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Border Hopping to Fly

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 39
Border Hopping to Fly

Just thought I'd share a little info. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and was curious to see if there would be any price difference if I drove to Grand Forks and flew from there for my trip. Its a 2 and a half hour drive to Grand Forks. I was pleasently surprised to see that the savings are well worth the trip. On average savings were between 500-800 dollars. Cost to drive there and back would be $50 and cost for parking is $35. For example Royal Suites was $3600 from Winnipeg $2900 from Grand Forks. GBP $3000 from Winnipeg $ 2400 from Grand Forks. Secrets Capri $4200 from Winnipeg and $3600 from Grand Forks.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Family Travel
posts: 12,402
reviews: 23
1. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

Plenty of people drive from the Toronto area to Buffalo NY (90 min-2 hrs drive) to take advantage of cheaper flights........I've not done it myself, but it does sound worth looking into....

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya
posts: 16,165
reviews: 6
2. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

Sure, it's less money but you're not assigning any value to the five hours of time you're losing driving back and forth, plus whatever delays (if any) you may encounter at the border.

Personally, I'd want to be saving a darned sight more than $500 - 800 before I'd be tempted to do all that driving but hey, your money, your choice.

I'm unsure of what your options are from the Peg but another way of saving money is to take a connecting flight via the US. I've done Calgary to Cancun via Houston numerous times but only when I'm saving $400 or more. If the price differential is any less than that, I just go non-stop.

Also, look at flights that depart/arrive mid-week - they can be significantly less expensive than weekend flights.

Edited: 11:26 am, October 03, 2012
Bonnyville, Canada
posts: 596
reviews: 27
3. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

Plus dont forget about factoring in a hotel stay if your flight leaves too early or gets back too late to drive home! Plus alot of the US packages dont include transportation to/from the resort once you get there. From all I have read here and talking to US travellers, us Canadians with our great "all in" packages travel way cheaper than they do for the most part!

You are luck, we have a 3 hr drive to the airport always, so have to factor all the extra gas, hotel and parking in for every trip! Happy Travelling!

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
posts: 10,382
reviews: 29
4. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

I agree direct non-stop is best, of course....as I am getting older I am getting to be more and more willing to pay the extra and suck it up. lol

But we have driven to Calgary to save a few hundred bucks per ticket, several times....not so much lately, thankfully they finally added more international flights at our aiport.

But a border crossing, the drive (even though it's short), possibly a night or two at hotels, not being able to bring bottles home....I would pay more to avoid that...if you are willing to, then more power to you! :)

Buffalo, NY
posts: 5,898
reviews: 8
5. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

FUNNY you say that- we drive from Buffalo to Toronto generally for our trips to Mexico! Direct flights and tripcentral.ca often has the best deals over anything we can get in the states! :) No hotel stay needed- I can be from my house to the airport in 1 hour 45 minutes :)

Chilliwack, Canada
posts: 815
reviews: 8
6. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

Living in the Fraser Valley, we have around a two hour commute to Vancouver anyway, sometimes a bit more depending on traffic/hiway construction, so driving another hour or less to fly from the States is no biggie. The last few years, our options for direct flights from YVR are becoming less and less so we have driven to and flown out of Seattle a few times and it's been considerably cheaper than say connecting through Toronto to go to the Caribbean. I would MUCH rather do the usually very quick stop at the border than try to make the crazy connections along with the rechecking of bags and going through security nonsense that we have to go through at Pearson Airport. Having said that, we have to connect through TO for our upcoming trip to Holguin, Cuba next month, but we are overnighting at an airport hotel as it's worth another $100 to us to avoid the stress lol!

On the subject of direct flights, last November we took the Westjet "direct" flight from Vancouver to Cancun. Just about 30 minutes before we were to have flown over the Gulf, the pilot announced that we were making an unscheduled stop in Amarillo, Texas. It turned out that someone had smelt smoke in the rear of the cabin. We were grounded at Amarillo for 9 hours in the terminal while another plane was readied, a crew assembled and flown down to Texas from Calgaary. Our "direct" flight time was 16 hours :) :) but we were SAFE. Can't fault Westjet for making that call. We never did hear if there was an actual fire somewhere on board.

Edited: 5:12 pm, October 03, 2012
Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 39
7. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

The Grand Forks border on a thursday should be relatively slow compared to what it would be on a weekend.So I think this will be a great option for us plus it would give me 700 extra to spend away in Mexico.

Victoria, Canada
posts: 782
reviews: 148
8. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

sounds like a good option for you Jenn.

Calgary to the border is just too far for us to contemplate it.

Happy trails.

Windsor, Canada
posts: 1,789
reviews: 39
9. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

We are 35 minutes from Detroit Metro from our southern ontario town. Perfect and way better deals. Will not drive the 4 hours to Toronto anymore. I think it really depends on how close you are to the border.

Also, going out of Toronto is great if you are close enough to get some last minute deals. There have been some awesome ones lately!

Ontario Can.
posts: 2,254
10. Re: Border Hopping to Fly

RubyQ, I need to find one of those last minute deals for the 27th. LOL. Apparantly a Pirate awaits. Have a great holiday, is it this weekend you leave?

Edited: 7:37 pm, October 03, 2012