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Vacation and Travel

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So you’ve decided to ditch this cold city for warmer climates? Planning a trip is much more than deciding on a location and throwing your clothes in a bag, so let us help you. For the tech-savvy amongst you, harness the energy of the app world to cover all your flights and accommodations. For the rest, some basic travel tips might help ease the planning.

After you’ve taken care of the staples such as travel and lodging, a well-planned trip itinerary is next on your list. Creating one will save you time and energy, freeing you up to enjoy and be present in the new experiences you’re having. Make your trip planning easy with these 6 travel tips.

Book A Guide Or Local Tour

Going to a new place can be culturally enriching and intriguing. If you are someone who likes to sightsee and experience the novelty of your destination (as compared to lazing around beside the pool/beach all day), hire a tourist guide or book yourself a city tour in advance. A quick online search will yield many options, so be mindful of the type of sights you’re looking for, and the type of theme: food? history? shopping? Arrange the tour within the first few days so that you can familiarize yourself with the surroundings, meet some potential travel friends, and then visit the places; you like the most, again!

Pack Smart

Pack light and pack smart. This means anticipating the kinds of events and activities you’ll be doing, and knowing how well your body adjusts in a new space. Make sure you have backup medicines for your regular run of ailments, and pack a few extra staples like underwear, socks, and slippers. You never know when that extra care will come in handy!

Go For The Hobbies

Finding time to relish your hobbies in the hectic everyday can be difficult. So make the most of your hobbies during the trip. Choose a destination that offers you the experiences you want on a regular basis and actively seek out where they are and how to do them. Schedule them in! Always wanted to get your diving license? Do it. Wanted to do a full wine and cheese tour? Do that. Don’t let the abundance of travel recommendations take away from the things you really want to do.

Read Up On Public Transport

Familiarize yourself with the bus routes, train routes or other modes of transports in advance. Getting lost in a new city might sound exciting on paper but if you are accompanied by children, with lots of luggage and a bad time of day, many things can go wrong. Knowing what transport options are available also allows you to have a clearer understanding of how much money you’re going to have to spend to get around.

Stay Alive Digitally

If you are travelling internationally, know your adaptors and socket types before you get to the airport! If you want to be extra careful, check the voltage of your electronics against the regular voltages of the country you are visiting to make sure you don’t have a full blow-out on your hands in a foreign country.

Have Currency Guarantees

You can convert your money while at home or exchange it as soon as you arrive. Most airports have ATMs and money exchangers for you to withdraw the amount and get it converted, but those deals are probably not happening in your favour. To be on the safe side, always carry a small sum of the local currency before starting your trip. If push comes to shove, USD is always a good backup plan.

With this useful little arsenal of travel tips, you can head off to vacation assured that you’ve planned for the best and the worst! Happy traveling!

The summer is about to end but the Labour Day long weekend is about to begin so if there was any question about whether or not to go out and make the most of it, the answer should now be a firm yes! Wondering about what to catch amidst the lively bustle of activities happening throughout the city? We’ve rounded up 4 family-friendly activities that are perfect for individuals, friend groups, and children of all ages!

Canadian National Exhibition

Image Courtesy of Eric Parker

A regular summer staple at Exhibition Place, The CNE is your one-stop shop for all the summer entertainment you need, featuring ridiculous amounts of food, people, performances and all kinds of pop-up rides and stalls! The fair will close on September 3rd so the long weekend will be a perfect chance to catch all the exciting sights, sounds and smells before the city settles down for its slightly mellower fall rhythm.

Rib, Bacon and BBQ Fest

Are you from a family of eaters? Is food the glue that holds you together? Well head over to Downsview Park for the annual Rib, Bacon and BBQ fest for all things grilled and sauced to perfection. Besides the spectacular selection of food, there will be bouncy castles, rock walls, face painting activities, live music and alcohol for the parents needing a reward. It all sounds like a perfect end to the summer season.

Summer Sundown & Fireworks

Want to leave the city for a bit? Take the scenic route to Blue Mountain Village for a weekend of performances, activities, guided hikes, and fireworks! Not interested in catching all of the village programming? The mountain awaits! Go for a bike ride, do the mini golf course, hike some easy trails, and paddle in the lake! Sounds tiring? Take a spa day! There’s something for everyone at Blue Mountain.

Treetop Trekking 

Image Courtesy of Treetop Trekking Barrie

Located at Barrie Park in Horseshoe Resort, the zipline park is the perfect place for the more active family looking for a fun day of sporty activities out in nature. Go for aerial treks, sign up for kids discovery tours, learn about the wildlife in the area or push the family to go for adrenaline-filled jumps and zipline activities. 

Take advantage of the long weekend to spend some quality time with your family and loved ones. Now that you about these family-friendly activities, there’s no excuse for not doing something this weekend!

We’re in full summer season with this delightful or devilish heat wave (depending on your preference), which means it’s time to hit the road. Whether you’re planning on a vacation getaway or the next backpacking adventure, planning can be a hassle. We understand. We’ve rounded up 5 wonderful travel apps that will make your planning much easier this the travel season!

Hopper

For Flight and Hotel Bookings

Hopper consolidates information from thousands of airlines to not only offer you the cheapest options for flights, but also tries to predict price patterns to suggest when you should check back in to purchase a ticket! You can even turn on the WATCH function to receive notifications if prices dip. In 2017, their database expanded to include hotels, which means both travel and accommodation can be settled in a single place, for the lowest possible price.

Packpoint

For A Custom Packing List

Packpoint is a sleek packing app that generates smart lists of suggested packing items based on the length of your trip, function and types of activities. Just select based on your itinerary, and edit the customized list to get packing! Share your packing list with others on your trip or people in general so they get an idea of what you’re taking with you.

Calconvert

For Currency and Unit Conversion

If you’re someone who is always doing mental gymnastics to calculate the best deals over different currencies, Calconvert is your app! Enjoy their power calculator (with more functions than you’ll ever need), support in 24 different languages and over 150 currencies. Don’t ever worry about getting tripped up over numbers again.

CityMapper

For Transportation Routes

If you’re travelling to a city, CityMapper is your one-stop transportation app! Featuring recommended routes for public transit, car-share services, and bicycle and pedestrian options, you can compare travel times across a multiplicity of options and figure out the best way to get around! More importantly, you can save pre-planned trips or download maps and use this app offline. This is a necessary feature if you find yourself wandering around without a stable connection!

Yelp

For Itinerary

Yelp currently runs in 32 countries and covers not just restaurant reviews, but entertainment and local services too! Decide which places to hit up after browsing through recommended listings, customer reviews and scroll through the many photos to get a fully informed opinion. You’ll be way less likely to experience a bad meal with this app.  Besides the obvious educational value, some of those reviews might keep you quite entertained.

Additionally, if you’re hopping on a plane right after work, or don’t have time to put your place in order, make sure to hire one of our Taskers for cleaning services. Get your place all tidied up while you’re away so you can return to a neat and welcoming home. After all, with these great travel apps ready at your fingertips, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation. Make it even more enjoyable by coming home to a perfectly made bed. Now get cracking, there’s only so many weekends left in the summer!

The best time to enjoy Canada’s scenic beauty and recreational activities, is in the summer. From the sparkling Bay of Fundy on the East coast to the lush temperate forest in the West, there are numerous ways to appreciate this beautiful country that boasts rich geodiversity, diverse urban centres and cultural festivities. Check out our roundup of 10 ways you can enjoy the Canadian summer with your loved ones!

British Columbia

1. Adrenaline junkies can try your hands on kayaking and revel in the scenic beauty of Gabriola Island in the beautiful Gulf Islands of BC.

2. Soar over the whitewater and old-growth forest in Whistler on zip-lines as long as 2200 feet. Make the most of the Canadian summer by exploring the lush temperate forests of the west from a bird’s perspective. While you’re at it, make sure to brush up on safety tips for extreme sports!

Alberta

3. Take your kids on the world’s longest Skyline Luge track in the Canada Olympic Park west of Calgary. Ride solo or in tandem with young kids so that everyone can get in on the fun and enjoy the twisting turns of the Luge!

4. Participate in the Calgary Stampede, a 10 day festival featuring rodeos, showcases, music performances and a lot of food! It’s not called “the greatest outdoor show on earth” for nothing.

Ontario

5. Mesmerizing and breath taking, Niagara Falls is one place to visit from up close in a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour! There is no better-or wetter-way to enjoy this splendid natural wonder.

6. Consider yourself a daredevil? Then edge-walk on the 1,800 feet free-standing CN Tower in Toronto!

Quebec

7. Embark on a paddle boat journey across a labyrinthian 6.5 km of water canals that wend through the marshland near Wakefield.

Nova Scotia

8. Swim with the sharks! You can experience close encounters with these mysterious water creatures in Lunenburg by diviing in a sturdy cage while blood and guts are spread around you to lure these sleek ocean dwellers into close proximity.

Prince Edward Island

9. Remain fit as a fiddle by going hiking or biking across the island on the Confederation Trail, originally comprised of railway tracks now out of service.

Newfoundland and Labrador

10. With ice melting in the summers, huge detached icebergs float their way from Greenland to the Iceberg Alley of Newfoundland. Journey to a clifftop and watch the epic odyssey of these massive hunks of floating ice.

Do you thrive off an adrenaline rush? Are you looking to shake off the comfort of your work routine for some death-defying excitement? Trekking out tp explore the extreme sports in Canada available might just be the stress-reliever you need.

Although the experience is thrilling, the risks that come with these activities are serious. It is always a good idea to be aware of all the safety measures that can be taken in order to make the sport as safe as possible.

We’ve compiled some safety tips for some of the most popular extreme sports in Canada, and also suggestions for where to go to enjoy them. Read on so you can have fun and make it back alive!

Skiing and Snowboarding

Safety measures

  • Prior to hitting the slopes, ensure that you are in a good shape i.e. follow a fitness program for muscle strengthening.
  • Make sure your skiing or snowboarding gear is in tip top shape and also ensure that equipment like shoes and helmets fit, and are bound properly.
  • Take proper lessons and even after that know your limits; don’t hit the advance slope if you haven’t mastered the beginners level yet.

Plan a stay at SkiStony in Manitoba to whizz down the wintry slopes with skill.

Rafting

Safety measures

  • Choose a professionally trained outfitter to lead you followed by wearing a wet suit, fitted life jacket, a helmet  and proper river shoes.
  • Hold the paddles properly; one hand should be at the base of the paddle on the shaft.
  • The other hand should ALWAYS be on the end of the shaft over the “T” grip.
  • Pay attention to the guide’s instructions, to his commands during the ride, and any approaching rocks that might bump you out of the boat.

Visit Quebec City to soak in the scenic beauty and wild landscape of Jacques Cartier River.

Ziplining

Safety measures 

  • Make sure that the zipline course is maintained properly without any irregularity and inspected daily.
  • The harness holding you to the cable must be clipped securely by a trained professional.
  • You should be capable of at least light exercise for a safe trip.
  • Consult with a doctor if you suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, dizziness, seizures, extreme fear of heights or heart problems.

Head to British Columbia’s temperate rainforest to experience the feeling of flying without wings!

Skydiving

Safety measures

  • Wear an appropriate fitted jumpsuit that is in accordance to your diving style, beginners or advance, as jumpsuits keep you warm in the frigid cold weather and prevent bumps and cuts while landing; consult a professional instead of experimenting.
  • Check for holes and tears in your jumpsuit or any place from where air can enter.
  • Always wear a helmet and safety goggle that fit properly and won’t cause a hindrance to your vision.
  • Wear fitted gloves and ensure that you can handle your equipment while wearing them.
  • Wear shoes that provide a firm grip when landing. Finally check your equipment and know their correct purpose.

Take in the Toronto skyline from the top down, literally, with this most extreme sport!

With the options for extreme sports in Canada available across four different provinces, you’re bound to find something that will satisfy your adrenaline craving. Just remember to play safe and take care of yourself!