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Tuesday, October 25th 2016

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYZ." - Chris Myden

Toronto to New Orleans | How To Get The Best Deal On Packages

Guides >> North America >> New Orleans >> Packages from Toronto to New Orleans

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flight & Hotel Packages From Toronto to New Orleans

Ydeals logo There are thousands of travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on packages to New Orleans. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there are really only two sources of unique prices on packages to New Orleans.

This guide will remove the noise and show you what those sources are, so you can stop wasting so much time when searching for the best deal.

What are the unique sources of prices on flight with hotel packages from Toronto to New Orleans ?

Unique Source #1 - The Canadian Tour Operators

The only Canadian Tour Operator that currently offer getaway packages from Toronto to New Orleans is Air Canada Vacations.

Where should I look to get the best holiday package deal?

Well, you could just search the Air Canada Vacations website. But of course there are *many* Canadian-based travel sites and brands that sell packages for the Canadian Tour Operators and will display packages from Air Canada Vacations. This is the noise.

You may already be familiar with some of the sites & brands that spend the most on travel industry advertising, such as:

RedTag iTravel2000 Flight Network Sell Off Vacations Tripcentral
Flight Centre Signature Vacations Sears Travel Escapes Marlin Travel

This is by no means a complete list of all the Canadian-based travel sites. The only important thing you need to know as someone searching for the best deal from Toronto to New Orleans is that they are all retrieving their prices from the same source, and all trying to sell you the exact same travel packages at the exact same prices.

One site or brand can't offer a lower price than their competition, and they can't legally change the package prices themselves anyways.

In other words, it is a huge waste of your valuable time to check any more than one of the travel sites for Canadians. A large number of Ontario travellers out there have been fooled into thinking they are comparison shopping, since no travel site or brand will ever admit that their prices are identical to their competition.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent here in Toronto?

If it's through a travel agency in Canada, or a Canadian travel agent, you can think of them as being identical to the sites I just mentioned above. They're accessing the exact same prices, and from the same sources as the sites above, and trying to sell you the exact same packages. And they can't offer a price that's any different than any other site or brand.

When should I book to get the best price on New Orlean packages?

This is never an easy question to answer, as packaged holiday prices are not 100% predictable. The tour operators start by setting their price at a level they think will fill the maximum number of seats, based on the demand they expect to see. If they experience less demand than they expected, they may decide to lower them. If they experience more demand than they expected, they may raise them. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence demand can be unpredictable.

How long a person can wait it out in hopes of a better price is a personal decision. The Canadian Tour Operators are generally more apt than other sources to offer a discount on their package prices with under 4 weeks to go before departure. But there's never a guarantee that they will.

What about last minute deals on holiday trips to New Orleans?

Great last minute package deals to New Orleans from the Canadian Tour Operators are not overly common. They're certainly not as common as the last minute price cuts from the Canadian Tour Operators to warm Caribbean destinations down south, such as to Mexico or Cuba, that you often see.

Unique Source #2 - The Flight & Hotel Combiners

The Flight & Hotel Combiners are sites that simply mash together the latest flight prices from the major airlines with the latest hotel prices in New Orleans to create a package. They tend to be U.S. based brands (but offer packages from Canada).

Where should I look to get the best vacation package deal possible?

This is the noise. The flight price component of the package from the major airlines is identical for every site that offers these types of packages. There may be a slight differences in their source of hotel prices, but for the most part they're all grabbing the latest hotel prices from similar sources, at similar prices.

The result is that the Flight & Hotel aggregators usually all have very identical travel package prices to each other, and vacationers tend to waste a lot of time thinking they are comparing prices from unique sources against each other, when they're not.

Here are the Flight & Hotel Combination sellers that spend the most on advertising, you have likely heard of at least one of them...

Expedia Travelocity Book It Orbitz Hotwire

How can I compare the Flight & Hotel bundlers against the Canadian Tour Operators?

When comparing vacation packages, you always want to keep as many variables the same as possible. For example, remember that the Flight & Hotel Combiners are using the cheapest price they find from the major airlines when generating their holiday package prices. This can sometimes mean the default flight involved is a terribly long one, with multiple layovers.

For a fair comparison, you would also want to make sure the hotel quality is similar (or ideally, the same hotel) when comparing packages. And of course, similar dates and number of nights, as these factors can affect pricing.

When should I book my trip to get the best price from the Flight & Hotel Combiners?

Try to remember that at the end of the day, the vacation packages offered by the Flight & Hotel Combiners are simply made up of two components:

1) The latest flight prices from the major airlines. The major airlines don't tend to offer great last minute prices, so waiting until the last minute can backfire. I find the major airlines tend to usually offer their most decent prices around 8 weeks before departure.

2) The latest hotel prices. It's more common to see hotels offer discounts at the last minute, but then you have to weigh that against the fact that the flight price component from the major airlines can rise as the date nears, meaning the package price could go up.

So as a whole I'd probably consider the flight price component as being the limiting factor, and suggest that I'd be comfortable watching prices from the Flight & Hotel Combiners up to about 8 weeks before departure. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk though.

What about packages with non-stop flights to New Orleans?

Air Canada is the only airline that currently offers direct flights from Toronto to New Orleans, so as a result only packages involving Air Canada will contain non-stop flights.

What about booking flight & hotel separately? Is that cheaper or more expensive than a package?

People often want to know if booking a package to New Orleans is better or worse than booking flight and hotel separately. The answer is, well, that there is no correct answer. One or the other can be cheaper or more expensive for any given situation, at any given moment. All you can do is try both and compare.

I'd suggest starting with finding the cheapest non-tortuous flight from Toronto to New Orleans that you can. You may want to read the guide: Toronto To New Orleans | How To Get The Best Deal On Flights.

Then find the cheapest hotel rates you can for your dates. Remember that packages are almost always listed as 'per person' (usually based on 2 people in a room), so you'll need to do some simple math for an accurate comparison.

The easiest thing to do is usually just to take the package price that you see on the typical Flight & Hotel Combiner sites and multiply it by 2. Jot down this number.

Now take the total cost of the flights you found (2 of them) and add it to the total cost of the hotel (across all nights) that you found on your own. Compare to the number you jotted down above.

Remember that for a fair comparison you should always keep as many variables as possible the same, including the flight quality, the number of nights, and the rating of the hotel involved.

Congratulations, you have essentially become your own Flight & Hotel Combiner, not all that different from what the large travel dealers are doing.

What about cheap packages to New Orleans from U.S. airports within driving distance of Toronto?

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. airports within driving distance of Toronto, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see a package from a U.S. airport to New Orleans that's at least a certain number of dollars less per person than a similar package from Toronto.

How much cheaper it needs to be depends on which U.S. airport you're flying from. Below, I'll list how much cheaper I feel it should be from each U.S. airport, to be worth the drive.

Packages from U.S. cities are typically similar to what were discussed under 'Unique Source #2 - Flight & Hotel Combiners'. They are packages that involve combining the latest flight prices from the major airlines with the latest hotel prices.

From Niagara Falls, NY (IAG)

I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see a package from Niagara Falls to New Orleans that's at least $200 less per person than from Toronto.

Unfortunately though, there are only 2 airlines that fly out of Niagara Falls, Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines, neither of which fly to New Orleans.

From Buffalo, NY (BUF)

I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see a package from Buffalo to New Orleans that's at least $225 less per person than from Toronto. It could happen, as there are quite a few airlines that offer decent prices from BUF to New Orleans.

I think I've found a great deal on a packaged vacation to New Orleans!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow travel lovers in the GTA, they will appreciate it and thank you for it! You can post it in the YYZ Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of people from Toronto are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YYZ Deals contact form or on Twitter @YYZdeals or through Google Plus. Great deal finds are always appreciated.

Why should I trust this New Orleans vacation package guide?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my observations of the travel industry over the years, including all the thousands of websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

The goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so people can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YYZ Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!

I think I have some info that could help improve the guide!

Great! Please post your info in the Facebook group above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

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