I love research.

I was that kid in high school who would research universities and compile reports for my parents. I think that I still have the reports which include such gems as “Cegep (Vanier): Russian and German double major, Undergrad (Concordia): Film Studies, Law school (McGill).” and “Studying Political Science in Ottawa is essential — why study poli sci in a city other than our capital? I can visit Parliament all the time.”

Needless to say, whenever I decide to travel, I research, research, research until I find what I decide to be the best deal. This is how I went to Cuba for a few hundred dollars and how I spent $2000 on a two week trip to Europe. Research = awesomesauce.

Part of my research is signing up for those daily/weekly travel deal emails. Sometimes they have ok deals (see, my trip to the Dominican in February) and sometimes they’re questionable. Let’s look at last week:

Dominican Republic

$700, taxes in for a week? Not bad… Except that it’s next to the airport and the Dominican is beautiful but sort of “meh” overall

Ah Cuba, how I love you! But over $800 (and no departure from Montreal, wtf?) — even if the hotel is brand new and has a butler service — is too much for me

January 22nd departure? Sure, your kids don’t need to go to school — take them to Disney!

Uh, wtf? I can fly to Morocco for $1000, taxes in (cheaper if I flew to France and bussed over) and Morocco is a developing country. If I can get through western Europe at peak holiday season for about $100 a day, I’m 200% certain that I can do a week in Morocco for less than $2300. Do you know how much $2300 is?

(I may be biased because I see travel as an adventure. Why would I ever spend $2300 to have a tour guide hold my hand throughout Morocco and panic when I get “lost”? Travel is about getting lost, it’s about finding an off-the-beaten track restaurant. Some people, however, prefer the safety of a tour guide.)

Next time you decide to take a trip, research, research, research and stay away from those email “deals”!


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