La Casa Cottage Resort

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Jan08

A group trip with friends seems like the ideal way to spend a long weekend or week away. Who doesn’t love seeing new sites with a close-knit pack of friends and family? Together, you can book group activities, split costs, and—most importantly—share memories.   

However, group trips can be daunting if not done right. Try these 5 tips to plan the perfect, hassle-free group trip.   

1. Pick a Leader and an “Accountant”   

You’ll want one person sending out all the group emails, making spreadsheets, researching activities, and planning carpools. Another person (or the same person) should be responsible for dividing costs and collecting payments from everyone in the group. Collecting money can be a bit of a drag—that’s why we suggest taking it off your Leader’s plate and having a dedicated team “accountant.”  

Bonus Tip: For payment splitting, try apps like Splitwise or Venmo.   

2. Use a Survey for Big Questions   

Getting everyone on the same page is tough. Where do you want to go? When do you want to leave? How much do you want to spend? What do you want to do while there? Planning a group trip relies on “majority rules”, otherwise we would never get anywhere. Try free survey apps like Google FormsSurveyMonkey, or Zoho Survey to gather feedback and share results as you go.   

Bonus Tip: Make sure you have an ongoing group chat to keep everyone up to date. Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts are free!   

3. Pick a Budget (and Keep to It)  

Choosing a budget for a group trip is often one of the most difficult things to do. You’ll want to tailor the budget to those with both small and large amounts of disposable income. One way to do this is to travel off-season or keep an eye out for flight deals using apps like Hopper. You can also have “optional” activity days where those who want to buy tickets to this or that can while others enjoy a cheap/free day at a pool, beach, or park.   

4. Book By-Owner Rentals Instead of Hotels   

Hotels are high cost and low personability. Not only that but they tend to be less environmentally friendly than their rental-by-owner counterparts (think AirBNB or La Casa Cottage Resort vacation rentals). By-owner rentals have the same sense of professionalism and luxury but are more ingrained within the community in which they are established. They are also more likely to pair with local businesses for promotions and events like our Sip Happens X La Casa Cottage team-up!   

5. Pre-Plan an Activity or Two Per Day   

Group trips are the perfect opportunity to try new things abroad. You can book adventure activities like bungee jumping or scuba diving; you can focus on cheap activities like hiking or seeing local landmarks; or you can pick out some of the best food and drinks hangout spots to try. Daily activities are the key to getting the most out of your trip and your time together. However, for everyone’s sanity, make sure to leave room for free time, too!   

Conclusion   

Planning a group trip doesn’t have to be a burden. If done correctly, it can be a ton of fun for yourself and everyone else involved. If you need somewhere to stay in Kelowna, B.C, check out our rental options at La Casa Cottage Resort. For groups of 20+, try the La Casa Mirador Guest House 

 

Jan01

COVID-19 put a damper on travel and recreational plans around the globe. Our wanderlust has to be put on hold while the word began to heal. Near the end of 2020 summer, we saw travel restrictions begin to ease. As the pandemic ebbs and flows, we must play the role of a knowledgeable and conscious global citizen. Now, it’s a new year. What will the 2021 travel landscape look like?   

We want all you travelers to stay safe and stay healthy, so we’ve compiled some things you need to know.   

Solitary Travel is IN—Consider Touring a National Park, Camping, Hiking, or Bird Watching.  

If you are still feeling iffy about being in groups, never fear. There are ways to explore the world while allotting yourself some much needed (2-meter!) space. Camping or touring remote wilderness areas in small groups are just some of the ways that people are keeping travel plans safe. Research what National Parks are close to you to get some ideas. You might also want to try searching for the best hikes in your state or province and seeking them out!   

Keep Abreast of Travel Restrictions and Requirements—Go Above and Beyond in Following Them.   

Before you make any plans, be sure to know the ins and outs of any COVID restrictions in the area. Even if the restrictions are weaker where you’re from, it’s important to respect the community you are visiting and go above and beyond to adhere to their guidelines. Practice good travel hygiene by wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitizer, washing your hands frequently, and keeping a safe distance between your group and others. Better safe than sorry—especially when you are just a visitor in someone else’s home!   

Consider a Vacation Close to Home—Travel Within Your Country, State, or Province.   

If you don’t want to risk international travel right now, try something closer to home. Consider a weekend trip somewhere nearby, maybe a city or camping spot that you have always been meaning to try. There are plenty of places within your own “backyard” that you most likely have yet to visit. Try searching some must-see spots in your province or state and make a plan to check them out this year.   

Remember That Big Hotels May Not Be as Safe as COVID-Safe as Private Rentals.  

When filled to capacity, hotels can be quite a virus hotspot. Not to mention those big corporations tend to cut corners when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces. That’s why we recommend private vacation rentals for any 2021 travel plans you may have. La Casa Cottages adheres to the strictest cleanliness standards—and we are available to chat at the venue anytime if you have issues. Find us on Airbnb or on the La Casa Cottage Resort website for a list of available vacation rentals.  

Conclusion   

We won’t know for sure what 2021 travel will look like. We might see travel restrictions ease and tighten as things change. Plan to be a respectful and conscious traveler this year. It’s going to take all of us working together to keep our towns and cities happy and healthy.

Picture spots kelowna
Nov20

Freshly fallen snow makes for a perfect photo backdrop to any Instagram or photo album contender. Kelowna boasts stunning parks and nature sites that stand out even when covered in frost. Here are some picture-perfect Kelowna photo spots for you to snap the perfect shot.

  1. Knox Mountain

This is Kelowna’s largest natural area park, meaning that you can hike around and find the absolute best scenery to get the perfect shot. Search the hashtag #KnoxMountainKelowna on Instagram to get some ideas!

  1. Mission Hill Winery

Open year-round, Mission Hill Winery offers a ton of great spaces for photo opportunities even in the wintertime. Check out the courtyard, terrace, barrel cellars, or their grand entryway of curved arches held together by a single Keystone.

  1. Waterfront Park

There are plenty of places along Waterfront to stop and take a picture with the choppy winter waves of the lake in the background. You won’t want to swim when it gets this chilly out but that doesn’t mean the sand and surf won’t work for a photo op.

  1. Chichester Wetland Park in Rutland

This gem is a local treasure that not many tourists catch on to. In the summer, it’s a flourishing wetland packed with important wildlife. In the winter, you’ll find icicle-decorated trees and frosted ponds galore.

  1. City Marina

Pose in front of rows of boats moored for the winter with zigzagging docks laced with frost. Not only is it a photogenic spot, but it really captures the beach bum vibe of the city. Walk around the area and you’ll find plenty of statues and landmarks that also make great Kelowna photo ops (yes—including the iconic Ogopogo statue!).

  1. La Casa Mirador Guest House

Our vacation properties boast cozy kitchens, dreamy reading nooks, and lakefront views. If you stay with us, you will have many photo-ready opportunities to capture the magic of your vacation in the Okanagan. The La Casa Mirador guest house has room for the whole family, so ask us about planning group trips or events.

Need help picking where you want to stay when you visit the Okanagan? Reach out to us and we can set up your whole party in our luxury guest house.

Vacation Home Pros
Sep25

Thanks to services like Airbnb, travellers everywhere are rethinking vacation accommodations in a big way. Traditional hotels are fine and are certainly reliable but they have many downsides, too. Vacation home rentals offer a more personal, community-based travel experience that can really add a lot to a vacation or trip.

Let’s take a look at why traditional hotels and motels aren’t keeping up with the times.

The Cons of Staying in a Hotel

So why are modern travellers turning away from common hotel brands? There are a few reasons.

  • Hotels are the Same Around the World. A branded hotel looks pretty much the same from city to city and sometimes even country to country. That means you might be missing out on unique aspects of that culture or community!
  • Hotels are Bad for the Environment. From over-washing sheets and towels to maintaining huge amounts of empty rooms during downtimes, hotels can have quite a negative impact on the environment. In fact, they produce up to 60 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Yikes! They tend to use a lot of power and water, much more than is needed to sustain a private vacation rental home or cottage.
  • Hotels are Crowded. Vacationing usually means you are looking for some rest and relaxation. But with a packed hotel, you never know what kind of neighbours you are going to get. With other patrons above, below, and on either side of you, you might be exposed to all sorts of racket.

Why we Recommend Vacation Homes

Taking up in a rental home instead of a traditional hotel gets you closer to the community you are visiting, gives you more peace and privacy, and often comes with personable perks that hotel chains don’t offer.

  • Supporting local businesses. Many rental properties (like ours!) are owned and maintained by residents of the province or city itself. That means your money is going right into the hands of long-standing community members, rather than CEOs somewhere oversees.
  • A personal touch. Vacation homes tend to be less stuffy and corporate-feeling, so you can feel right at home asking for recommendations of what to do or reaching out directly to a property manager if you have any concerns.
  • Budget travel. Vacation properties come in all shapes and sizes so you are sure to find something that fits your requirements and budget. You can shop around until you find something that fits your budget perfectly before committing to anything.
  • Last minute travel deals. Vacation rentals often have special deals for any open spaces available on a last-minute notice. For example, you can join our newsletter to be notified about special deals as they arise.

What do you think? Have we convinced you to give up stuffy hotels and try out a unique vacation home bursting with personality? Contact us to see what we have to offer, whether you are booking a quaint overnight stay or a big seasonal bash.

BC music
Sep11

Are you coming to stay in one of our Okanagan vacation homes? Need some music for the trip? Travel can be a bit of a drag, particularly if you are stuck in a car or airplane for a long time. We made a special playlist for you that features all B.C. artists so that you can get in the mood for your stay here!

Not only will a solid playlist make time pass (or accent any good times you are already having during your vacation) but audio is a great memory device. What does this mean? Playing these songs after your trip is over will, hopefully, remind you of how much fun you had.

(Note that not all of these songs may be suitable for children.)

Let us know what you think.

The Best B.C. Artists Playlist

  1. “You’re Too Cool” by The Zolas
  2. “The Party Rages On” by Zumpano
  3. “Misunderstanding” by The Grapes of Wrath
  4. “Funny World” by Mae More
  5. “Of Mice and Men” by John Mann
  6. “These Lines” by Shari Ulrish
  7. “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams
  8. “Oblivion” by Grimes
  9. “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé
  10. “Força” by Nelly Furtado
  11. “Weapon” by Matthew Good Band
  12. “Home” by Joshua Hyslop
  13. “Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen
  14. “I Love Myself Today” by Bif Naked
  15. “Seventh Wave” by Devin Townsend
  16. “Bit By Bit” by Mother Mother
  17. “Capable” by KO

To download the whole playlist on Spotify, use: BC’s Best.

Feel free to add anything else you can think of. After all, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” (according to Plato).

Need some help planning your trip—specifically, where to stay once you are in B.C.? We have a range of vacation homes that we cordially invite you to try out. Contact us for more details and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so that you can watch for special deals.

Travel well!