Planning an escape sometime soon? Canadian winters are cold. And for many of us, this creates a motivation for us to take a vacation to a warmer destination. We have some tips to consider on where and how to choose the trip that is best for you. In addition, we have a great travel agency or two here in Liberty Village!
Motive for Travel
Besides escaping the winter weather, why do you want to get away? Is it to learn about a new culture, perhaps its a time to be adventurous or maybe it’s an r&r getaway? Knowing the motive will help shape a destination shortlist. Due to the unfortunate damage caused by Hurricane Irma earlier in 2017, some traditionally popular places like St Maarten, Cuba and Turks and Caicos may not be the best places to visit this year, according to Globalnews.ca. American Express Travel notes that the top 5 travel destination for 2018 are Bali, Costa Rica, Dubai, London and Portugal.
How to Book
In the age of digital, there are many ways to plan and book the next vacation. Once the destination has been determined, it is time to start researching.
Some experts suggest having a flexible date range (give or take a day on each end) to help find the best deals. Historically, flying on a Friday afternoon/evening with Porter is exempt from the majority of their sales. According to smartertravel.com, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest dates to fly on. If it is logistically feasible, consider flying out of of Buffalo, NY, just a couple hours away from Toronto and it could save you a good chunk of change.
Spend some time reading reviews on sites tripadvisor.com and hotels.com. Many people will write, often in great detail, their experiences with various providers and accommodations. Do be cautious and read between the lines on some of the reviews. Someone may have given a terrible rating and review on something that is not hugely significant to you personally. When it comes to local restaurants, invest in reading the reviews on yelp.com. In addition, research who some of that particular destination’s top tastemakers, influencers and bloggers are to uncover some hidden gems of places to visit.
Liberty Village Travel Agencies
Some travellers prefer to book with a travel agency. Here in our neighbourhood, we have a couple of places that can help you plan your next great vacation.
Carson Wagonlit Travel
Carson Wagonlit Travel, a trusted name in travel planning since its beginnings dating back to 1872, has an office at 147 Liberty St. They have a legacy of great customer service helping clients with both corporate and personal travel. The company prides itself on values including commitment to excellence, cultural diversity, reliability and integrity.
Located at 171 E Liberty St, Luxe Travel is “a boutique travel firm specializing in luxury travel to the world’s most exclusive hotels and resorts” (luxetravelcompany.com). Born from the husband and wife duo of Matt and Tara Soloway after having to plan their own destination wedding, they saw an opportunity to help others experience and plan a dream wedding. Organically, they have grown their business to now include family travel and have offices in Toronto, New York and Vancouver.
Once the trip is booked, keep in mind some key tips to make your travels as stress-free as possible.
- Right off the top, consider buying in travel and health insurance or ensure that your current plan covers out of country protection. Should something unfortunate happen while away, have the peace and mind that you are protected.
- Use the UP Express to get to Pearson Airport. It is quick, clean and convenient. The nearest stops to catch it is at Dundas West station or Union Station.
- Once you are all packed up, take a photo of your suitcase. Sounds silly, right? But should your suitcase go missing once it has been checked at the airport, you have a visual reference to show and email to various parties to help track and recover it faster.
- Download the airline’s app on your mobile device – this will help you track the flight status and often is updated faster than the airport’s information boards
- Use a credit card where possible as you will get the most competitive exchange rate on the country’s currency wherever you are travelling. Third party currency counters at airports and resorts can often charge additional fees
We look forward to seeing photos and anecdotes of everyone’s next adventures and travels. Bon Voyage!