Local BC Summer Getaways

Summer Plans? Wanting something bigger than a staycation but smaller than a trip around the world? Here are some closer-to-home places to consider around BC this summer (that are currently taking bookings).

With international trips ground to a halt I think many of us will be looking to ‘stay closer to home’, taking a lot of local trips and getting to know our own province better. Now is a great time to snap up some exceptional deals on hotels that fit the bill – think Victoria, Whistler and Kelowna, just to name a few.

Worldgo’s top picks for the summer (based on what’s closest) and yes we can help you book these of course. With amazing flexible cancellation policies, now is the time to score a great deal and start planning for a social distancing summer!

 

  • Squamish (1 hour travel time) Many people pop up to Squamish for day trips but consider staying a night or two as there’s so many things to keep you busy in a city that is evolving into the adventure capital of BC. Outdoor enthusiasts will not tire of the many opportunities on offer: rivers with eagles to spy, forest trails for hiking and biking, nature walks to waterfalls and cliff climbers to watch, all washed down with refreshment from some great breweries. Squamish is a destination that surprises.
    Top Hotel: Sandman Hotel for the budget conscious, or Mountain Retreat because the big kid in all of us will appreciate the water slide.
    Top Brewery: Pick your poison, You can’t go wrong with any of them: don’t miss Howe Sound, Backcountry and A-Frame. It’s a tough choice between Howe Sound and A-Frame’s patio!

 

  • Harrison Hot Springs (2 hours) Less then two hours from the city, Harrison is always a pleasure. With multiple lake and swimming options, and tons of local walking trails, this is an easy ‘after work’ location to get away to in the summer for a few nights. Just grab a good book, your walking shoes, your bathing suit and you’re good to go. And after all that rest and relaxation maybe the Sasquatch Museum will turn you into a believer.
    Top Hotel: Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is the obvious choice, but the Harrison Beach Hotel is great if you want more a ‘homey’ condo feel.
    Top unique restaurant choice: all the hotels have solid restaurant options but for a unique mountain meal why not pop into the Black Forest Steak and Schnitzel House for a little taste of Bavaria!

 

  • Whistler (2 hours) Whistler has been hit hard this year what with winter snow and ski season cut short by the virus. Visiting during what might be the quietest period in its recent history will provide you a unique experience – enjoying hiking and biking trails to gorgeous lakes without the usual crowds. Whistler is a special retreat for Vancouverites and other tourists alike. With hotel options ranging from apartment style, log cabins to the Fairmont, Westin’s and Four Seasons of the world, there really is something for everyone.
    Top Hotel Choice: Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Incredible views, the indoor/outdoor pool, a great laid-back atmosphere and just steps to the mountain. If you want more of a ‘condo feel’ then Blackcomb Peaks is a great option as well.
    Top Lake: Nita Lake is our first and if you are feeling adventurous Joffre Lake.

 

  • Vancouver Island (3 hours) What locals refer to simply as ‘the island’, is where life slows down and people greet you with friendly smiles in the streets. It’s more than Victoria, Nanaimo and Tofino which are undoubtedly the most popular spots for tourists – there are many hidden gems to be discovered and explored and with great restaurants, gorgeous quiet beaches and relaxed lovely drives, Vancouver Island is perfect for a close getaway.
    Top Hotel Choices: In Victoria, the Empress is sure to impress, but if you are on a budget a great option is the Days Inn Victoria Harbour. Nanaimo and Tofino both have lots of options – the Coast Bastion in Nanaimo offers great views and is in the heart of the city. If you want to splash out, literally right on the ocean, the Wickaninnish Inn or the Pacific Sands are two amazing properties that won’t disappoint.
    Top Experience: How about visiting the ‘Sooke Potholes’? Unique geological formations which are actually deep, polished rock pools carved into the bedrock of the river – great for hiking and swimming.

 

  • Lakes of the Okanagan (5 hours). Whether the buzz of Kelowna with its active beaches is what you are after or the sleepy swimming holes of Penticton or Vernon are more up your alley, there isn’t a better place to relax and take a load off than the Okanagan in the summer. With great hotels and dining options, this is a location that can be reached easily from Calgary or Vancouver.
    Top Hotel Picks: The Delta Kelowna – unbeatable location, with restaurants and bars on your doorstep – this is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Center – private beach, secluded pool and those views! Also, lots of restaurant options close by. Sparkling Hill Resort – a little out of town but the views and saunas make it more than worth it.
    Top Lake: With so many to choose from my favourites are Skaha, Okanagan or Kalamalka.

 

  • Osoyoos (5 hours) Great weather? Check. Gorgeous views? Check and all the wine, wine and more vino you can drink. Osoyoos is a great spot for some R&R&W (wine). This is known as the hottest place in BC and Canada so why not hop in the car and do the five hour drive to Canada’s wine region. Tours are easy to organize when you are up there and with some great hotels to stay in, lakes to swim in, pools to read by, horses to ride and golf courses to challenge, Osoyoos is a great spot for escaping the big city rat race.
    Top Hotel: Walnut Beach Resort is a beautiful private beach lakeside includes a lovely pool and a myriad of water activities make it perfect for both couples and families.
    Great winery: Nk’Mip cellars, the wine, the location and the view. Wow! Just one of many gems in the area.

 

  • Nelson (8 hours) A little further away, known as one of the most accepting, laid-back small towns in BC, Nelson is situated in the Selkirk mountains, and boasts an abundance of hippies, coffee shops and artists. This is Canada’s version of Byron Bay (if you know the famous hippy/artist town in Australia). This relaxed town is a great spot if you want to get a little off the ‘beaten path.’
    Top Hotel: Prestige Lakeside Resort is a great spot for families and couples alike and is located right on the lake.
    Top Café/Bakery: Kootenay Bakery Café. Easy food to grab on the go with vegan and gluten free options available.

 

To book your summer vacation contact a Worldgo Vacation Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written by: Miles Walker
Date: May 14, 2020

Miles Walker lives for travel, which is quite fitting given his name! He has done BDM/Sales Manager work for On The Go Tours, Topdeck Travel and Blueroads Touring. He has called Melbourne, Tonga, London, Toronto and Ethiopia home at various points throughout his life and after recently travelling to Azerbaijan and Georgia his country count is somewhere in the low 80’s.

Understanding your Airline’s Meal Options

There are now 35 accepted airline meal options available on flights around the world. It’s not to say your airline will be offering all 35 of these options, but it is helpful to know what your choices are – as not all options are outwardly listed on every airline. The most commonly listed options include vegetarian and vegan options, selections that meet restrictive religious diets, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, no-lactose, and children’s meals. There are also choices like Bland Meals, Fruit Platters, and High-Fibre meals that you may want to check out.

If you have a restrictive diet, it’s important to reference and understand the airline meal codes. Make sure you note the cut off time for the advance ordering of your meals. Some airlines require a minimum of 48hrs before your departure to accept any custom meal demands.

Airline meal codes in alphabetical order, below:

  1. AVML – Asian Vegetarian Meal – A flavourful vegetarian alternative, with likely standards being curry dishes.  Expect rice, noodles, fruit, vegetables and milk products –  but no meat, fish or eggs.
  2. BBML – Baby Meal
  3. CAKE – Birthday Cake – airlines vary in their offering of birthday cakes. Some charge and some are complimentary when pre-ordered.
  4. BLML – Bland Meal– some critics say all airline meals are bland but in this case, the meal is designed for passengers who may have ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or have undergone stomach or intestinal surgery. Includes foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber.
  5. CHML – Children Meal –Some adults, especially those with dentures or softer teeth, order children’s meals as usually contain soft and easier to chew foods. They often include an airline-branded toy or colouring book and crayons.
  6. CLML – Celebration Cake Meal
  7. DBML – Diabetic Meal- Sugar reduced items only
  8. FPML – Fruit Platter Meal – Seasonal fresh fruit
  9. GFML – Gluten Intolerant Meal- No wheat, rye, barley or other gluten-based products
  10. HFML – High Fibre Meal
  11. HNML – Hindu Non-Vegetarian Meal- Traditionally flavoured meals that will likely contain lamb, poultry, fish or milk but absent of beef, veal or pork.
  12. JPML – Japanese Meal (served on Japan Airlines only)
  13. JNML – Junior Meal. Not a kid’s meal, but not an adult meal, either.
  14. KSML – Kosher Meal- Confirmed to be prepared to meet strict Jewish Kosher cooking rules.
  15. KSMLS – Kosher Meal (Snack size)
  16. LCML – Low-Calorie Meal
  17. LFML – Low Fat Meal
  18. LPML – Low Protein Meal- Contains a restricted quantity of protein, specifically geared for those with liver and kidney ailments. These meals may contain fresh fruit and vegetables, vegetable fats and seasoning, and a measured amount of eggs and meat.
  19. LSML – Low Salt Meal- LSML, intended for persons with high blood pressure or high-sodium intolerance.
  20. MOML – Muslim Meal- Foods that do not contain any pork, gelatine or alcoholic beverages.
  21. NBML – No Beef Meal (on China Airlines)
  22. NFML – No Fish Meal (on Lufthansa Airlines)
  23. NLML – No Lactose lactose-free) meal – It excludes milk and dairy products – yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, water ice and etc.
  24. OBML – Japanese Obento Meal (on United Airlines)
  25. ORML – Oriental Meal- The main course features an “Oriental style” accompanied by beef, pork, chicken, duck, or fish.
  26. PFML – Peanut Free Meal – No peanuts, peanut butter, or other peanut derivative items.
  27. PRML – Low Purine Meal – For people struggling with gout.
  28. RVML- Raw Vegetable Meal – Only raw vegetables and salads.
  29. RFML – Refugee Meal
  30. SFML – Seafood Meal– Contains only seafood items
  31. SPML – Special Meal – Specify Food
  32. VGML or VVML: Vegetarian Vegan Meal – No animal products, including meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey.
  33. VJML – Vegetarian Jain Meal – Only fresh fruit and stem vegetables that grow above the ground. It won’t contain: animal products/by-products, honey or any root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.
  34. VLML – Vegetarian Lacto-Ovo Meal – Contains vegetables, fresh fruit, eggs, dairy products. It does not contain any type of fish or meat.
  35. VOML – Vegetarian Oriental Meal – This is a vegetarian meal that is prepared ‘Chinese’ or ‘Oriental’ style.

How to deal with Jet lag

For many business travelers, jet lag is a legitimate and ongoing challenge that can hinder performance, increase anxiety and create travel resentment. Most business travelers, especially those that cross 2 timezones in travel, express negative impacts and take proactive measures to mitigate symptoms.

What is Jet lag?

Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis or flight fatigue, is a disorder that leads to insomnia, an overall sense of aches and tiredness, and other symptoms that arise due to travel across multiple time zones. It is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, and as creatures of routine, this is an abrupt disruption of our internal clock.

When we travel to a new time zone, our circadian rhythms need time to adjust, anecdotally, regular travelers claim that it takes one day for every one hour of time zone travel. This results in our bodies telling us it is time to sleep when it’s actually the middle of the afternoon, or it makes us want to stay awake when it is late at night. This experience is known as jet lag.

What are the other symptoms?

Besides travel fatigue and insomnia, a jet lag sufferer may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms, including anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability, nausea, indigestion, difficulty concentrating, sweating, coordination problems, dizziness, daytime sleepiness, malaise (a general feeling of being unwell), and even memory loss. Some individuals report additional symptoms, such as heartbeat irregularities and increased susceptibility to illness.

Generally, people do not need a medical evaluation for a diagnosis of jet lag. If you have traveled across several time zones and feel the symptoms associated with jet lag, you likely have it. If your symptoms of jet lag are severe, do not go away after a few days, or you have any other concerns, see a doctor.

How long does it take to recover from jet lag?

Recovering from jet lag depends on the number of time zones crossed while traveling. In general, the body adjusts to the new time zone at the rate of 1-2 time zones per day. For example, if you crossed 6 time zones, the body will typically adjust to this time change in 6-8 days. Jet lag is temporary, so the prognosis is excellent and most people will recover in a predictable amount of time. Many travelers report a 1st-day adrenaline bump, meaning their personal effects are delayed and not felt until 2 or even 3 days into their journey.

Complications of jet lag are extremely rare. If a person has a preexisting heart condition, the stress of the disruption in the circadian rhythm, combined with the stress of travel, high altitude, and immobility during flight may result in a heart attack. If the jet lag results in chronic sleep deprivation, stroke may occur in certain predisposed individuals.

What causes jet lag?

The cause of jet lag is the inability of the body of a traveler to immediately adjust to the time in a different zone. Thus, when a New Yorker arrives in Paris at midnight Paris time, his or her body continues to operate on New York time. As the body struggles to cope with the new schedule, temporary insomnia, fatigue, irritability, and an impaired ability to concentrate may set in. The changed bathroom schedule may cause constipation or diarrhea, and the brain may become confused and disoriented as it attempts to juggle schedules.

How business travelers cope with jet lag?

– Work with your travel consultant to select a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until 10 p.m. local time. (If you must sleep during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon, but no longer than two hours. Set an alarm to be sure not to over sleep.)
– Anticipate the time change for trips by getting up and going to bed earlier several days prior to an eastward trip and later for a westward trip.
– Upon boarding the plane, change your watch to the destination time zone.
– Taking sleeping pills, like Melatonin, are commonly accepted measures used to minimize certain sleep disorders.
– Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime. Both act as “stimulants” and prevent sleep.
– Upon arrival at a destination, avoid heavy meals (a snack—not chocolate—is okay).
– Avoid any heavy exercise close to bedtime. (Light exercise earlier in the day is fine.)
– Bring earplugs and blindfolds to help dampen noise and block out unwanted light while sleeping.
– Try to get outside in the sunlight whenever possible. Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock. (Staying indoors worsens jet lag.)
– Contrary to popular belief, the type of foods we eat has no effect on minimizing jet lag.

According to experts, stress or the potential for stress is another problem that can lead to sleeplessness. Two common travel-related stress conditions are the “First Night Effect” and the “On-Call Effect.” The first condition occurs when trying to sleep in a new or unfamiliar environment. The second is caused by the nagging worry that something just might wake you up, such as the possibility of a phone ringing, hallway noise or another disruption.

Try these tips on your next trip to help avoid travel-related stress and subsequent sleeplessness:

– Bring elements or objects from home, like a picture of the family, favorite pillow, blanket or even a coffee mug) to ease the feeling of being in a new environment.
– Check with the hotel to see if voice mail services are available to guests. Then, whenever possible, have your calls handled by the service.
– Check your room for potential sleep disturbances that may be avoided; e.g., light shining through the drapes, unwanted in-room noise, etc.
– Request two wake-up calls in case you miss the first one.

First Class vs. Business Class: Evaluating Value For Money

Let’s revisit the time-honoured First Class vs. Business Class debate. Those who that call airport lounges their 2nd home often wrestle between whether to book first-class or business-class fares.  While the most apparent differences, lie with the price (with First-Class being the more expensive of the two), as well as the comfort of the seats, and level of service; no specific standards exist within the airline industry as a whole.  Therefore, it’s imperative to understand whether you’re receiving enough value to justify the elevated price of a first-class fare.

Here’s our evaluation:

Domestic vs. Regional

There is a significant difference between domestic and regional first-class and international first.  For short-haul flights, passengers generally won’t see a tremendous distinction between first and business as the flight duration isn’t long enough, or the aircraft is not large enough to allow for many variations.  In addition, many airlines use older aircraft to service domestic and regional routes.  This translates to first and business class having very similar seating, privacy, TV sizes, menus and thus far less value for money on first-class fares.

International Business Class

Competition for passengers and new technology has created significant improvements in international business class.  Far exceeding the offerings of domestic first class, passengers can relax in luxurious seats that fully convert to lie-flat beds.  On the latest Boeing 777 aircraft, a staggered 2-4-2 pod-like configuration allows for enhanced privacy and uninterrupted work or rest.  Travellers will also have access to on-demand entertainment on larger TV screens as well as gourmet a la carte menus.  Boasting beautifully crafted dishes that incorporate culinary creations from around the world, meals are served by attentive staff and paired with a selection of fine wines.  Lastly, those flying with major airlines can make use of a network of business-class lounges around the globe.  With the combination of both incredible onboard and airport service, international business class travel offers great value for money.

International First Class

The ultimate in travel luxury, the first-class experience begins with access to exclusive first-only lounges at major international airports.  From showers to spa treatments, passengers can wait to board their flight in a haven of tranquillity.  Once onboard, personal suites in generous configurations create totally private spaces.  With beautiful extra-wide seats that transform into soft beds, long-haul flights provide all the luxuries of home.  Watch on-demand videos from personalized wide-screen televisions or dine on made to order cuisine, prepared in a state of the art galley.  While some airlines are opting for hybrid first/business classes, many are investing substantially to maintain their first-class product.  The demand for it remains on major European and Asian routes where there is still a market segment willing to pay for first-class fare prices.

The Last Word

As for the ultimate question: Is first-class worth it?   Our market experts suggest that it often depends on the airline.  Generally, those with in-demand first-class fares such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa have created enough of a distinction between their business and first product through additional luxury and higher levels of personalized service so that high prices intersect with value.

How to Incorporate a Holiday into your Next Business Trip

If you have ever felt like you spend more time in the air than on the ground, it might be time to add a little fun to your next business trip.  Whether it is a day trip out in the city, an added leg to your journey or bringing along a spouse or friend, there’s a lot of great ways to get more than quality work out of your travel.

Bring a Partner

Travelling for business can be a lonely affair.  With impersonal airports and hotel rooms, the warmth of home certainly lacks at times.  Consider inviting your significant other, or a friend to come along on your next trip.  Even if you have to entertain clients, have meetings, or work in the evenings, you’d be surprised at how much better your trip can be when you experience it with a companion. While you’re working they can book a tour, explore the city, or indulge in a fun activity.  Best of all, when you’ve got some spare time, you can go have some fun together.

Extend your Stay

Arriving a few days before or staying a few days after your trip, can enable you to explore the city you’re working in.  So often, travellers leave directly after business is wrapped up and miss an opportunity to see incredible new places inexpensively.  Book in some “days off” and explore the city.  Experience incredible sights and amazing local cuisine, or try something you’ve always wanted to do.

Add a Holiday

Even if the place you’re travelling to for work isn’t very exciting, adding a holiday to somewhere interesting close by can add significant value.  Book a regional flight, take a train, or hire a car and travel to a point of interest.  With the major travel time already out of the way, this is a fantastic way to enjoy an extra holiday.