How Do You Make The Most Of Your Travel Time?
Taking a vacation is something we look forward to throughout the year – which is why it is so disheartening when things don’t quite go according to plan. It's a rare person whose travel time and money is unlimited, and I constantly strive to make the most of both when I'm on the road. So whether you’re planning next year’s summer break or a last minute adventure to tide you through the cold winter months, here are a few tips on how to achieve a perfect vacation - or, at the very least, a pretty darn good one!
How's winter been treating you?
There’s a hardware store near our house in Ottawa with a unique feature - a huge greenhouse. When Ryan and I are out doing our weekend errands, we often drop in there. We don’t have to make any purchases or pick up supplies for our house plants. No, we’re there just to soak up a bit of the warm, humid air and enjoy the beautiful blossoms. Sad, isn't it?
This is winter for Canadians. We do our absolute best to embrace it and make the most of it – and I would encourage anyone to visit Canada, no matter the season. But when you live here full time, the winter is a challenging season to survive with your sanity intact. It’s no surprise that everyone I know is always on the lookout for a deal to go down to the sunny south. We're happy to collaborate with Falcon to show you how we do it and how we save.
Hotel HHK is a heck of a deal - no matter how you get there!
Have you ever seen a series of funny TV ads that shows travelers coming to the end of an arduous journey, finally seeing their amazing resort and incredible hotel suite? The catch line is that they 'booking' got it right. Of course, "booking" is a sub in for another, less family friendly word (hint: it begins with "f") and the ads are promoting the hotel website... I bet you can guess which one.
They're cute ads and I can relate to that 'booking yeah' feeling. I had my own "booking" moment in Istanbul. Nope, it had nothing to do with Booking.com! (In fact, we actually booked through Expedia -here's a direct link to the hotel) but all the other components were in place, from the crazy journey to the gorgeous hotel.
HHK Hotel (aka Hayriye Hanim Konagi Hotel) in Istanbul is one property we absolutely got 'booking' right and, best of all, we got it for an absolute steal! Here's why we loved it, how we got such a sweet deal, and why we were so darn happy to finally arrive at their doorstep.
Athens isn't the only Greek city to boast an Acropolis. Thessaloniki has one too! Here is everything you need to know before you go.
Ancient history, crumbling ruins, and spectacular views? Yep, it sounds like an acropolis all right! But I'm actually talking about the Acropolis of Thessaloniki, not Athens. Did you know that there are several acropolis across Greece, and even in other countries? The name means "upper city" and an acropolis is a city's highest point and an important strategic location for defense.
The Acropolis of Athens, of course, is famous the world over and it's principle building, the Parthenon, is instantly recognizable. But it is well worth the trip to seek out other acropolis, especially the one in Thessaloniki. Here's what makes the Thessaloniki Acropolis such a special spot.
On Hawaii's Big Island, you won't find a 'hotter' hangout than Pahoa and Lava Tree State Monument.
If I told you that Pahoa, Hawaii, was one of the hottest spots on earth, you'd probably think I was exaggerating or that I was describing a spot with a lot of buzz. But Pahoa, on Hawaii's Big Island, is indeed one of the world's hottest spots and it's all thanks to its neighbour, Kilauea Volcano.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and, as recently as 2014-2015, lava flows threatened to destroy part of the town of Pahoa and surrounding communities. Fortunately, the lava stopped just in the nick of time, but local residents were right to be wary. This region bears the scars - and the beauty - of centuries of volcanic power. From delicate wildflowers to the toughest "trees" you've ever seen, nearby Lava Tree State Monument (sometimes called Lava Tree State Park) is a captivating tribute to the prowess of mother nature.
How much time do you need to make your connection? It's hard to say...
I have an 18 year old bone to pick with a certain travel agent in Kingston, Ontario. As a naive (some might say angelic) first year university student with virtually no travel experience, I eagerly put my blind faith in the itinerary given to me when I presented myself in their office to book my holiday flight home. With just a 45 minute layover in Toronto's Pearson airport, I thought I had won the lottery. Who would ever want more time? Ha! I learned the hard way that the 45 minute layover is synonymous with disaster. Let's just say I got my cardio that day -and I vowed to be master of my own travel game.
Readers often ask me if they can make a connecting flight within a certain time frame. Unfortunately, it's an impossible question to conclusively answer. There are so many variables for every traveler and airport. But I can share my best strategies and advice for making the most of a tight connection and improving the odds of catching your next flight. So tighten your shoelaces and prepare to abandon all moral principles! This is how you make it through an airport in record time!
Looking for amazing things to do in Portland Maine? Boy, do I have a few great suggestions for you, starting with food. Portland's culinary heritage dates to 1825 - but the flavors are anything but old fashioned.
Steve Corman is a man who knows a thing or two about grapefruit. Even when he's bustling behind the bar in a flowered apron, he manages to sell it as a suave, smooth, sophisticated flavour that's the height of glamour and manliness. Steve is one half of the power duo behind Portland, Maine's most beguiling bar, Vena's Fizz House, and his knowledge of spirits, bitters, and flavors is second to none. Steve's bitters infused cocktails and mocktails make for sweet sipping - especially when grapefruit is in the mix!
Vena's is the kind of place that has travelers raving after their visit, insufferably boasting to their friends that they have discovered the best little secret spot in the world. They wouldn't be wrong, except that Portland is packed with many "best little secret spots in the world" - shops filled with spirit (some literally, most figuratively). The city's amazing food scene isn't going to be a secret for very long.
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