Travel

Leftover vacation time! Where to go in March?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 6th, 2018 10:25 am
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2003
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Leftover vacation time! Where to go in March?

Somehow I ended up with a surplus of extra vacation time that I'm obliged to use before the end of March.

It seems to me that there's not much I can do on such short notice that's still vaguely affordable. Are there any particular options I should consider?
27 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
Look at Air Canada or WestJet Websites, for their vacation pkgs... they have “weekly deals” that sell off spots that have gone unsold.
It is a pkg deal so includes airfare.

When you try to book with little lead-time it’s the airfare that catches travellers up otherwise.
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Jan 31, 2013
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Red Deer, AB
Nicaragua! We're here now and I'm actually surprised how many Canadians we've come across. It has everything Costa Rica has, plus more culture (colonial cities) . Plus, it's way cheaper here than in CR.
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May 14, 2009
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I'd just head over to Skyscanner, punch in your origin and use the month of March as dates and see what comes up. Maybe let a good airfare deal inspire you?
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Oct 18, 2014
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HK
How many days left?
What is your actual budget? Don't say the lower the better.

Once you answer the above, we can give you helpful ideas.
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2003
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Somewhere between five and seven days.

I honestly don't know how much I'd like to spend. If I found it easy to spend money on these things, I probably would have used the vacation time earlier. I suppose I wouldn't mind spending more if it was worth it, but it's so difficult to determine value, you know?

I took a short trip down to Boston two years ago and didn't enjoy myself very much because I spent so much time worrying about finding safe and affordable accommodations. (All the hotels were booked solid and I wound up sharing a room with four strangers who fortunately did not try to stab me in my sleep.) I'd like to avoid having that happen again. I've had some pretty awful experiences with couchsurfing and AirBnB in the past, too.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Jorpho wrote: Somewhere between five and seven days.

I honestly don't know how much I'd like to spend. If I found it easy to spend money on these things, I probably would have used the vacation time earlier. I suppose I wouldn't mind spending more if it was worth it, but it's so difficult to determine value, you know?

I took a short trip down to Boston two years ago and didn't enjoy myself very much because I spent so much time worrying about finding safe and affordable accommodations. (All the hotels were booked solid and I wound up sharing a room with four strangers who fortunately did not try to stab me in my sleep.) I'd like to avoid having that happen again. I've had some pretty awful experiences with couchsurfing and AirBnB in the past, too.
Sounds like you’ve graduated from travelling like a college student to the next level...

Hostels, B&Bs, Budget Hotels / Motels

And you are more of a budget traveller than economy or deluxe

Are you looking for warmth & sunshine on your getaway... or are you quite content with a city break (like Boston was... History, Sightseeing etc)

And lastly, will you be travelling solo this time too ?
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2003
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PointsHubby wrote: And you are more of a budget traveller than economy or deluxe

Are you looking for warmth & sunshine on your getaway... or are you quite content with a city break (like Boston was... History, Sightseeing etc)

And lastly, will you be travelling solo this time too ?
All very useful questions. I know I'm probably not inclined to splurge on anything more than economy airfare.

I like not feeling pressured to try to make the most of my time on my own. I'll probably go on a nice guided group tour later this year – and on that note, I suppose now is probably not the time to splurge on anything too exotic.

And yes, traveling alone.
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Oct 18, 2014
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Have you been out west (Vancouver, Banff) or east (Halifax) ?
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Dec 27, 2009
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I would just be happy to take the days off and have a staycation. Your problem is a good one to have. I hardly get any time off.
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Visit Toronto.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2003
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Chickinvic wrote: I would just be happy to take the days off and have a staycation. Your problem is a good one to have. I hardly get any time off.
I probably will do that. I suppose I was just hoping there was some low-stress travel option I hadn't thought of – but I guess if such options exist, they're probably not something you can find on short notice. Clearly I should be more diligent about taking time off in the future.

Is there something in particular to do in Vancouver, Banff, Halifax, or Toronto in the middle of March?
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
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The major part of the problem is the fact it's use-or-lose by end of March... so you're right in peak season (March Break et al) so airfares/hotels won't be cheap if you pick the usual suspects (yeah, anywhere sunny).

So you need to think out of the box. Forget sun and think "interesting" instead. Since you're in Ottawa, why not just drive down to New York City, easy trip south and not too long? Then you're not dealing with airfares and car rentals (but you'll likely use public transit a lot, so to cut costs you can stay up north, on Long Island, or in New Jersey, leave your car in the hotel lot, and take trains into Manhattan).

If you can't find something to do in NYC then the problem is looking at you in the mirror :-)

I'd suggest Chicago as an alternate but that is a much longer drive (or you can fly it).
[OP]
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I was thinking NYC could be interesting, but there aren't really any safe, affordable accommodations there, are there? I was fortunate there once with AirBnB in the past, but I wouldn't want to chance it again.

(Also, I would be taking the bus or the train.)
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Oct 25, 2009
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Mexico City. Hotels there are $30 a night (although you can easily spend more if you want to). Historical Mexico and museums are concentrated in one area. Mayan ruins and the charming city of Puebla are out of town. Flights from Montreal are fairly cheap. Spirit can also get you there via FLL from a middle of the night flight from Plattsburgh. Unfortunately it is the to airport up in the hills of the western suburb of Toluca.



The Greyhound bus to Boston from Montreal stops at the Burlington Vermont airport. They have direct flights to many hubs including DC and Atlanta.

If you have a car, Massena has direct flights to Baltimore on Boutique Airline’s 9 seat planes (the first 2 seats are quite cheap). Youth hostels and Motel 6 are ways to keep a solo trip affordable.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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Oct 25, 2009
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Jorpho wrote: I was thinking NYC could be interesting
You don’t go to New York City from Ottawa to burn vacation time, you go there to burn a weekend. How old are you? Under 35 I’d stay at the youth hostel. The overnight Greyhound to NYC from Montreal is quite convenient, as is their 24 hour subway. A trick is to briefly visit NYC on your way somewhere else. Flying back to Canada from the USA is usually cheaper. Note that finding luggage storage in New York can be difficult.

5 days without a car you could easily visit NYC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and DC. Stay in youth hostels. You will need a return ticket to Canada to get through US customs (get a DC to Ottawa flight).

With a car go to Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach via Delaware for the bridge-Tunnel. Then onto the Outer Banks. Then make your way to New Orleans. Wish you’d gone there first. Call in sick because you over did it, and head back. Plan to say at Motel 6 (but know where they are). Alternatives to New Orleans are Charleston and Savanna.

Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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Oct 25, 2009
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Even alone, you can easily visit Cuba for under $1000 at the end of March. Selloffvacations.com
http://shopping.selloffvacations.com/cg ... axin=taxin

The hotel in Playa Del Este (the former Tropicoco) is hardly luxurious by 2018 standards, but it is nice and solid and on a really nice beach. Bit of the middle of nowhere, but you can commute to Havana which is only a $20 cab away if you miss the free shuttle.

Mar Del Sur isn’t luxurious either, but perfectly acceptable to save money. Just look both ways before crossing the street to get to the beach. Tourist office right next door, and the bus station is nearby as well for the 2 hour journey to Havana. I liked the somewhat weird excursion to the rural area near the Bay of Pigs as it went through farm country and small towns. The half day excursion for snorkeling is also highly recommended. The bus tour to Trinidad (and Cienfuegos and Santa Clara) is a bit much for 1 day, opt for the overnight one if it is available (worth it).

You can explore the “town” of Varadero 1km to the east, or jump on the tourist bus to the north east to go on the cave trail as well as explore the more expensive but isolated hotels (that will usually bar you from beach access). On the south-western public beach area, public toilets are generally one street south of the beach.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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May 12, 2011
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I’m going to LA from March 07-12 :)
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Sharks316 wrote: I’m going to LA from March 07-12 :)
There you go OP...you can go to LA with some person who goes by the handle "SHARKS316". Sure it should be safe. LOL
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
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If you just have to fly somewhere, you can never be wrong if you choose California. Los Angeles as the above posters mention, San Diego is amazing (mentioned in several other threads; I went in late October). I've never been to the Bay Area or wine country but that's definitely in the bucket list.

This thread covers pretty much the entire state, might get some ideas:

https://forums.redflagdeals.com/your-fa ... a-2158774/

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