Book Review: Travel Hacking for Canadians: How to Travel for Less by Steven Zussino

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Y'all know how I recently went on a Travel Hacking kick where I am addicted to amassing a large amount of Aeroplan points, so when I heard that Steve wrote a book on this subject, I was quite excited to say the least.

If you don't know who Steve Zussino is, he is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada (his wife Lina is the other co-founder), a website where they help Canadians save money by posting the latest deals and the latest coupons.  More recently, he launched a second website aptly called Canadian Travel Hacking (.com) in addition to writing this great book that I'm going to review.  He has been featured in CNN Money, Global BC, Toronto Star, Money Sense, The Globe and Mail, and BC CTV News.  Basically he's super famous, all I have gotten is a quote in a Shoppers Drug Mart Glow Magazine 😉

Steve was kind enough to offer a giveaway to youngandthrifty readers for his new book as well!  It will be a PDF version so the lucky winner gets to enjoy this book anywhere!

Without further delay, here is the review of his book (disclosure: Steve kindly gave me a copy of the book so I could review it!)

PROS:

  • Travel Hacking For CanadiansI really like the colour of the book, it's very sharp and eye catching.  Definitely reflects the personalities of those who enjoy travel hacking- adventurous, frugal, and passionate
  • The book is divided into sections – Air, Accommodation, Transportation, Cruises- so you can pick what you like and focus on it.  Personally I focused more on the Air aspect of it as I usually stay in hostels for accommodation anyway
  • The pictures and graphs were very easy to visualize, everything was step by step and clearly defined.
  • For example, he explained the Distinction program of the Aeroplan program very well and included pictures to help me understand it more
  • Very detailed information with regards to the Canadian Frequent Flyer Programs and the credit cards available to help you achieve your points goals
  • In addition, throughout the book there is a Tools area at the end of each chapter with hyperlinks (if you are using the computer version of course) to sites that might be of interest
  • I also liked how he gave personal examples of where he has applied the stuff that he talks about in the book- it makes it seem much more achievable and realistic, given that he has obtained that price in the past before

CONS:

  • Like I said earlier you take what you like out of it, for example, I wasn't super interested in the cruising section though when I read it, it did spark my interest in trying a cruise for the first time with a huge discount.
  • The Priceline and Hotwire strategies were not completely helpful for me as I haven't stayed using Priceline or Hotwire for a long time.
  • Other than that, there aren't really any cons- the headings are nice, the font is large enough, the writing is pretty good.

VERDICT:

I definitely think that if you are remotely interested in saving money while you are traveling, or traveling on points, getting this book is a great idea to orientate you to the idea of how to maximize your traveling savings, so you have more time to spend on other things.  He talks about Aeroplan points, Air Miles, and a plethora of other things and points programs that would help you out and help you accumulate points fatster.

Let me tell you, after your first trip with minimal costs coming out of your own travel budget, you will be hooked on the initial few sessions of therapy and you will never want to go back!

Related: Travel Hack your Way to Budget Trips out of Canada

So in summary, get this book, it will give you a great head start to travel hacking your way out of your Canadian city for super cheap.  When you go on your first hostel  trip, you will continue calling hopefully!

Readers, have you read Canadian Travel Hacking?  If not, what do you think of the idea of travel hacking? Comment below with your favorite travel hack for a chance to win a copy of the book!  

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

9 Comments

  1. Matt H on June 26, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I actually do a bit of travel having myself, credit card churn and price line and hotwire.

    Personally in a huge fan of price line. Many deals can be had by studying the destination you want to go to and figuring out the star ratings, then making incremental bids selecting a new area that does not include the star rating you wish to stay at.

    Best deal I’ve had was paying $45 for a room for 2 nights in Pittsburgh at the Hilton I believe.



  2. CNJ on June 26, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’ve booked flights through Aeroplan, Air Miles and I’ve booked hotels through Hotwire. This is the full extent of my “travel hacking” knowledge. I’d love to learn more – especially because travelling overseas as a family of three this past spring was ridiculously costly – and now we’re having baby #2 so it’ll soon be travel for four.

    Yikes.



  3. A.N Rajah on June 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I love to travel cheap by using points or discount coupons

    I refer friends and family for American express gold card or Starwood card and earn points. The Amex membership rewards from gold care can be transferred to Avios points(British airways). I was able to travel to Miami for less than $60.00 last winter and also used Starwood points for free hotel stay.

    I am planning my next trip to Asia next year.

    I love to read the book to learn more tips.



  4. Valerie on June 26, 2014 at 9:59 am

    So far my favourite travel hack was signing up for an aeroplan credit card that waives the first year fee and gives you a big sign-up bonus. This has allowed me to reach distinction status… but I’m still a little clueless on how to optimally redeem my aeroplan points. So I would love to read this book and learn how!



  5. Mike on June 26, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I have read the Canadian Travel Hacking website but not the book yet. My favourite travel hack is that as Costco Executive member I take advantage of their car rental program with Avis and Budget. I did a lot of online cost comparison last year and found the rates through the Costco website were superior. Just one of the perks of membership. On my drive home from the States I filled up the rental at a Costco (another travel hack) as the gas at Costco is always much cheaper.



  6. Tefffany @ Gen Y Finances on June 28, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I never had used travel hacking yet. I think it is very useful since through travel hacking you can save. If ever I travel soon, I am planning to do travel hacking. 🙂



  7. Young on June 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    @Mike- cool good to know!



  8. Alan Harder on July 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for the post. Just curious, fo you find the air rewards credit cards to be worthwhile? A while ago I saw a comparison chart, and at the time the (no fee) cash back credit cards had the highest monetary value.

    When I was travelling around Europe, I found ‘daily deals’ sites to be a fantastic resource. In Germany I bought two Groupons, one to drive a Porsche 911 around the N



  9. Young on July 6, 2014 at 1:27 am

    @Alan- groupons are a great idea! I find them to be similar. Right now I am using the aeroplan, but some cash back credit cards are really good too.



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