A Weekend Getaway – Montreal, Quebec “On The Cheap”

Let’s play a game. Instead of calling it “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?”, we’ll call it “Where In The World Is Cheryl Howard?”.

Where am I? Montreal, Quebec! A domestic destination this time. To be honest, I’d rather be in Europe right now but I’ll happily settle for the next best thing, a weekend exploring one of Canada’s most European cities.

Why did I come to Montreal? A few reasons.

  1. I’m a woman with a serious case of wanderlust. Since returning home from Eastern Europe at the end of December, I’ve been restless and wanting to travel again. I know I’ve only been home for a month, but  I wanted to escape Toronto, if only for a weekend. A hot and sunny destination would have been more ideal, but I’m saving that for next month when I head to Cuba for 10 days.
  2. I want to travel more within Canada and learn more about my own country. Last year, I spent more time vacationing overseas than in Canada. I don’t really know Montreal that well so I thought, why not make a trip to beautiful Quebec and spend time getting better acquainted with the city? As a result, I’ll be an awesome ambassador when traveling abroad and can tell everyone why they should come to our home and native land.
  3. I get to practice “travel on the cheap”. This is my primary travel objectives for this year. This and learning how to pack lighter. If I can meet this objective, I’ll be able to save money and use it to take longer vacations and go to  even more places. Not only that, the money can be diverted to having memorable experiences like eating a good meal, going on more tours and excursions or maybe indulging in a spa treatment.

How will I practice this “travel on the cheap” concept overall? Well, it means being less of a princess. It means giving up stays in fancy hotels like Hotel Lord Byron in Rome and Hotel Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro.  It means taking cabs less and public transit more.  It means no buying of designer shoes, sun glasses and handbags.

Transforming From A Princess to A Hippie Backpacker
Transforming From A Princess to A Hippie Backpacker

How will I travel “on the cheap” in Montreal this weekend?

  1. I’ll take the train instead of a plane, opting for Via Rail instead of Porter Airlines. I’ll use my accumulated Via Preference rewards points to score a free one-way ticket to Montreal. I’ll only have to pay for the ride home.
  2. I’ll be staying at a hostel instead of a hotel.
  3. I plan to walk, take public transit and use a cab only if necessary.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to find even other ways to save money.

This will be an interesting experience, not to mention a tough one for me.  This princess will have to adjust!

Stay tuned for my follow-up post when I let you know just how I spent my time in Montreal and how well I fared with this “travel on the cheap” challenge.  I’ll share with you my lessons learned and tips for cheap travel.

I would love to hear about how you save money when traveling.  If you’d like to share, leave a comment below.

Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. Looking forward to hear how it went. I can definitely help you with learning how to pack less – I’m a pro now after traveling through 6 countries in 2 months and having room for all the souvenirs!
    A “travel on the cheap” tip – instead of eating out at restaurants, we found a grocery store and picked up some bread, cheese and salads to take to a local park or botanical gardens. Easy pic-nic.

  2. So far, Montreal has been really fun! The hostel isn’t fancy (at all) but it’s decent. My only complaint … it’s so hot you feel as if you’re in a sweat lodge!

  3. I am not a light packer, that’s for sure! I’m working on a post about that …. so, yes any help or tips would be really appreciated.

    Good tip to save money! Not to mention very romantic for you and Jason. 🙂

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