What to look for in a Travel Management Company

When you’re thinking about choosing a travel management company for your small business it’s hard to find one that looks after your needs and will provide the personalized service you require. You have likely asked the question of what makes for a good or bad small business travel management company and we’re here answer that.

What makes for a good small business travel management company (TMC)?

There’s so many parts of what makes for a really great small business TMC and a lot to consider when choosing the right one. Creating or updating your company’s travel policy is the first step and one of the most important. A good TMC will sit down with you and discuss your travel policy to find out what loyalty programs are best, will figure out airline and hotel preferences and budgets, and will make sure the time is taken to go through each moving piece to guarantee that your travel policy looks after your company and staff. Travel policies shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all, and a good travel management company can help you put it together or discuss what points to address when you’re updating your current one.

Another quality to look for in a great TMC is their available technology and what that tech can do to keep your company secure and save you money. Are they using the best tools possible for online bookings and overall system management? Everything these days is digital and you need a company that looks to the future and embraces change, keeping ahead of the game.

A great TMC is prepared for all situations…

Should anything go wrong while one of your staff is travelling, an experienced travel management company will quickly resolve it with their extensive travel knowledge, quick & creative thinking, and leading technology to get things done in a timely manner. A reliable and local after-hours emergency assistance line is comforting and usually well-versed in your company’s account and policies.

Did you know that most TMCs outsource their after-hours emergency assistance? What this means is that if one of your staff requires immediate travel help, they might not be speaking with someone local who knows your company preferences and policies. These call centres are often lacking in compassion and customer service, staff are commonly overworked as they rush through calls and attention to detail is not a high priority so things can easily be missed. Make sure to choose a TMC which will efficiently look after your staff in an emergency situation.

Think about invoicing and areas to save money –

Choosing the best small business TMC will mean you’re going to be receiving one consolidated monthly invoice to save your accounting team headaches, and you’re not going to be waiting weeks for answers about your account, or updates to it. It’s really nice to have that personal touch and to speak with people you know. It also means things get done quickly rather than having to go through multiple departments to get a simple answer. TMCs will save your company long hold times with airlines, can make changes near instantly and effortlessly, and will fight for you to get refunds and travel credits when possible.

The right TMC will be saving your business time, money and further stress. They will source the best hotel chains with the best rewards programs (within budget) to get your staff great future travel perks and discounts on their stay where possible. Experienced TMCs will continually be on the lookout for other small business travel deals.

When not to choose a travel management company for your smaller business?

You might be thinking that your company is not big enough yet to justify the extra spend on a travel management company… and some of you might be right. If your employees are only travelling a handful of times a year and you’ve got the staff who can manage it for now, why would you need a TMC? Early investment in the right TMC is a huge asset to any growing business. It means you have the travel systems in place, ready for when your company grows. This will save you the future headaches of trying to look for a TMC when you should be focused on hiring more staff and all of the work that goes with it. A great travel management company doesn’t have monthly fees, so having one ready to go makes sense for when your company starts frequent travel in the future. You won’t be paying for a TMC unnecessarily as they will only charge per booking.

Of course, small business TMCs are not going to be the right fit for every company out there. For international businesses with offices located around the world, and staff travelling frequently outside of your TMCs opening hours, getting things booked and approved can take longer and might not make sense for your company when time is of the essence. In saying that, a good TMC will work with you to have policies in place so approval is instant for your VIP or frequent travellers, and this could alleviate many potential issues.

Make sure your TMC understands your business –

It’s crucial to understand if your TMC is fully equipped to handle your travel spend, and this will be discussed during your first conversation with them to see if they will be a fit for you. A bad travel management company won’t discuss your concerns fully and could dodge questions, so this is something to keep in mind. You need to fit together and that only comes with honesty from both parties and getting your questions answered. A transparent TMC is essential for small businesses to save time and money, and will allow a great relationship to form. One red flag for a possibly bad TMC would be if they accept your business without any discovery questions – make sure they know your company and your travel needs.

Emergency assistance is one of the most important things to consider!

As mentioned earlier, not all TMCs have local emergency assistance, and some don’t have after hours assistance at all. We believe that it’s incredibly important to have localized after hours assistance for the peace of mind it brings, and extensive knowledge of the clients travel policies. Should anything go wrong, you want your staff to be completely looked after. It is paramount. especially during a stressful situation, that your staff can trust that the TMC is working in their best interest.

How we’re structured to be the best small business travel agency in Canada –

Our Vancouver-based Worldgo Travel Management team provides 24/7 local emergency assistance and will look after your staff in line with your policies, quickly and efficiently. We’re completely transparent, have no hidden fees and we don’t charge for after hours or emergency assistance, changes or cancellations. Worldgo strives to reduce the cost, time and complexity of travel management with personal service and our innovative technology.

We don’t make any of our clients sign contracts. Yes, you read that right. Worldgo Travel Management aims to earn your business with every booking we make for you. With meticulous attention to detail, exceptional customer service, and always on the lookout for customer rewards programs for small businesses, we do everything we can to earn your trust and put your company first.

With business travel back on the rise, now is the time to look at securing a trusted and experienced travel management company for 2021.

What is the importance of business travel management for the Canadian small business sector?

So why are TMCs so important in this age of digital technology, where everything is just a few button clicks away? It is estimated that global business travel spend will reach $1.6 trillion within the next 5 years. Travel for meetings, conferences, team building events and on-site inspections have almost doubled in the past 10 years. This increase in travel means more time spent by employees researching their travel needs, putting together their expense reports and following up for approvals. Then the accounting department has to reconcile all of the transactions, reimbursements and forecast budgets. Not to mention the issues that arise should changes need to be made or alternative emergency travel be sorted, this quickly becomes a giant amount of work for all involved.

With employees trying to look after their own travel, it quickly becomes overwhelming for everyone and wastes valuable company time. As a small Canadian business, it makes sense to get help with the operations of your business travel program and hire a dedicated travel management company. A great TMCs services will provide transparent expenses, follow your agreed upon travel policies and simplify the process for all involved.

Business travel can actually help with employee retention!

As a perk, your business travel policy can actually help with employee retention and appeal to new hires. For many people, business travel is not just an obligation, but it’s actually an added work bonus. It’s good to consider not just the initial cost savings, but also how the policy can benefit your employees.

To summarize, the best TMC for smaller Canadian businesses has a focus on customer service, employs innovative and leading travel technology solutions, and provides 24/7 local support. With a great travel management company, you will never feel like just a number.

Is a small business travel management company sounding good for your business, or something you’d like to hear more about? Send us an email or give us a call to set up a free consultation.

 

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca. You can read our testimonials here.

Written By: Holly Atkins
January 20, 2021

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS IN LONDON TO STAY FOR BUSINESS

The best neighbourhoods to stay in London  – for Business Travel

London is a beautiful exciting place to be, and as a business person who travels from place to place homelike comfort or convenient amenities are what is needed to ease the stress of a busy day and keep you sharp. When it comes to London, there are various places where a business traveler can find peace, convenience, and excitement during his business stay in London. 

SHOREDITCH:

Shoreditch is a district located in central and East London. It’s notable for its stately mansions and beautifully wooden avenues. Shoreditch is a formerly blue-collar area with industrial buildings and vast warehouses. These buildings have since been renovated to become transformative accommodations and easily accessible restaurants. Various budget-friendly hotels are found here, including The Dictionary Hotel; which is a popular hotel offering private rooms in the heart of London.

Also, there is the CitizenM Shoreditch; a hip hotel with comfortable rooms in the middle of Shoreditch itself, the breakfast is very good and the lobby is a place to always remember. In the same vein, we have the Ace Hotel Shoreditch; which is the most stylish hotel to live in the neighborhood. It has urban luxury and it is located on Shoreditch High Street, this is the best choice for luxury travelers. If the traveler is hygienic and of natural taste, he shouldn’t go Shoreditch without visiting Old Spitalfields Market; once there one will find a number of restaurants, nice shops among other nice things.

SOUTHWARK:

For those that want to stay within walking distance of the city of London but away from the noisy crowd, Southwark is the place for you. This is a district of central London and is the northwest of London Borough of Southwark. It is centered east of Charing Cross, it is in front of River Thames, and the city of London. There are many restaurants in this part of London and they have the famous Tate Modern and the most famous indoor Borough Market. There are many hotels and places of residence that one can lodge in for the time the person is to stay in London. They have The Mad Hatter; which is a great 19th-century building that is situated between Southwark and Waterloo. This building used to be a hat factory. Here they serve good food here and the traveler will get to enjoy the real English feeling. They also have at Southwark Bermondsey Square; that a very good coffee shop in front of it. The rooms there are comfortable and the food is very good and it is a working distance of London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Also, they have The Lalit London; they have a beautiful structure and the food there is good. The beds are awesome, and the breakfasts are superb.

GREENWICH:

This is an area in the southeast of England which is situated east-southeast of Charing Cross, and it is within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. For those that might enjoy a cozy, restaurants, and pubs with fewer crowds. If someone enjoys serenity after a busy day, Greenwich is the place for the person, it can be quiet, but it is not the creepy quiet, it is the cozy and lovely quiet. There are very good places to reside that are pocket friendly and the expensive ones depending on the person’s choice, some of them include, St. Christopher Greenwich; a place that is just a small distance from the metro stop, they have private rooms and dorms, and they have good breakfasts with little cost. They also the Hotel Ibis London which is pocket friendly. Also, for those that want luxury, the DoubleTree by Hilton Greenwich.

Even though there are innumerable places to stay for a business traveler in London, some of the mentioned neighborhoods will make the traveler enjoy his stay in London, make him comfortable, and like the saying comfort brings efficacy, he’ll be efficient in what he is in London to do.

The Ultimate List of Things to do in Vancouver

Similar to my blog on Calgary, I’m asking you to keep an open mind as there will be some obvious tourist places. Just remember, they are popular for good reason! It’s okay to be a tourist, even if it is in your own backyard. I believe this extensive list encompasses the best activities, tours, and things to do to help you explore this beautiful city that I call home.

This list is written for all seasons, so there are some activities on here that are only available at certain times of the year. Don’t let that be a worry, there’s plenty of suggestions on here that are wonderful and enjoyable in all months. I just had to write this comprehensive post out with all of my favourite Vancouver activities, walks, museums, tours, markets, parks, and other adventurous pursuits to share my love of this incredible city.

Before I go any further, if you’re in Vancouver during the colder months, then you just can’t leave without seeing a live Canucks game at the Rogers Arena. The atmosphere is electric, the crowd is loud, vibrant, and passionate, the food options are *chefs kiss*, and the beers are gigantic at 24oz (albeit expensive). Being an unashamedly massive Canucks fan means that every friend of mine who visits Vancouver is going to be tagging along with me when there’s a game on. If the game is sold out, or tickets are over your budget, we still have you covered. Head to The Sportsbar LIVE! at Rogers Arena. They have huge TVs playing the game live, and the bar is filled with boisterous and jolly fans. Go Canucks go!

Find a bargain at one of our Vancouver markets

The Vancouver Flea Market is one of the quirkiest markets in Vancouver that has everything one could ever need or want, including many things that fit into neither bracket… but we buy them anyway because it’s such a good deal! Situated in the historic Ellis Building (built in 1907), it is 10,000sq ft. and filled with the most unique array of vintage, antique or new goods you’ll come across. With 50 or so vendors, you’ll find goodies such as handmade leather and pottery delights, houseplants, cute cacti and succulent displays, fantastic food, jewelry, breathtaking artwork, vintage records, upcycled one-offs, henna tattoos, fresh fruit from the Okanagan, gorgeous handbags, retro comics and games, and so much more! This market is irresistible to even the less enthusiastic shopper.

One of the most beautiful ways to spend a free day is to take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station across to Lonsdale Quay and explore North Vancouver. Stepping off the SeaBus, you’re steps away from the Lonsdale Quay Market which boasts over 60 fresh food vendors, quirky retail shops, artisans, restaurants and more. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two just strolling through with a few tasty treats you’ve purchased. Just next to the Lonsdale Quay Market is the fascinating Polygon Gallery, a vibrant art institution with a focus on photography and media based art, that is sure to inspire and captivate. After strolling the markets and art gallery, you’re surrounded by restaurants with waterfront patios to enjoy a drink and city views before returning back downtown.

Granville Island is the 2nd most visited destination in Canada, and for good reason. The Granville Island Public Market is the epicenter of Vancouver’s culinary passion. You’ll find organic breads, fresh Coho salmon, live Dungeness crabs, artisanal meats and cheeses, freshly baked goods, fruit and vegetables from local farms and more. This really is a foodie’s paradise. On the rest of the island, there’s boat tours, souvenir shops, art galleries, buskers,  and great bars. If you’re visiting from downtown, taking the AquaBus across is recommended. It’s a super cute little boat that operates on False Creek that makes for great pics, and a bonus is that it skips the traffic crossing the bridge.

(views from Granville Island, featuring my motorbike)

Exhilarating Vancouver adventures

There’s not really anything more Canadian than a lumberjack, and what better way to embrace your inner lumberjack than throwing axes? You can try your hand at axe throwing (and sword fighting!) with Axewood Crew in downtown Vancouver. Excellent for a date night, going with friends or for a corporate event, the Axewood Crew will make sure you’re having a blast. For something pretty special, a seaplane flight over Vancouver has to be at the top of the list. One of the best things I’ve done in Vancouver is take a seaplane flight and tour with Harbour Air. I can’t recommend their Taste of the West Coast tour more highly, which includes a 2 hour Zodiac boat tour through the fjords, an amazing lunch on Bowen island and a seaplane flight back to Vancouver.

Another uniquely Canadian experience is FlyOver Canada. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, while the film whisks you away on an exhilarating journey across Canada, from east to west. The film and the special effects really do make you feel like you’re flying. After your film that will inspire more love for Canada than ever before, a short and incredibly scenic seawall walk is in order, and by keeping the mountains in view, it will take you across to Stanley Park. Large hidden lakes, a Pitch n Putt course, remarkable beaches with mountain views, tennis courts, and larger than New York’s Central Park, our prized Stanley Park is sure to impress as it really has something for everyone. Make sure to visit Lost Lagoon, a 41 acre body of water where you can find beavers, turtles, raccoons, and dozens of bird species hidden amongst the tall reeds. Continuing along the seawall is a must, and you can follow the signs to the Vancouver Aquarium, which is filled with over 58,000 animals in total from land and sea. Visit the sea lions who bark and belch loudly when hungry, the playful and inquisitive otters, our local harbour seals and the smart and curious octopus. With a focus on marine research, marine animal conservation and rehabilitation, this is one aquarium you can feel good visiting.

If you know me, then you know that I’m more than a little bit motorcycle obsessed. And if you’ve been thinking about what it would be like to ride a motorcycle, or wanting to come on a ride with me, then you’re in luck! You can ride a fully automatic 49cc scooter with Cycle BC around Vancouver. They have a variety of Vancouver routes for you to explore, ranging from 1 hour to 8 hours, and all you need is a driver’s license. Cycle BC will get you equipped with all the necessary gear and give you a run-through of the controls and you’ll be on your way. Grab a baguette and some cheese and pretend you’re scooting around some Parisian streets!

Did you know that Vancouver is one of the few cities in the world where you can see Orcas? A whale watching tour is the best way to get out and have a chance of seeing these majestic animals, and we recommend Vancouver Whale Watch. Located down in Steveston (a really quaint historic town worth checking out, and our favourite spot for fresh fish and chips), it is worth the trek by car or transit. Using smaller zodiac style vessels, they are able to travel more quickly on their small tours, which means you have a higher chance of seeing killer whales, porpoises, humpbacks, seals and eagles. Whale watching season is April 1 to October 31st. Book in advance as tours do sell out.

Have you been blessed with a glorious sunny day in Vancouver? Head over to Granville Island and try out HydroBiking with Vancouver Boat Rentals! HydroBiking (or water biking) is kayaking and bicycle riding combined into one, and it’s one of the best ways to explore False Creek, as you’re higher off the water for better views of your surrounds. If you’re wanting to get out of the city, then kayaking in Deep Cove might be perfect for you. Deep Cove Kayak Centre is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Metro Vancouver, nestled in between mountains and with calm water perfect for a paddle, there’s few places more idyllic than this. If you’ve still got energy left and fancy a hike, the Quarry Rock Hike trail is a 5 minute walk from the kayaking centre. A 45 minute hike to the top will present you with captivating views of Deep Cove and the surrounding forests. After your adventures, head to Honey’s Doughnuts & Goodies for some comfort food and some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had!

(breathtaking views of Deep Cove)

Get lost in our green spaces

It would be an incomplete list without mentioning the best parks for the Christmas Lights in Vancouver. There’s two that you have to visit and both for completely different reasons. VanDusen Botanical Garden is the first, for its impressive one million lights spread out over 15 acres of their gardens. Running for over 35 years now puts the VanDusen festival lights as the longest running winter holiday attraction. A visit with Santa is on the lineup, and there’s food vendors through the garden selling treats and warm drinks. Outside of the Christmas lights festival, the VanDusen Botanical Garden covers over 55 acres, which includes an Elizabethan hedge maze and over 7500 plant species from all over the world.

The second must-see for the Christmas Lights in Vancouver is a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. With over half a million lights, it’s not quite as extravagant as VanDusen, however, they have so much going on! The suspension bridge is 140 metres long and 70 metres above the Capilano River, surrounded by views of the breathtaking rainforest and the rushing waters below. Get yourself a hot chocolate and walk through these enchanting gardens that will spark wonder and joy from even the grumpiest Grinch. Interactive light displays from sound and movement, large lit up creatures flying overhead, and ponds that glisten from the overhead lights are just a few of the wonders of this place. There’s live music playing from an enthusiastic band and the atmosphere is electric. Just down the road you can visit the Capilano Fish Hatchery (daytime only) where you’ll be able to see up close the giant salmon jumping up the stream to lay their eggs, and get to learn about their incredible life cycle.

If you’re after views of the city, a drive up to the Cypress Mountain lookout will get you just that, being able to see out to Mount Baker and Vancouver Island on a clear day. The bewitching views really are out of this world and won’t disappoint… unless there’s a lot of fog around, in which case, maybe heading to a local pub is a better idea! On a clear evening, there’s not many things nicer than some quiet stargazing, and this experience can be found at the top of Seymour Mountain. Make sure to take lots of warm gear and maybe a hot beverage, as the temperature up there is often 10 degrees less than at the base of the mountain. Both of these mountains are fantastic in the summer or winter – they offer sledding and snow shoeing, stunning and secluded walking trails, downhill mountain biking and more.

Grouse Mountain is another obvious must-see attraction. At 1,200 metres tall, they offer even better views of Metro Vancouver, though there is an admission cost. You can either do the grueling Grouse Grind hike to the top and catch the gondola down to save some money, or for those not interested in the extra exercise, you can take the gondola both directions. Grouse Mountain is probably one of the most amazing places in Vancouver you could visit – with sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the winter, and lumberjack shows, zip lining, a grizzly bear refuge and more in the summer, there’s something to enjoy for everyone.

Queen Elizabeth Park marks the highest point in Vancouver City from the top of Little Mountain, and it gives you sweeping views of the city center, False Creek and the towering mountains. You can enjoy pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, and more while exploring the extensive 130-acre gardens. The Bloedel Conservatory can’t be missed during your visit, an indoor tropical garden environment consisting of over 100 birds and 500 plant species. If you’re hungry or thirsty after your wander, you should visit the Seasons in the Park restaurant, serving mouthwatering Pacific Northwest dishes, with panoramic views of the city.

If you’re wanting to get away from the main crowds, and explore a gigantic forest with great walking paths, then Lynn Canyon is the spot for you. Like the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, they also have a suspension bridge (50 metres high and 48 metres long), and you’ve got over 615 acres to explore. Plus, there’s no admission fee! Below is a photo of my friend’s dog, Bernie, exploring the wonders of Lynn Canyon on a hidden swing off one of the many trails. You can follow him on Instagram.

(hidden swing in Lynn Valley)

Take a Vancouver walking tour with the professionals

Did you know most cities around the world now have free walking tours you can enjoy? Well, Vancouver now has them too! You can go on your free walking tour with Tour Guys. Their 2 hour Gastown Historical Tour is informative and fun, giving you detailed information on the transformation of this historic part of Vancouver. Tipping your guide at the end of the tour is welcomed and encouraged. After your free walking tour, the Vancouver Lookout is a short stroll away and will give you brilliant 360° of the surrounds.

We mentioned Granville Island earlier, and it’s absolutely worth getting to, but we know it can be overwhelming if you’re going for the first time. To get the most out of your time on this quirky island we cannot more highly recommend a food walking tour of Granville Island with Vancouver Foodie Tours. The tour is 2 hours and you’ll try over 20 signature Canadian mouthwatering delights, plus you’ll get to know the island and layout more quickly so you’ll feel more like a local with your now in-depth knowledge.

A photography walking tour with Nature Photo Hikes will enable you to improve your photo skills while getting to experience some of the most beautiful parts of BC. They have an awesome 6 hour tour to Bowen Island tour with ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay (see photo below!), all while learning how to take the best landscape pics. Whether you’ve got a top of the range DSLR camera, or just your phone, your guide will help you take the best photos. If 6 hours is just too long, they have tours starting from 2 hours depending on your photography interests and schedule.

(the calm waters of Horseshoe Bay)

Cultural strolls

Tuesday nights in Vancouver are a treat, for just a donation you can get admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery (normally $24). One of North America’s most respected and innovative visual arts institutions, the Vancouver Art Gallery (which occupies a 15,300 square-metre building and was founded in 1931), is regularly the home to seasonal ground-breaking exhibitions, and is the permanent home to approximately 12,000 works by artists from Canada and around the world. Located in the heart of downtown, there’s plenty of cool bars and restaurants for after your visit to satiate your appetite. If science is a passion of yours, then a stop to Science World is an absolute must. Fun interactive exhibits, with no expense spared on their giant exhibits, this museum is ever-changing and always invoking wonder with those who visit. Located on the waterfront, this geodesic dome building stands out as one of our most beautiful pieces of architecture, originally built as the Expo Centre for the Expo 86 world’s fair. Both inside and out will amaze and it’s easy to spend your whole day at this fascinating science centre.

Located in Kits Point are 3 museums that are unique, extraordinary and sure to quench your thirst for cultural experiences in Vancouver – the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Museum of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Space and space history, Canadian history from the 1900s to now, indigenous culture, maritime history and ever-changing exhibitions, these three galleries will fill an entire day and evening until your heart is content. I won’t go into detail on these incredible cultural experiences as I feel they speak for themselves. Visit them and I know you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re still craving more history and culture, located in the University of British Columbia is the Museum of Anthropology, where you can learn about the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of BC, Canada. Totem poles, carved figures, house posts and more from the mid-19th century are permanently on display in the Great Hall, with other exhibits including the works of Bill Reid, over 600 European ceramics and stone wear dating back to the 16th century, and an outdoor area featuring Haida artworks. This museum is one of the most awe-inspiring cultural museums in Canada. For more Indigenous artwork, the Bill Reid Art Gallery (located in downtown Vancouver) is Canada’s only public gallery dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Art of the Northwest Coast.

If you’re still reading, then you’ve earnt this one. One of the best hidden gems of Vancouver is the Rennie Museum, a contemporary art museum that features rotating exhibitions every couple of months. Previous featured artists include Yoko Ono, Damian Moppett and Richard Jackson. The Rennie Museum offers guided tours (for free!) held on most Saturdays and select weekday evenings. You’ll need about an hour for the tour, which includes access to a breathtaking rooftop sculpture garden. They don’t have a phone number to call, but their website lists their current exhibits and you can reach them through their contact form if needed.

(the iconic crab statue and spaceship of the Museum of Vancouver)

No matter what you choose from this list, I’m sure it will reignite your love for Vancouver in a whole new way. If this is your first time visiting Vancouver, I hope you will see the magic and wonder that I see in this vibrant city every day. Vancouver might not be the city that never sleeps, but it’s surely the city that never ceases to amaze.

If you’re looking for some Vancouver food and drinks suggestions, make sure to read my earlier article here.

*Note – Due to COVID-19, many attractions and activities are currently temporarily closed, so make sure to check their websites before you visit. This list was written as an homage to my love of Vancouver and to promote the best our city has to offer, to help others explore this unique and fantastic city.

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Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

Written By: Holly Atkins
October 15th, 2020

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

Toronto for a ‘Bleisure’ Trip?

I know a lot of travellers get to Toronto several times a year for work and aside from the abundance of great restaurants, shopping and of course your clients – turning Toronto into a ‘bleisure’ trip is one thing that often travellers don’t think of. If you don’t know what ‘bleisure travel’ is, then you are in luck. Bleisure is a new portmanteau, and it refers to “the activity of combining business travel with leisure time”.

More and more business travellers are jumping on the idea of bleisure trips, so why shouldn’t you? I have compiled some easy ideas, that might not be commonly thought of, for your next bleisure trip to Toronto.

For the hockey fan:

Why not finally listen to your inner child? First stop – the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s situated right downtown on Yonge Street and perfect for even casual fans. From Tim Horton (yes he really was a famous hockey player) to Wayne Gretzky and everyone in between, this really is the perfect spot to spend a few hours for all hockey fans –  you might even get to touch the cup! Did I mention that Scotiabank Arena is only a 5 min walk away, just in case you want to see the Leafs in action? Be prepared, a Leafs game is a very sought after ticket and after Montreal and New York, they are the most expensive in the NHL starting at $187 a ticket. If that’s too rich for your blood, first start at the Hall of Fame and pop down to Wayne Gretzky’s bar which is only 15 minutes away and you might just get to see ‘The Great One’ if he happens to pop in for a drink.

For the Nature Lover:

Cottages in lake country are the best way to escape Toronto which has famously been coined the ‘Center of the Universe’ by locals and Canadians alike. Why not get out of the hustle and bustle and get out to the lakes?  Be prepared there are lots of them! They are only ever an hour or two away from downtown. Best months for this of course are June-September or you can do what I did and pop by for the winter if you want to try your hand at ice fishing/skidooing.

For the Thrill Seeker:

The CN Tower looms large over the city of Toronto. You can see the tower from 160 kms (100 miles) away on a clear day. For 32 years the CN Tower was the largest free standing structure in the world and still today is something every person that comes to Toronto should do (if they want to get a different type of high). While taking in the views, why not do exactly what your mom told you not to do, and try the CN Tower Edgewalk. Torontonians have called it “the most thrilling attraction in the history of the city”.I just called it ‘crazy’ when I did it. Jumpsuit, safety ropes, you and a harness and pop outside for an hour long walk through the clouds. If you aren’t great with heights, you might just want to stick to the observation level.

(On top of the world..well the CN Tower doing the Edgewalk)

For those that like to see Natural Wonders of the World:

Niagara Falls, once called the Honeymoon capital of the world, still doesn’t disappoint today (even if honeymooners typically pick warmer locales to visit). The Canadian side is more picturesque with plenty of viewing options and makes for an easy day trip from Toronto. A journey on the famous ‘Maid of the Mist’ is a must and it’s a great place for a night out at one of the two casinos (with fall views of course) or just to relax for the day, solo or with friends.

For those that like to shop, shop, shop.

Outlets are starting to come to the rest of Canada but have been a steady part of the shopping world in Ontario for years. For big brands like Nike, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Levi’s and Banana Republic, the first question is why pay retail? With over 10 outlet malls all within an hour’s drive of the big city, why not spend a little extra time (and money) and do some retail therapy on your next trip out here. Toronto Premium Outlet Mall, Dixie Mall and Heartland Town Centre are three great options to literally shop till you drop (or get on the plane) as those 3 are all within 20 mins of the airport.

For the Sports Lover:

If you are a big sports lover like me, then Toronto is the perfect city for you. If you’re into basketball like I am, then seeing a Raptors game is a must. Obviously for hockey you’ve got the Leafs. If CFL/NFL is your thing then the Argonauts are the local team or in under 2 hours you can be in Buffalo, supporting the (partially) home town Buffalo Bills. Toronto FC is the famous draw for all the soccer fans and then of course if baseball is your thing, Rogers Centre (previously the Skydome) is the place to see the ‘old game’ be played. With so many options for the casual sports fan, this really is a great sports city. If you can’t decide, pop on down to Real Sports Bar and see all of the games on over 200 TVs and the largest plasma screen in North America, it’s a sight in itself!

Whether or not you agree with the ‘Center of the Universe’ tag, it’s hard to deny the importance of Toronto as both a business and tourism destination.  There is so much more to the city than the things I’ve touched on here.  If you can, add an extra day or two and make your next trip to Toronto a bleisure trip!

 

To book your next ‘bleisure’ trip contact a Worldgo Vacation Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written by: Miles Walker
Date: July 7th, 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.