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BMO Bank of Montreal

June 23, 2011 06:00 ET

The Great Canadian Road Trip--In Royal Style

What would it cost a young newlywed couple to visit the same destinations as the Royals if it was a pure, classic Canadian road trip?

- Seven cities in four provinces and one territory.

-- 9969.6km

-- 1,760 litres of gas

-- Total Fuel Costs: $2,200 (Aston Martin); $593 (Toyota Prius)

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2011) - With the Royal visit only a week away, BMO Bank of Montreal asked what it would cost a Canadian newlywed couple to take the same tour but in a uniquely Canadian style -- as the ultimate Canadian road trip.

BMO mapped the same itinerary, including taking in the largest-ever Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill on July 1, and from there visits to some of Canada's key cultural sites, like the Museum of Civilization in Hull, the Citadelle in Quebec City, the home of Anne of Green Gables in Charlottetown, the Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, and the Stampede in Calgary. Along the way, our newlyweds will enjoy fireworks, outdoor barbeques, dragon boat racing, Native prayer drumming, canoeing, and visits to some of the many natural wonders Canada has to offer.

In the spirit of the Royal visit, we decided to send newlyweds on their 10,000 km cross-Canada trip in style, in an Aston Martin, V12 Vantage.

Average gas prices in Canada have dropped recently to $1.25 per litre, which is still 25 per cent more than in 2009. The Aston Martin gets 17.6 L/100 km average city/hwy driving. Based on these variables, the newlyweds can expect to use 1,760 litres of gas, at a cost of $2,200. That is $440 more than they would have paid if they visited two years ago, when gas prices averaged $1.00 per litre.

Here's their Canadian Road Trip Itinerary:
City 1City 2Distance (km)
OttawaHull (Return)7.1
Ottawa Montreal200.4
MontrealQuebec City250.0
Quebec CityCharlottetown921.4
CharlottetownSummerside62.0
Summerside Yellowknife6696.2
Yellowknife Calgary1832.5
Total9969.6

"In our 2011 Summer Travel Survey, Canadians told us affordability will be the number-one factor determining their summer vacation plans this year," said Su McVey, VP, Customer Communications & Marketing, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"Based on this, we looked at the difference in gas costs driving an Aston Martin and a Toyota Prius on the same road trip. The Toyota Prius would deliver a savings of more than $1,600 in gas. As you can see, vacationers can reduce their costs in big ways simply by driving a more fuel-efficient car.

Car make and yearL/100 km (average city/hwy driving)DistanceLitres usedAverage price of gas on June 23, 2011 - $1.25/L
2011 Aston Martin, V12 Vantage (Manual 6.0L, RWD)17.610,0001760$2,200.00
2011 Toyota Prius (Auto 1.8L, FWD)4.7510,000475$593.75
Total savings with fuel efficient Toyota Prius hybrid car$1,606.25

"Of course not everyone has access to a Royal budget, so here are a few tips for lowering your travel expenses, while still having the road trip of a lifetime:"

  • Look for a credit card with a great loyalty rewards program, so you can collect more points faster. For example, Kate and Will's Royal Canadian tour will cost a total of $1.5 million, excluding security costs which will be covered by the local police forces and Government of Canada. If Kate and Will had a BMO Gold AIR MILES MasterCard with which they would earn 1 AIR MILE for every $15 they spend using the card, their trip would earn them 100,000 AIR MILES reward miles. More than enough to cover all their flights next year!
  • Use loyalty rewards to cut fuel costs. There are a variety of loyalty programs that offer free-fuel rewards. For example, it only takes 175 AIR MILES reward miles to get a $20 Shell Fuel Certificate that can be used at participating Shell, Turbo, Beaver and Payless locations in Canada. Will and Kate's AIR MILES then, would buy them 571 fuel certificates, or $11,420 worth of gas! Also, the BMO CashBack MasterCard would give them a 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent cash rebate if they were to purchase their fuel at Shell.
  • Roadside assistance plans can save money. Just in case they run into any problems on the road, Kate and Will should ensure they have a good roadside assistance plan. Most plans cover towing, battery boost or flat tire change, but they also limit the number of service calls per year. BMO Bank of Montreal MasterCard's enhanced roadside assistance package includes unlimited service calls, up to 250 km towing distance, and free coverage for additional cardholders ($98/year).
  • Review travel-related insurance. Some credit cards include travel medical coverage, trip cancellation/delay insurance, and, if you're renting a car, collision damage waivers. The young couple should review the travel-related features of their card before they hit the road. If they are uncertain about the coverage included with their card, they should call the card contact centre. While they are at it, they should let their credit card company know when and where they will be travelling.

BMO's 2011 Summer Travel Survey was conducted from May 16-19, 2011, by Leger Marketing. The sample was 1503 Canadians, 18 years or older. The margin of error is 2.5 per cent.

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