It seems that Annalisa Turner’s frugality is paying dividends. Turner is one of hundreds of Atlantic Canadians who won vacation packages they had earlier booked online through an itravel2000 promotion.

“It was $4 cheaper for me to book through the online company than to book directly through the vendors so that’s what I did,” said Turner, who will be heading to Cuba with her mother and two young children for two weeks in April.

The online travel company promised to cover the entire cost of holidays in the sun if more than 12.7 centimetres of snow fell in Halifax on New Year’s Day.

Customers who booked their trips between June 17 and Nov. 2 of last year qualified for the promotion. Then all they had to do was wait for Mother Nature to do her thing.

The blizzard that hit Halifax on New Year’s Day left an official snowfall of 13.6 centimetres at Robert L. Stanfield International Airport in Halifax.

Turner says the trip is a nice distraction because her husband, an army engineer, will be leaving for a second tour of Afghanistan at about the same time she’s packing the sun blocker.

“It will be nice for me and the kids with the help of my mother to break up this tour,” said Turner, who lives in Moncton, N.B.

And although she’s sure her husband would much rather be spending time on a Caribbean beach with his family she says it’s not an entire loss for him.

“Our tacit agreement is that when he goes (to Afghanistan) he’s not allowed to comment on how much I spend,” she says, laughing.

“This trip is free and he’s very excited about the money coming back.”

Stuart Morris, vice-president of marketing for itravel2000, says there are hundreds of winners in the region.

“It’s a big win. We’ve got hundreds of people taking trips at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

Some refunds have already been sent and others will follow.