Transat Auction benefits both vacationers and charity

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

No, it’s still too early for Christmas…rather, I’m talking about Air Transat’s annual auction!

Beaches. Unlimited pina coladas. A luxurious, sun-soaked vacation on a spectacular island for potentially hundreds of dollars less. All in the name of charity. What’s not to like?

On November 30, the Canadian travel company celebrates Cyber Monday with their third annual Transat Auction. The popular online event sees travellers bid on getaways to exotic locales like Curacao, Panama and even across the pond to Europe, all in real time on Twitter.

As if huge savings on dream destinations weren’t enough, here’s the best part: all proceeds raised through the auction will go to SOS Children’s Villages. The amazing organization ensures orphaned or abandoned children in 134 countries get basic necessities like food, shelter, medical attention and eduction, by placing them in family homes with women who raise the children as their own (click here to learn more about how you can help).
mexico-cabo-beach-chairs

How to participate

The entire auction takes place on Twitter, so if you don’t have an account yet then now is the perfect time to set one up (and get out from that rock you’ve been hiding under). Then, follow @AirTransat or search for the hashtag #TransatAuction.

Throughout the day on November 30, 20 different auctions will kick off, featuring escapes from Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton to all-inclusive resorts in spots including Mexico and St. Maarten. There will also be roundtrip flights to Europe up for grabs.

To participate, choose which vacation package you’re interested in, and once that auction starts you simply tweet your bid while including the hashtag #TransatAuction. Whoever has the highest bid after 30 minutes gets the prize!

Some packages have starting bids as low as $5, which means that in previous years some lucky Canadians have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars on their vacation.

The destinations

If the promise of escaping the Canadian cold for a week and coming home with a bronzed bod isn’t motivation enough, here’s a look at some of the destinations that are up for grabs.

Cuba
If rum and cigars are your thing, you’ll love heading to sunny Cuba. It’s also a fascinating country to tour around if you can pry yourself away from the white sand beaches, and a day trip to Havana is a must as it’s like travelling back in time.

Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Santa Maria del Mar, Cuba

Dominican Republic
Canadians have been heading to the Dominican Republic in droves for years, lured to spots like Punta Cana where the Atlantic Ocean and turquoise Caribbean Sea meet. Spend your days lounging in the soft sand, cool off with a dip in the clear water, or book a catamaran cruise to see even more of the island!

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Shutterstock.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Shutterstock.

Mexico
With thousands of resorts in all areas of the country, one could head down to Mexico a dozen times and still not see the same thing twice. The west coast is home to Puerto Vallarta which is a haven for foodies, as well as celebrity favourite Los Cabos. Cabo also boasts the spectacular El Arco, a massive, golden rock formation framed by azure waters and sparkling beaches.

El Arco

El Arco

Mexico’s dazzling white sand beaches are found in the east, where the spring break crowd descends on the party town of Cancun. For a quieter getaway, couples and families enjoy the Riviera Maya, which is home to luxury, five-star resorts and spectacular coral reefs.

England
Buckingham Palace. Double-decker buses. Big Ben. A slim chance of running into Wills and Kate. What’s not to like about London? The world class city truly has something for everyone whether you’re into history, sightseeing or shopping, and is the perfect place to kick off a European vacation.

London, England. Courtesy of Shutterstock.

London, England. Courtesy of Shutterstock.

To see the full list, head to www.transatauction.ca starting on Friday, November 27. Good luck!

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