Vancouver Port - Pay in Advance or Pay at Hotel? (CAD exchange rates)

Starryjean

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Good morning, friends!

I'm hoping someone smarter than me can help me understand if it's okay to wait to pay Canadian hotels in their currency and hope the CAD hasn't fluctuated much?


Or is it better to seek out hotel rates I can pay in USD? Also a consideration, do I wait for the CAD to drop to a certain amount before paying?

I'm feeling nervous about booking hotels for our Alaskan cruise - it feels so strange to be at the whim of an exchange rate and I don't want my inexperience to cost me extra money. Thanks in advance for any advice!

(edited to add: foreign credit card fees aren't a concern - I have a credit card that doesn't charge them)
 

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
How far in the future until you go? Honestly unless there is a bunch of savings this past year has shown me to never prepay if I can avoid it.

I was that worried about exchange rates I likely would just get cash to hold not prepay hotel but I am not an expert.

Here is the last 3 years between CAD and USD: (per Wall Street Journal) [how much USD you get for 1 CAD]
582113
 
Last edited:

Marc D

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Welcome to the reality of the millions of people who travel outside their country often, like many Canadians like me do every year. The only way to know the answer to your question is to predict which way both currencies will go between now and the moment you must pay off your hotel reservation. If someone was able to do so consistently, they would be very rich.

The fluctuation of the CAD$ relative to the US$ is not seasonal. You mention waiting for it to drop, but it could just as well go up. That’s the current way it is going, as you can see in the graph posted by PP, but the CAD$ could tank if our job market does not recover fast enough or if the US numbers are better than ours. The economy and job market in Canada are big enough that they are independent from the US economy. Since I’ve been travelling to the U.S., we’ve had our dollar valued from 0.65 US$ to just over par. You can imagine the difference it makes for us, since DCL fares are always paid in US dollars for Canadians.

The best way to go is to act as if you are paying in US dollars - meaning pay up front to get a better deal or wait to the last minute if you think you could cancel - and hope for the best.
 

Intr3pid

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
You are asking a cruise forum to forecast the CAD/USD exchange rate a year out? We can't even predict when the cruises will begin this summer!

Most hotels won't accept a foreign-currency payment unless at an artificially high pre-determined conversion rate on the date of checkout.

The only ways to lock in a USD rate today would be to (1) book a prepaid rate if offered by the hotel or (2) prepay through a travel agency or reseller (such as Expedia or Amex). Be careful to avoid the non-refundable rates, however.

A DIY method would be to buy CAD today in your brokerage account, invest it in a CAD-denominated instrument (such as a Canadian government bond or a GIC), and cash it out before leaving.
 

TinkLoverSam

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Welcome to the game international travelers play called “how much will this vacation actually cost when I go on it??”

I usually just figure the exchange rate will get worse but not better. For hotels I prefer to book directly with the hotel and pay at the time of the stay vs prepaying via a third party booking site as you have more control over the reservation if something happens.
 

Starwind

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2014
Welcome to the game international travelers play called “how much will this vacation actually cost when I go on it??”

I usually just figure the exchange rate will get worse but not better. For hotels I prefer to book directly with the hotel and pay at the time of the stay vs prepaying via a third party booking site as you have more control over the reservation if something happens.
This is also our preference [we are Canadian and most of our travel is to the USA].

It also gives the option of watching the hotel stay rates in case a cheaper rate becomes available -- you can cancel and rebook without the hassle of having funds tied up. And, particularly now, I much prefer a "no deposit required, cancel without penalty upto some date very close to arrival date" rate even if it costs a bit more than a prepaid-no-cancel rate.

SW
 

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Good morning, friends!

I'm hoping someone smarter than me can help me understand if it's okay to wait to pay Canadian hotels in their currency and hope the CAD hasn't fluctuated much?


Or is it better to seek out hotel rates I can pay in USD? Also a consideration, do I wait for the CAD to drop to a certain amount before paying?

I'm feeling nervous about booking hotels for our Alaskan cruise - it feels so strange to be at the whim of an exchange rate and I don't want my inexperience to cost me extra money. Thanks in advance for any advice!

(edited to add: foreign credit card fees aren't a concern - I have a credit card that doesn't charge them)
We are on our way to achieve the vaccine goals. Everything has started reopening this month and should be back to normal before the end of summer... Aka our economy is recovering. I wouldn't expect the CAD $ to get lower but higher.
 

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  • TinkLoverSam

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 10, 2009
    This is also our preference [we are Canadian and most of our travel is to the USA].

    It also gives the option of watching the hotel stay rates in case a cheaper rate becomes available -- you can cancel and rebook without the hassle of having funds tied up. And, particularly now, I much prefer a "no deposit required, cancel without penalty upto some date very close to arrival date" rate even if it costs a bit more than a prepaid-no-cancel rate.

    SW
    Also a Canadian who usually travels to the US. I’m so happy that the CAD$ is getting stronger as traveling when it was $0.65 was so expensive!
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    We travel (or used to travel) to Canada a few times each year. I look for a decent hotel rate. Often you can search in both USD and CAD on the hotel site. I book directly through the hotel. It's usually a quick weekend with only a couple of nights so I don't mind paying upfront if that is the deal offered. That said, I'm usually making my plans on a much shorter time frame so unlikely for large fluctuation in the exchange. Unless you find a really super-great deal for next summer, I would just watch the hotel rates and wait to make my reservation.
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    We are on our way to achieve the vaccine goals. Everything has started reopening this month and should be back to normal before the end of summer... Aka our economy is recovering. I wouldn't expect the CAD $ to get lower but higher.
    Our CAD is taking a bit of a dive right now, we've lost at least 2 cents in the past couple of days and it closed under 81 cents today :(
     

    Intr3pid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    Our CAD is taking a bit of a dive right now, we've lost at least 2 cents in the past couple of days and it closed under 81 cents today :(
    Currency values are based on relative differences among countries. Even if Canada is reopening or economy improving, the currency moves will look at it relative to that in the US.

    At the moment, however, it's all about the interest rates. Inflation is coming, so the US interest rates may rise faster than expected. Rising interest yields bring investment flows to that country, as investors chase better yields and pump up that currency's demand.
     
  • Jk125

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2013
    Just book and forget, if the dollar appreciates or depreciates 5% and that makes or breaks the trip.....

    Currency changes are part of travelling accept and move on.
     

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