summer with just one stop from all of the following cities. Yet again, these are fares that were twice the price or more just a few years ago.


Kelowna airfare


Booking a hiking, mountain biking, ATV, or ranching trip to this quiet expanse of lush mountains in the interior of British Columbia is a dream trip for someone looking to truly escape.


Cheap Flights to the Canadian Rockies & Banff

Calgary might not move the needle for many travelers, but Calgary's airport (YYC) is a gateway to some of the most beautiful places in North America.

The single most popular reason to head for Calgary is to get to the Canadian Rockies. Banff is a special place, with some of the most serene, beautiful mountains around. Spring for a night or two at the idyllic Fairmont Banff Springs – or at least visit the classic property.


Fairmont Banff Springs


Banff doesn't have to be as expensive as the Banff Springs Hotel, though. Families can navigate the Banff area on a budget. You also have to head down the highway to discover Lake Louise, another one-of-a-kind destination with an epic Fairmont hotel: The Chateau Lake Louise.

The rates on many flights to Alberta have also been absurdly low, including peak summer availability to Calgary (YYC) in June from cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis among others.


Banff peak summer flight deal


Sub-$400 deals to Calgary used to feature a dozen or maybe 20 total cities. Now, airlines are slashing fares to Calgary from all over and fares under $299 are more the norm! Again, this isn't for travel in the off-season. Many of these fares are for June or August travel.


Banff Lake Louise flight deal


Edmonton (YEG) doesn't pop up on many travelers' lists either, but as a side door into the pristine Jasper National Park, Edmonton might be one of the best ways to grab a cheap fare there for less.


Edmonton flight deal


This flight deal to Edmonton featured a handful of nonstop routes from that travelers could use to get closer to the mountains while avoiding throngs of people and dense crowds. The 4-hour straight shot from YEG to the park's gates is made easier by this list of nonstop fares to get there.


Edmonton nonstop flight deal


Here's the best way to do this trip: Book one of these flights to Edmonton, rent a car and make the drive across the plains over to Jasper National Park. Soak in all that Jasper has to offer, and then turn south on the famed Icefields Parkway to take in the glaciers and vistas along the slow drive down to Banff. Then you fly out of Calgary (YYC) to finish your trip.

And how much more is that multi-city flight going to cost you than just the regular roundtrip? Not much!


Jasper/Banff combo trip airfare


Multi-city flights (a.k.a. open-jaw itineraries) let you see two cities or regions all in one trip. And if you fly WestJet in and out of the Canadian Rockies, you can take advantage of fares just like this one.


Cheap Flights to Montréal

Montréal is a little slice of Europe right here in North America. The French-speaking city is proud of its heritage and looks more like a city you'd find in France than Canada. Old Montréal is a must-see with the Rue Saint Paul and the Basilica being two of the highlights. Sports fans are in luck: The Montréal Canadiens are the winningest franchise in NHL history and the team has an in-stadium atmosphere that remains unbeaten.

But 2024 might be the best year to visit Montréal ever thanks to two major world events. The Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix comes to the city each June and will once again take over from June 7-9. But a few months before that, the total solar eclipse will make its way across North America, including Montréal on the afternoon of April 8. It's one of the biggest metro areas on earth that will experience the path of totality, and the city expects to host throngs of people hoping to experience the phenomenon.

Read Next: How to Plan Your 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Trip




But what am I missing? Oh yeah … cheap flights!


Montreal flight deal


Our latest Montréal flight deal included availability during both the eclipse and the Formula 1 race weekend in 2024, not to mention some other summer months, too! Montréal is an underrated international gateway itself. It has a big network of nonstop flights in and out of the United States, too.


YUL flight deal info


Montréal might just be the center of North America in 2024, and you can't afford to miss it with these low, low airfares.


Bottom Line

If Canada is on your list, 2024 is the year to cross it off. And if it isn't on your list, it should be now.

Thanks to an increase in flights to Canada – and especially Western Canada – airfare to Canada is as cheap as we've ever seen it for 2024, including during the peak summer months. From the natural wonders of Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper National Park, to the total eclipse and Formula 1 race in Montréal, travelers with Canadian dreams should get to booking.


1 Responses

  • The author rightly concentrates of the airfare deals to Canada but apart from the magnificent scenery and wonderful cities to explore, a major selling point is how relatively inexpensive Canada is overall for US residents. Today (Aug 16th) the Canadian dollar costs only 74 cents US. Restaurants hotels and car rentals have similar dollar prices to US cities but your are effectively paying less than 75%. Credit cards can be used everywhere. You don’t even have to touch our colourful plastic money. Just make sure you use a card with no “foreign” exchange fee. Escape the heat and enjoy Canada!

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