Vacation rentals

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.   

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 

 

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.

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