In keeping with our revved-up sense of national pride, why not spend this March break rediscovering home?

Beyond being budget-friendly, a Toronto “staycation” can be a lot of fun. So start thinking like a tourist.

“If someone from England was visiting Toronto, what would they want to do?” asks Oonagh Shiel, content editor for Cheapflights Canada. “Which brings us to planning. It’s very important to plan your staycation, otherwise the days may drip by while you run errands instead of enjoying your time off.”


Think of it as organizing a trip abroad. “Just because it’s all on your doorstep, (that) doesn’t mean you don’t need to do any work. What interests you and what’s on? That’s the equation you’re trying to solve.”

For those interested in education and culture, consider investing in a Toronto City Pass. Valid for up to nine days, a City Pass covers admission to the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto Zoo for 46 per cent less then the cost of tickets purchased separately.

Or go the rest and relaxation route with one of the city’s many hotel packages.

“Lots of hotels are offering discounted rates, particularly for mid-week travel, that staycationers can take advantage of,” says Shiel.

For a romantic approach, check out the Cosmopolitan or Pantages Hotel’s March Break specials. The Cosmo’s “Sweet Lovers Dream” ($245 per couple) includes a one-night stay in a deluxe suite, bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate-dipped strawberries, roses on the bed and rose petals strewn along the floor, as well as an executive continental breakfast for two. For another $180, you can also book a couple’s massage at their Shizen Spa.

Or forego the roses for the Delta Chelsea’s 130-foot “Corkscrew,” downtown Toronto’s only indoor water slide. Starting at $154/night, the hotel is offering March Break family packages that include a family fun zone, March Break activities, two free Cineplex movie tickets, and a free Hershey’s family-sized chocolate bar!

And if it doesn’t feel like a vacation without a little bit of travel time, can help customize the perfect short-drive getaway.
Shiel goes a step further and suggests stretching the definition of a staycation to include cities that are just a short flight away:

“When you factor in gas, driving can almost cost the same as airfare. Toronto-Montreal flights are coming up for $274, departing Toronto on Monday, March 15, and returning on Thursday, March 18. Get there for March 17 to mark St. Patrick’s Day — it’s a perfect union of Celtic and Canadian.”

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