Should You Stay Or Should You Go?


Whether it’s dancing to steel drums and bongos in a feathered headpiece or pounding back your favourite lager with a side of sausage, we’ve all got a favourite holiday.

And while many cultural holidays that Canadians like to participate in originate in other countries, celebrating overseas can be pricey. So, the experts at are helping Canadian travellers get the most bang for their buck by breaking down the most popular holidays based on costs and activities to determine whether it’s worth making the trek abroad.

“Celebrating milestones or festivals abroad can be such an exciting and unique experience,” said Taylor L. Cole of “Many of the largest Canadian festivals have sister events in other countries so we’ve outlined the costs to help you budget your travel or staycation dollars.”

  • Halloween (NYC – Village Halloween Parade): Oct. 31, Average hotel price: $267. Local Alternative: Canada’s capital, Ottawa, where a visit to the Bytown Museum, considered one of the most haunted places in Canada, is a must. The museum offers haunted walks throughout the Halloween season. Brave travellers can spend the night in the Ottawa Jail Hostel, another haunted attraction, which previously housed many past criminals, including those on death row. Average hotel price in Ottawa: $149.
  • New Year’s Eve (Sydney, Australia): Dec. 31. Average hotel price: $191. Local Alternative: Niagara Falls: Bigger isn’t always better, but in this case it just might be. It might not be first celebration in the world, but Canada’s biggest New Year’s Eve party is family friendly and takes place around the impressive falls. The most popular NYE broadcast in the country; it includes a massive fireworks celebration and musical performances from Demi Lovato and Serena Ryder. Average hotel price in Niagara: $145.
  • Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany): Sept. 19 – Oct. 4, 2015. Average hotel price: $189. Local Alternative: Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has been held in Southwestern Ontario for more than 40 years and has grown from a small gathering to become the largest Bavarian festival in North America. Taking place over nine days through the fall, guests can enjoy beer, sausage and many German-inspired festivities. Average hotel price in Kitchener: $122.
  • World Pride (Madrid, Spain): Summer 2017. Average hotel price: $144. Local Alternative: Pride Toronto. Taking place from June 19-28, 2015, the annual Canadian celebration is one of the biggest in the world, attracting more than 1.2 million attendees from Toronto and beyond and includes multiple parades and marches in support of various LGBTQ groups. Average hotel price in Toronto: $152.
  • St. Patrick’s Day (Dublin, Ireland): March 17, 2015. Average hotel price: $159. Local Alternative: Montreal is home to the longest-standing parade in Canada, having started in 1824 and here the festivities last more than one day. Ste. Catherine Street gets taken over with more than 600,000 participants taking in the live entertainment, traditional breakfasts, pubs and parade. Average hotel price $168.
  • Carnival (Trinidad & Tobago): Feb. 16-17, 2015. Average hotel price: $210. Local Alternative: Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto (formerly Caribana). Taking place in July through August 2015, it’s a three-week celebration of all things Caribbean, including cuisine, music, visual and performing arts. With more than 40 years of history in the city, it has become a popular international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. Average hotel price in Toronto: $152.

So, for all those Canadians who didn’t realize how much there was to do on home turf, and how much less expensive it is, time to start planning your trip now.