Sponsored by KAYAK

My husband is the planner when it comes to, well, anything. He can spend weeks researching a car, cycling gizmos, or the newest in digital gadgetry. He also does the same for our vacations, meticulously researching logistics, the cheapest flights, hotels, and things to do. Me? I get to enjoy vacations relatively stress-free (unless you count running after our toddler). But what if there was a way to find all the information you need to choose when and where to go on your summer vacation in one convenient place? KAYAK sponsored me to check out their newly released 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide, and I discovered that their guide provides just that — all the info you need to choose and book your next destination get-away.

Stress-Free Trip Planning With the KAYAK 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide

KAYAK 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide — What it is and how it works

Basically, KAYAK looked within their one billion annual searches and analyzed the results to find popular and trending summer destinations, median airline costs, hotel costs, etc. They also researched average temperature and rainfall information (who wants to go to the Bahamas during hurricane season?). If you’re looking for a summer getaway, they have guides for Top 10 Trending Summer Destinations and Top 10 European Summer Destinations. For those who find the summer heat and humidity too much, they have also put together a guide for the Top 10 Trending Winter in Summer Destinations, which includes places with more moderate temperatures. If the low Canadian dollar has you focused on weekend getaways, you’ll want to take advantage of your summer Fridays and check out the Top 10 Summer Friday Destinations.

KAYAK – Saving you money

Let’s face it, in Canada we’re all feeling the pinch these days, but who wants to give up their vacation? Not me! The plunging dollar means that many Canadians are looking to vacation within our own country. It’s alluring our American neighbours in the south to vacation in Canada as well. I am proud to say that three Canadian cities made it into KAYAK’s Top 10 Summer Destinations 2016 Hacker Guide: Calgary (#4), Montreal (#6), and Toronto (#10).

Let’s walk through how to use the 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide. First, click on the guide you want to explore and then choose a destination. Let’s use Toronto as example. I can now see the median cost of airfare from the US and Canada as well as the median hotel costs charted by month. Below that is the average temperature and precipitation. If you want lower airfare costs and don’t like it too hot, you should travel in September; however, you need to be prepared to pay higher hotel rates at that time. If you’re vacationing in Toronto and it’s local enough to travel by car, then hotel rates and weather might drive your decision on when to go. Another great feature is that the tool gives you data on the most cost-effective time to book your airfare and hotel. While waiting for the illusive last-minute travel deal, you might actually end up paying more or miss out on a seat or hotel room altogether, but if you book too far in advance you could also pay top dollar. All of the information you need on where to travel and the optimal time to go in terms of cost is at your fingertips. Each destination also has what KAYAK calls a travel hack, giving you an added tip or key information specific to that destination.

Stress-Free Trip Planning With the KAYAK 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide

Some of the data provided for Toronto

Using these tools in tandem to book the most cost-effective trip for your summer getaway may help you save significantly on your vacation, which means more money for shopping and souvenirs, or even to splurge on your next vacation.

Real life

Truth be told, I’m not usually a data person, but I found the KAYAK 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide easy to use. The information was laid out well and was easy to understand, and I like some of the travel hacks provided. I also like the site was based on real, hard data and wasn’t just someone’s arbitrary opinion. One thing I did find missing from within each specific guide was car rental and public transit costs for each destination. I’ll definitely be sharing this guide with my husband so he can plan our next trip relatively stress-free. Who knows? Maybe I’ll plan our next trip—it’d probably be easier than chasing a toddler!