Travel tips

6 Tips for Travel
Aug13

Ever suffer from travel anxiety? Everyone does from time to time! And there’s a good reason for it. When you are setting off to travel, there is a ton to think through: planning, scheduling, follow-through. It’s enough to overwhelm even the most level-headed and organized adventurers. 

The important part is this: breathe, stay calm. Great, now let’s talk about execution. These 6 tips for travel planning will help you stay on top of everything that needs to be done, stress free!

Set Up Deal Alerts 

First of all, we want to make sure you get the best deal possible. Last-minute plans can sometimes backfire and have you paying premium prices to snag travel or lodging. Use travel apps or even Google alerts to watch for the best possible prices before you confirm. For example, we sometimes have deals at PLACE—so be sure to sign up for our newsletter in case something pops up. 

Read Reviews for Insight 

Thanks to platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews you can get the inside scoop on everything from restaurants to airlines to hotels to local shops. Before you plan a big day, check out what people are saying…about everything! It’s much easier to pivot before you’ve made a reservation (or worse—shown up to the door).

Start Your Packing List Early

A last-minute packing list is bound to lead to someone forgetting something important. Start your packing list a few days or a week early. This way, you have plenty of time to remember missing items, cut back on clutter, and buy anything you don’t yet have. 

Delegate Your Tasks 

One person CAN plan a whole trip alone…but they shouldn’t have to. Travelling in a group? Have one person step in as the team leader. They can assign an even number (or effort-level) of tasks to everyone in the group. Someone can be in charge of packing the beer cooler and someone else can be the money collected to ensure everyone chips in. 

Take Out Cash

Credit and debit cards are all fine and dandy but some emergency cash is a must. Have bills as well as change. You never know whether you might need a payphone (remember those?), require public transport fare, or encounter a cash-only business. Obviously, carry the currency relevant to where you are going. 

Use Expert Advice 

Need help planning and getting the best deal? It’s okay to ask for help from an expert! Read travel blogs or books, reserve time with a tour guide, use a travel agent, or talk to the manager of whatever venue you are staying at. They have plenty of experience to guide you, answer questions, and make suggestions for must-do activities. (YES—you can call us for advice, too!)

Want more adventure advice, wanderlust stories, and tips for travel? Be sure to follow our blog

Post covid travel tips
Jul23

The U.S. and Canada are thinking about opening their borders this fall and, as vaccinations continue to roll out, people are thinking about traveling again. However, health and safety should always remain first and foremost important. Here are a few post-COVID travel tips to consider before you plan your next big B.C. road trip.

Be Considerate of Your Neighbours

One thing we have all learned over the past year and a bit is how important it is to respect those around you and the community in general. This can manifest by leaving your space cleaner than you found it and giving the people around you a little extra elbow room when you can afford to.

An Extra Wash Hits the Spot

The importance of handwashing and surface washing should outlive the pandemic! Keeping your hands and common surfaces clean can help stop the spread of germs related to the common cold or seasonal flu. Plus, it’s just a nice thing to do for those that might come in contact with you.

Be Kind to Service Workers

While you travel, you’ll come in contact with desk clerks, hotel staff, shop owners, and city workers. These are the essential workers who helped you throughout the pandemic. Please continue to be kind and treat them with respect.

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst

This is a lesson that can carry into travel, pandemics, and life planning in general. Going for a road trip? Pack a first aid kit and a foil blanket. Hopefully you’ll never need them but it’s always better to overprepare than under.

Take Care of Your Body

Whether at home or on the move, you should always make time to eat well, exercise, get some sun, and drink lots of water. You can follow these practices even while on vacation. Take a local hike. Shop for local fresh produce to make healthy meals and snacks. Carry a reusable water bottle in your car or travel bag.

Pay Attention to Travel & Location Updates

And the final of our post-COVID travel tips: Even where there’s no pandemic to consider, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the happenings of your destination location. For example, if you are traveling to B.C. this summer you might want to check up on forest fires, water quality warnings (in certain areas), and heatwaves.

Have more questions, ready to book a vacation cottage, or just want to chat? Feel free to contact us.

Beach Safety Tips
Aug07

One of the best parts of visiting B.C. during the summer is the warm weather and the sandy beaches. Fun must go hand-in-hand with beach safety, though, so here are some waterside tips for families to follow.  

1. Check for Flags & Signs 

Some beaches use flags and signs to denote location-specific warnings, like hazardous areas or dangerous marine life in the area. Any on-duty lifeguard will be able to explain these signs to you in they are unclear. If there is no lifeguard on duty, a quick Google search or a call/visit to a Visitors Information Centre should do the trick.

2. Apply and Reapply Sunscreen 

Obviously, UV rays can damage our very sensitive skin and even lead to melanoma and other permanent damage. Water, sweat, and physical activity can rub or wash away applied sunscreen throughout the day so you can’t just set it and forget it. Reapply any time you come out of the water and/or every 2 hours. You should also put sunscreen on 30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure it’s properly absorbed by the skin beforehand. Also: know the temperature/weather concerns before you set out—the Weather Network app can help.

3. Maintain a Safe Distance From Others

Not only does this stop the spread of infectious diseases but it also prevents accidents and is proper beach etiquette. If you can, maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others. Try visiting the beach during “off hours”, like while locals are at work, or hunting for more spacey spots to sit, even if they are farther from the water.

4. Know Some Swimming Basics

Make sure everyone in your group knows basic swimming and water safety. At the very least, they should be able to dog paddle or hold their breath and float on their back. Swim in pairs (or more) for maximum safety. Younger children should wear floating devices or lifejackets if they are at risk. If you are a weak swimmer, keep an open water float nearby.

5. Keep Near to a Source of Shade 

Whether it’s a tree or a beach umbrella you brought along, a source of shade is important to protect against burns as well as sun sickness/stroke. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water, too, which will also help against the latter. Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sun poisoning are always a risk when it’s bright and hot outside.

Keep these beach safety and swimming tips in mind and ask a lifeguard in the area if you need more assistance. No lifeguard? Defer to the strongest swimmer in the family, watch out for one another, and travel (swim) in groups. Swim safe and have fun!

No beach plans yet? Maybe it’s because you haven’t found the right vacation spot yet. Contact us to book one of our cottages or rental properties for your family vacation.

Travel apps
Jan29

Travel is easier and safer than ever thanks in part to technology. From in-your-hand maps to easy translating capabilities, travel apps have redefined how we move through the world together. Traveling should be all about the experiences: seeing the sights, meeting new people, broadening your horizons.  

Let these travel apps streamline the heavy lifting of your vacation plans so that you can focus on making memories.  

Organization and Packing 

AKA “the boring stuff.” Every great trip starts with a great plan. These organizational apps can help you spend less time on packing and planning. 

PackPoint – Access premade packing checklists by selecting locations and activities that are relevant to your travel plans.  

TripIt – The freemium version lets you log all your itineraries in one place to create a handy master list. 

Packing Pro (iOS only) – Lists for groups who require multiple packing checklists under one account, like families with young children. 

Trip Advisor – Pick out local attractions, sights, and restaurants and see how real travellers rated their experiences at each location.  

Culture and Maps 

Need a digital “guide” in your vacation location of choice? These apps will help you find your way around, access public transport, and learn about the area. 

Google Translate – Help translate text, handwriting, photos, and speech in over 100 languages. 

City Mapper – Your guide to local public transit systems all over the world, including insider tips like the best train car to be in, etc.  

Roadtrippers – Map up to 7 waypoints per driving route and keep abreast of local sights and food options as you travel.  

GPS My City – A self-service “walking tour” app with guided tours for over 1000 different cities across the world.  

Money and Budgeting  

Ahh…budgeting. Totally unavoidable yet such a vibe killer. These apps can help you track how much you are spending, on what, and arrange payment splitting if you are travelling in a group.  

TravelBank – A professional travel budget app for business trip cost tracking and submitting expenses. 

Trabee Pocket – Travel spending and budget help with multiple currency support and a visual pie chart to check frequent spending themes. 

Spendee – Travel planning and budgeting in one place, featuring automatic updates directly from your bank (if connected). 

Splitwise – Cost splitting app for travel partners who will frequently need to exchange funds between one another. 

Rentals and Lodging 

Everyone needs somewhere to stay. Whether you are booking ahead or looking for last minute hotel deals, these apps will help you get oriented.

Dayuse.com – Book a day-time room for fast amenities like WIFI and bathroom access before “typical” check-in times open up.  

Airbnb – Find private, by-owner rentals that are more personable and usually cheaper than hotels (and YES, La Casa Cottages are on Airbnb but you can book with us directly, too!). 

HotelTonight – Last-minute hotel deals wherever you are with budget-conscious choices where possible. 

Airport Help and Flights  

Finding flights can be a hassle. These travel apps make it a bit easier to bear! Find great ticket deals, build an itinerary, and even prevent jet lag!

AirHelp – Assists in filing compensation claims if something about your flight goes horribly wrong; a great safety net to have installed on your device.  

Hopper – Watch for airfare deals according to when and where you want to travel using AI to predict upcoming prices to help you save money.  

Skyscanner – Track airfare prices and discover destination by time frame and budget tags and source flexible car rentals, if needed.  

Timeshifter – Prevent extreme jet lag with scientist-proven methods built into this app; perfect for frequent time-zone hoppers.  

Planning a trip soon? You might also be interested in packing tipsroad trip goodie bags for kids, or choosing between traditional hotels and private vacation rentals