Shopping with the kids can be trying at the best of times. During the busy pre-Christmas season, with crowds to battle and long to-do lists, the stresses are even greater. This past weekend (on a Saturday no less!) we decided to face the crowds and bring the kids shopping at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Brave, right? Well, it turns out that if you're an RBC Avion cardholder, the mall (even during the holiday season) isn't so bad after all. In fact, you can enjoy some perks that are actually quite nice!
For example, Avioners don't pay the $15 valet parking fee. Yes, valet parking is free. Normally this minivan-driving family doesn't tend to valet park, so we were a bit intimidated. But the valet parking staff were really nice and friendly (and didn't say a word about our winter-dirty van).
Yorkdale has every shop you can possibly imagine, including my favourite shop to browse - Anthropologie.
I really had my eye on that orange coat. I may have to look out for sales. My trip to Anthropologie didn't last too long - we decided to leave when the boy child started kicking his sister in the foot.
Guess what? Brother was completely satisfied with browsing once we hit the Apple store. So was Dad. Me, not so much.
Then we decided it was time to head over and check out the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique VIP lounge, where we could all take a little rest and refuel.
Avion cardholders can get free coat and parcel checking in the boutique. That's always nice in a cold climate like ours. If you leave your coat in the car you have to make a dash for the mall, but if you bring your coat it becomes a nuisance in the mall. Not a problem at the lounge, where Helen and Aaron efficiently checked in our coats.
All of the staff members of the lounge were friendly and helpful, including Tyler and Lamia.
There were no children kicking each other once they spotted the lounge's beverage and sweets bar.
The very accommodating David made us tea (Mom and Dad) and hot chocolate with candy toppings (kids). The kids also ate chocolates and shortbread cookies. It's all free for Avion cardholders.
Somebody was VERY happy!
We took some time to sit and enjoy our beverages. The kids read to us from Christmas books that were placed on the tables in the lounge.
The holiday boutique even has a pianist playing lovely music live on site.
And gift wrapping (which normally runs you up to $6 a package) is totally free for Avioners too.
If you have an Avion card, be sure to take advantage of all of these special perks if you shop at Yorkdale, Mail Champlain in Montreal, Coquitlam Centre near Vancouver or the Halifax Shopping Centre. Because, truly, how often do you get these kinds of things all for free? I know it made my family's holiday mall shopping experience much more pleasant. The lounge felt like a "home base" for our family, a spot to centre ourselves and get ready to hit the mall again. Crate & Barrel, here we come!
What's an Avion card and how do I get one?
RBC's Visa Avion cards are travel rewards credit cards that offer RBC Rewards points with every purchase. Plus, you earn bonus points when shopping through the RBC Rewards eMall. They also provide trip insurance packages, including trip cancellation and protection for your trip, hotel, rental vehicle and purchases.
Choose air travel rewards from the Air Travel Redemption Schedule, starting as low as 15,000 points, and fly on any airline, anytime with no blackouts or seat restrictions. Book travel rewards instantly - only the RBC Rewards program has an online booking tool that's powered by Travelocity.
Visit RBC for more details about the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card and the RBC Visa Platinum Avion Card.
Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.