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Canadian travelers: Should you stay or should you go?

Jun 15, 2016

TORONTO, Canada - Whether it is travelling to meet your celebrity crush at a film festival, cheering on your favorite sports team at a tournament or grooving to the hottest live bands at a music festival, there are many events around the world this summer for Canadians to enjoy. Since traveling out of the country can stretch your travel budget beyond comfort and takes more advanced planning, the travel experts have shared a list of exciting global events and how Canadian travelers can get the most bang for their buck by enjoying similar events at home.

"Celebrating milestones or festivals abroad can be such an exciting and memorable experience," said Taylor L. Cole, APR, "Many of the largest festivals have smaller equivalents so we've suggested some alternative events and outlined the hotel costs to help you budget your travel or staycation dollars."

• Euro Cup, France (June 10 - July 7, 2016)

The next best thing to the World Cup, France will play host to the European Cup this summer. The usual 16-team format of the quadrennial football championship has been expanded to 24 teams. Europe's best national teams will compete in Paris, Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse as well as in newly constructed stadiums in Lille, Lyon, Nice and Bordeaux. In Paris, a fan zone will be set up on the Champ de Mars lawns under the Eiffel Tower and in Saint-Denis, giant screens will be placed near the Saint-Denis Basilica. Average hotel prices in Paris: $213.

Alternative: Amway Canadian Championship (June 2016)

Canada's five professional soccer teams, three in the MLS and two in the NASL, compete for the national club championship, the Voyageurs Cup. The two-leg finals are held in the last two weeks of June in the cities of the finalists. Last year's champion was Vancouver where average hotel prices were $169.

• Glastonbury Festival, United Kingdom (June 22 - 24, 2016)

Just about any major popular music act you can name has played the famed Glastonbury Festival in England's southwest. This year's edition features everyone from Adele to ZZ Top. With a perimeter of nearly 14 kilometres and as many as 1750,000 spectators enjoying music on multiple stages, Glastonbury is one of the world's biggest outdoor music festivals. Chances of scoring a ticket are remote as they typically sell out in less than 24 hours, but you can always try the secondary market. Average hotel price in London: $276.

Alternative: Osheaga Arts and Music Festival, Montreal (July 29 - 31, 2016)

Now in its 10th year, this popular music festival on île Sainte-Hélène, site of Expo 67, continues to attract big-name acts year after year. This year's headliners Radiohead and Lana del Rey are joined by dozens of other of the world's hottest musicians for a weekend of sun and fun. Average hotel price in Montreal: $160.

• Calgary Stampede (July 8 - 17, 2016)

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has been Calgary's defining event for more than a century. While rodeo competitions of such events as calf-roping and chuck-wagon racing are its biggest draw, the festival has grown to include a series of popular outdoor concerts and other community happenings, like the ever-popular pancake breakfasts. Be sure to wear a cowboy hat while you're there so you will fit in! Average hotel price in Calgary: $150.

Alternative: Festival Western de Sainte-Tite (Sept. 9 - 18, 2016)

Would it surprise you to learn that the second largest rodeo in Canada is held in Quebec? Every September, the tiny town of Saint-Tite shuts down for two weeks to host one of the most popular rodeos on the eastern circuit. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to watch top rodeo stars compete for big money prizes. How do you say yee-haw in French? Average hotel prices in Trois-Rivières: $124.

• San Diego Comic-Con (July 21 - 24, 2016)

Every year, this California city becomes the center of the "nerd" universe as fans of comic books, supehero movies and cult TV shows converge to meet their idols and celebrate their love for genre media. Scoring tickets to this annual event requires a lot of advance planning and accommodations need to be reserved far in advance. Average hotel price in San Diego: $182.

Alternative: Central Canada Comic-Con (Oct. 28 - 30, 2016)

Canada has its share of comic-book conventions with notable ones being held in Toronto and Vancouver, but Winnipeg's C4 punches above its weight and draws fans from all over the country. One of this year's notable guests is Canada's own William Shatner, the living legend best known for his role as Star Trek's Capt. Kirk. Average hotel price in Winnipeg: $136.

• EuroPride, Amsterdam, Netherlands (July 23 - Aug. 7, 2016)
World Pride happens next year in Madrid, but until then the world's biggest gay pride event takes place in Amsterdam. The festival kicks off with Pink Saturday, a series of parties and activities that will be held throughout the city. The highlight of the two-week event will be the Canal Parade, a floating procession of boats that will travel a 6-kilometre route along the city's famous canals. Average hotel prices in Amsterdam: $214.

Alternative: Pride Toronto (June 24 - July 3, 2016)

This annual Canadian pride celebration is one of the biggest in the world, attracting more than 1.2 million attendees from Toronto and beyond and includes multiple parades and marches in support of various LGBTQ groups. Average hotel price in Toronto: $155.

• Summer Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Aug. 5 - 21, 2016)

Every four years, the entire world is captivated by the globe's finest athletes competing in sports that normally get little attention, but for two glorious weeks every four summers we cheer on our favourites. Watching on television is great, but nothing compares to being there in person. The only problem is obtaining tickets for the most coveted events is a sport in itself. Average hotel price in Rio de Janeiro: $195.

Alternative: Vancouver 2010 winter games venues

Revisit the city that most recently hosted an Olympic Games in Canada with a tour of the venues of the 2010 event. Start in downtown Vancouver to pose with the famous torch then end your tour in Whistler and its mountain venues which are as spectacular in the summer as they are in the winter. Average hotel price in Vancouver: $169.

Canadian travelers: Should you stay or should you go?

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