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Air Canada Embarq Program Helps You Pay for Your Vacation

The best things in life are not free, to borrow a well-known phrase. You can’t really plan out where you will travel to or where you will stay while on a trip if you don’t save some serious coin and plan out a budget long beforehand. Take this into consideration: when you go on vacation you are paying out of pocket for transit fees, airfare, lodging, food and drink, tourist destination fees and so on. Depending on how far you travel, where you travel to, how long you stay there and whether or not you pay for luxury-status upgrades you could end paying thousands of dollars and perhaps even end up in long-term debt, after going on vacation. Yes. One could also make the case that water is wet.

Yet, not enough travelers take seriously enough the economics of travel maxim before embarking on a trip: the further you travel on a trip, the more you will have to pay to travel on that trip. Especially if you want to live comfortably while you travel. Too many people travel without travel insurance, medical insurance or surplus funds in case of emergency. In reality, a lot of people can’t even afford to take a vacation or travel at all. Almost 60% of all Americans make plans to go on summer vacation, or vacation, in particular, almost every year. Yet, according to recent statistics from sites like Skift.com and several media outlets, a little over 40% of Americans didn’t even take one single vacation day in the year 2014.

That is an idea that the modern traveler and telecommuting enabled rustic globetrotter cannot fathom. Now if you are a Canadian traveler of any ethnicity who patronizes Air Canada, (though being a Canadian citizen who patronizes the airline won’t hurt a bit either by the by), who needs help fundraising for a trip or vacation, then you may be in luck. In fact, you can only access the Air Canada Embarq website if you live within the regional confines of Canada.

The Offer

Air Canada has recently launched an online, airline traveler interactive crowd-raising platform called Embarq. It is best to think of Air Canada’s Embarq program as the equivalent of an IndieGoGo, GoFundMe or Kickstarter online campaign for people trying to fundraise vacation projects. In effect, Air Canada has launched a crowd-raising program that will allow strangers to donate money to you to help you pay for your future vacation expenses. Only in Canada.

The Registration Process

Basically, you register onto Embarq (again, you can only access the site from within Canada) and create a useful website. You detail your trip, where you will go and what you will do. You can state that your trip is for leisure purposes, work related, sports competition or academia related. The goal is that people will read your Embarq webpage, sympathize or commiserate about your plight and the economics of travels and donate money to your cause. All monies collected through Embarq’s crowd-fundraising drives are converted into an Air Canada gift card that can then be used to pay for airfare, baggage costs and any fees or costs related to Air Canada airfare costs.

Terms and Conditions

You can only ask for fundraising help to pay for airfare and baggage fees and perhaps any miscellaneous fees expressly related to airfare tickets cost. You cannot use Embarq to pay for a fancy restaurant, lodging fees or to rent a nice car. Cost like those will still have to come out of pocket. Also, you get to keep all and all funds that you raise through your Embarq account. If you want to raise funds for a $2,000 trip and raise only $5 by the deadline, then you get to keep the money on Embarq. If you raise $1,995 through fundraising by a deadline, then you get to keep the money on Embarq. Not all crowd-fundraising and interactive online fundraising websites do that.

The Outcome

There are high hopes for the success of the program. In 2015 well over 220,000 Canadian financial donations corresponding to about USD $17.5 million dollars’ worth of crowd fundraising pledges were generated, according to data generated by The Globe and Mail. Currently, there are well over 800 people registered into Air Canada’s Embarq program. If the experimental pilot program takes off and is successful, then be sure that competitors will take note. If Air Canada’s Embarq proves to be a smashing success, then it surely won’t be long before we see similar such programs introduced into counterpart American airline industry marketing and promotional strategies.

Wrapping Up

Still, tried and true, proven and accepted business methods and practices are known to die hard. So in the meantime, unless you are a Canadian citizen or plan to move there really soon, seriously save up.

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