Travel

Food for Travelling
Feb26

What is a road trip without a cooler full of snacks for the drive? And why settle for dry cookies and soda if you’re travelling by plane? There must be a better way! Follow this guide to become the master of the Travel Snack. In this article, we’ll cover non-perishable travel food, food to eat while travelling in a car, and meals that travel well. Everything you need to know to stay nourished in motion.   

What is the best food for travelling?  

The best food for travelling will be something compact, something that can last without refrigeration, and something that won’t leak or spill. However, you’ll also want something healthy. Part of the challenge of eating on a trip is finding healthy food items that travel well. After all, you could just pack potato chips and candy…but you’d probably feel pretty sick a few hours in.   

How do you pack food for travel?  

Try to use reusable containers, where possible. Plastic or glass Tupperware with well-sealing lids are best. If you need to wrap something, consider using “beeswax” wrap as a more sustainable option than plastic. If you have room in your vehicle, consider packing a cooler with a few ice packs to keep everything fresh. This will also lessen the likelihood of the food being damaged by a sudden turn or brake.   

What can you NOT eat on a road trip?   

You’ll want to avoid any food that sloshes, sticks, or otherwise makes a mess. Also, food that might get damaged by the journey is a no-go. Food to eat while travelling in a car needs to be sturdy, well packaged, and hearty. Some people made ahead meals for travelling…and sometimes this works! Often, though, you’re plagued by big messes and cold leftovers. Stick to something simple, like sandwiches!  

What should you eat on a flight?  

Depending on the length of the flight, you might not need to eat at all. Or you might be served an in-flight meal. However, if you feel like you will need food with you, consider options that will make it through security (no liquid) and won’t bother the other passengers with strong scents. Focus on non-perishable travel food if you are packing for longer than a day’s trip.   

A sample road trip grocery list might include:  

  • Trail mix, dried fruit (apricot, banana)
  • Granola bars, pretzels
  • Fruit that doesn’t crush or bruise easily (apples, plums, mandarin oranges)
  • Breakfast shake or smoothie
  • Snacking vegetables (sliced carrots, sugar snap peas).  

Sample food to pack when traveling abroad:  

  • Anything from the above road trip grocery list
  • Dried oatmeal packets for quick meals
  • Wrapped sandwiches for the plane (nothing smelly, no eggs!)
  • Homemade baked goods that remind you of home 

It’s never too early to start planning your next trip. Think La Casa Cottages for a luxury vacation experience right here in the Okanagan.   

travel green
Feb19

The realities of climate change are something we in the travel industry cannot ignore! That’s why we encourage our guests to travel green when they visit us at La Casa Cottage Resort. Here are just a few ways that you can do so:   

1. Don’t Litter (and DO Recycle)  

Whether you are road tripping, sitting at a beach, or hiking…never drop your garbage on the ground. It’s a good idea to carry a receptacle that can temporarily hold garbage until you can dispose of it. Additionally, take time to sort paper, plastics, bottles, and cans and deliver them to an appropriate recycling location. Ask your host for suggestions or do a quick Google search.   

2. Respect Wildlife  

Listen to all signs telling you to stay off the path, don’t feed wild animals, and so on. Keep your distance if you see wildlife in their natural habitat and respect food storage requirements so as not to attract them. Don’t approach them for any reason, especially not selfies! Pack binoculars so that you can observe them from a safe, respectful distance.   

3. Use Reusable Water Bottles (not plastic)   

It’s tempting to purchase a beverage in plastic cups on any long journey. Instead, bring a few reusable water bottles and refill them when you can. You can also pack tea bags and instant coffee to resist the urge for a coffee run that might result in additional waste.   

4. Cut Back Meat Eating   

Worried about the impact of your travelling? Cut back on eating meat while you are away or the month before or after. This simple action offsets a ton of carbon emissions and can “neutralize” any additional impact you might have during your vacation.   

5. Carry Reusable Bags Everywhere   

During your trip, you are likely going to pick up a few souvenirs or stop somewhere for snacks. Make sure you have a reusable bag with you so that you don’t have to waste paper or plastic. You can even get reusable bags that fold into tine squares or rolls that fit right in your pocket or purse.   

6. Use Public Transit Where Possible   

Skip cabs and Uber and opt for public transport instead. It’s more environmentally friendly and cheaper, too. You can also try bike rentals, walking tours, and other green methods of sightseeing.   

7. Eat Local Food   

Eating locally is a trip to be green anywhere you are and that carries over into any trips you take. This includes looking for drinks, like beer and wine, that are made in the area. Perfect if you’re travelling to B.C.—AKA Wine Country.  

8. Skip Daily Room Cleaning   

Do you wash your bed sheets and towels after every use at home? No? Then why do it when travelling? It’s a huge waste of water so keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and skip daily cleaning.  

9. Unplug your home  

Before you go anywhere, unplug and power down everything in your home. Removing plugs from sockets can save energy, as can turning heating and hot water off. Tripple check that no lights are left on and power down any electronic devices.   

Staycation Ideas banner
Feb05

COVID-19 has changed how we think about travel. Vacationers are sticking close to home and putting a pin in international travel for now. That’s why a “staycation” is such a great idea—it lets you enjoy some time to yourself without the hassle of crossing farther distances.  

But what exactly does a 2021 staycation look like and how can you make the best of it this year? First, let’s cover some basics.  

What is the difference between vacation and staycation?  

Vacation means you are traveling abroad, maybe taking a cruise or staying at a resort. A staycation means you are closer to home, maybe exploring attractions in your own city or taking a quick road trip to a neighbouring community for a long weekend.  

Why is #Staycation popular this year? 

Thanks to the Coronavirus, people are wary about unnecessary travel this year. That’s why staycations are becoming more popular. Not to mention they are often cheaper, less of a time commitment, and much easier to plan.  

How can I spend my staycation in B.C.? 

Considering a staycation this month? Here are some fun staycation ideas that you can try.  

Staycation at Home 

You don’t even need to leave your house for some of the best staycations. Here are a few things you can try:  

  1. Do a spa night with a face mask, long bath, nail treatment, and anything else you can think of 
  2. Enjoy some summer-themed cocktails with a partner and order takeout  
  3. Buy a cheap projector and watch films set in your dream destinations around the world  
  4. Treat yourself to a home-visit masseuse, if there are any ones in your area  
  5. Give yourself a whole “day off” to just lounge at home with no responsibilities  

Staycation in Town 

A staycation can also mean exploring your own backyard in ways you hadn’t thought to do before. Here are some ways you can do so: 

  1. Go out for a fancy dinner somewhere you have never tried before 
  2. Take a day trip to an outdoor market and sample new, local foods  
  3. Check out a tourist “hotspot” in your city that you’ve never visited before  
  4. Go for a walk in a park or hiking trail that you’ve never been to before 
  5. Stay overnight in an Airbnb just to get away from home life for a night  

Staycation Quick Trip  

Sometimes a staycation means taking “stay” lightly. Traveling to a neighbouring town or city can be a safe faux-vacation idea this year: 

  1. Book a cabin or yurt somewhere a few hours away from home for some new scenery  
  2. Visit a friend or family member in another city within the province 
  3. Go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing for a long weekend  
  4. Stay overnight in an Airbnb the next town over to get away from it all  
  5. Plan a road trip somewhere scenic, stay the night somewhere fun, and then try a new route back home 

Thinking about booking something this spring or summer? See what we have to offer in the Okanagan area at La Casa Cottage Resort. And if you’re already a local, might we suggest a #staycation?  

road trip checklist graphic
Jan15

Does your vehicle pass the road trip checklist? Keep reading to find out.

Road trips are a great alternative to traditional plane, train, or bus-based travel right now. If you want to avoid packed airports, and the germ-spreading potential of recycled plane air, driving yourself to your vacation destination is the way to go. It also ensures that you are only traveling with your “close-knit” crew, be it friends or family, and not exposing yourself outside of your social bubble.   

Before you through a weekend bag in your trunk and pick a travel playlist, we recommend doing a once-over inspection of your vehicle of choice. Here are 7 things you should always check on your car before setting out on the wide, open highway.  

1. Fluid Check & Oil Change   

If it’s been a while since your last oil change, you should get one done (or do it yourself) before any long trip. You should change your oil approximately every six months (depending on M/KM usage). While you are at it, check the status of your transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant, as well.  

2. Battery Voltage   

If you have your own test equipment, you can do this at home. Otherwise, take your vehicle to a trusted service provider and ask them to test the battery voltage. If the reading is too low, or it’s been over three years, you might consider a battery replacement. If your battery needs a charge, it can take anywhere from 4 to 24 hours to do so. So, leave enough time in your schedule to handle this before you go. Battery problems are one of the top reasons AAA listed for emergency intervention on the road, so make sure you are ready.  

3. Brake Check  

Typically, the brake warning light on the car console will come on if there is an issue; however, it’s always good to do a quick self-lead check. If you already did the fluid check (above) then you’re ahead of the game. When testing your brakes: listen for any abnormal noises (squealing, scarping), note if the vehicle is erroneously pulling to one side or the other, and make note of the pedal feel as you press it. If anything seems out of whack, take it to a shop to get checked.   

4. Turn Signal Lights & Headlights   

For this, you’ll need a partner. Have someone stand outside your vehicle as you flash each turn signal (have them check back and front lights), brake lights, headlights, and fog lights. Remember that a burned-out bulb can get you a very easy-to-avoid ticket! Be sure to change any light bulbs that are performing poorly.   

5. Tire Air Pressure (Including Spare)  

Tire trouble is not only very common on long trips, but it is so, so easily avoidable. Check the tire pressure before you leave and keep a portable tire pressure gauge in your vehicle for on-the-go inspections. Fill your tires with air according to the levels recommended in the vehicle’s manual. If you have a spare tire: fill that one up, too! After all, it won’t do you any good to lug around a spare tire if it’s flat.   

6. Insurance Paperwork, Registration, and License   

Sometimes the most obvious things get forgotten about. Do a quick check to ensure that the insurance paperwork is kept somewhere obvious and accessible. Check the expiration date on your license. And make sure your plates aren’t due to expire any time soon.   

7. First Aid Kit & Emergency Items   

This is one of the most important parts of any road trip checklist. Be sure to have a roadside assistance emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, particularly when you are about to embark on a long road trip. You can also cobble one together yourself. You’ll want to include bandages, alcohol pads, a flashlight, candles, matches, jumper cables, reflective devices, and maybe even an emergency blanket.

Planning a road trip this year? Check out La Casa Cottage Resort’s vacation rentals in the Kelowna and Vernon areas. Booking now for summer 2021. 

Plan a Group Trip banner
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