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Canada’s Peter Pig’s Money Counter

NEW Canada’s Peter Pig’s Money Counter
Learning about money is fun with Peter Pig. Kids can practice identifying, counting and saving money while learning fun facts about Canadian currency with this interactive educational game.
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Creating Your Vacation Budget

Creating Your Vacation Budget

By Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

Summer vacation is right around the corner. And while some prefer to plan every detail of their travel plans, sometimes the best vacation moments are spontaneous. But unless your rich uncle is paying for the trip, you'll need to do a certain amount of budgeting. You do have a vacation budget right? If not, start with a travel calculator like the one found on Practical Money Skills for Life:

Next, try to anticipate all potential expenses and prioritize must-do activities. Consider these suggested tips when creating a vacation budget:


  • Follow and "like" ticketing sites on Facebook and Twitter. They'll often share sales, discounts and promotional codes with their followers.
  • Search for deals on flights, hotels and rental cars at comparison sites and make sure the final price matches the initial quote before confirming purchase.
  • Connecting flights are often cheaper than direct flights and can be a good cost-saver if you don't mind sacrificing your time. Include taxes and added fees for items like flight changes, extra leg room, priority boarding, Wi-Fi access, meals, and checked, oversized or overweight baggage.


  • If you plan to drive, calculate distances between destinations with an online map tool to estimate fuel costs and if you plan to rent a car, research and compare car rental mileage policies.
  • Be sure to include travel to-and-from the airport, both at home and while on vacation.
  • Research public transit and bike rental options as they can be more cost-effective than taxis.
  • Book a hotel in a central location to avoid spending budget on unnecessary transportation.
  • Use your feet! There's no better way to explore a city and you'll save money too.


  • Before reserving a hotel online, call the individual property to see if they can beat the posted rate. Also ask for member discounts for organizations you belong to like CAA.
  • Vacation rental sites may offer inexpensive accommodations with more space and amenities than a traditional hotel.
  • Hotel room rates often are based on double occupancy. Although kids usually can stay for free, many hotels charge for additional adults.
  • Consider hidden costs such as taxes and other local fees, charges for phone/internet, room service, early check-in or departure, gratuities.


  • Set aside money for meals, event admission (and ticket-ordering charges), shopping, sporting equipment rental, and special clothing requirements (sunscreen, hiking boots, etc.).

"What If" Fees

  • What if you lose your luggage or get a flat tire? "What If?" situations can happen to anyone and it's important to account for miscellaneous events to ensure you are financially prepared. Aim for an extra 10 or 15 percent for unanticipated expenses.
  • If you are flying, print and carry a copy of your airline's Conditions of Carriage, which outlines your rights and the airline's obligations should your flight be cancelled or delayed for reasons besides weather or other natural disasters.

Bottom line: A little planning now can ensure your entire budget doesn't go toward unexpected vacation expenses.

Practical Money Skills for Life, a free personal financial management program run by Visa Canada, has a handy web-based travel calculator along with a number of other milestone budgeting calculators at

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.

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