The Best of Chicago – Our 3 Top Threes

The Best of Chicago – 3 x three-pointers

Visiting a new city for work can be difficult when you’re on a time crunch. You want to get out and explore, go to the best cafes and restaurants, and see some sights, all in between your meetings and other work obligations. But how do you choose? Worry no more. Our “top threes of cities” continues, with this one delving into the beautiful city known for its stunning architecture and deep-dish pizza. None other than vibrant Chicago, Illinois.

Top 3 Eateries in Chicago:

A relaxed, friendly, well-priced, and open café usually ticks all of the boxes for a quick breakfast before you’re stuck in meetings all day. Wishbone Chicago serves delicious home-style southern dishes with a Cajun spin that will leave you satisfied until you can escape the work meetings for a late lunch. For a healthy start to the day, grab a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and pecans. If something more indulgent is your thing, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the chicken & waffles – a sugar waffle and fried chicken with maple honey butter and a side of fruit. For something hearty, order the chicken andouille hash with a side of the cheese grits.

There’s this incredible lunch spot in Chicago that makes me salivate just at the thought of it. Lobster roll with truffle parmesan tater tots, curry fish cakes, fresh fish and chips, sriracha-sesame soy glazed grilled shrimp… YUM! Okay, it’s a seafood lovers paradise, but they also have keto, vegetarian and paleo options, and seafood isn’t the only thing they do well here. Brown Bag Seafood Co has a fresh take on what a restaurant should be. No table cloths or black-tie waiters in sight, they have a down-to-earth and happy atmosphere with DIY menu cards and use environmentally friendly and biodegradable packaging. If it’s good weather, why not get it to-go? Located just a short walk away is Lake View Park which has lovely views of Lake Michigan.

So this just wouldn’t be a Chicago list without some Chicago deep-dish pizza options. This place sells out quickly as they are crafted in very small quantities, but oh man, they are so incredibly worth it. Milly’s Pizza in the Pan is owned by Robert, who handcrafts each pie himself from his grandmother’s recipes. They open at 5 pm (take away only), so try and get there as early as possible to pick up your pie. The magic here is in the crust, with a halo of caramelized mozzarella that is wrapped around each pie, giving a satisfying crunch to each slice.

Top 3 Experiences in Chicago:

The Museum of Contemporary Art is wondrous, inspiring, and encompasses a refreshing new look at art that is not to be missed. Ever-changing exhibits that are playful, thought-provoking and enticing draw you in, but their permanent collection is every bit as incredible as those that stop by. With over 2500 artworks from the 1920s to present, they switch it all out over time, to ensure every piece gets its time to shine and doesn’t sit locked in a lonely basement for all of eternity without appreciation. Admission is suggested as $15 per person, but something that really made my heart happy is their “pay what you can” policy. They won’t turn anyone away, as they believe art should be accessible to everyone. I love this so much.

Helicopter Over Chicago | Throughout my photography career, … | FlickrI think there are few things more thrilling in life (that you can do while sitting down) than going for a helicopter ride. Heart racing, adrenaline-pumping adventure, with views that will firmly rest in your memories for a lifetime. Chicago Aerial Tours offers a stunning 30-minute helicopter tour and allows you the opportunity to see the spectacular Chicago skyline from a unique vantage point. You’ll be able to see the iconic Navy Pier, Lake Michigan, Soldier Field and so much more.

Hit up a comedy club for a truly memorable Chicago experience. The comedy greats started their careers here, like Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, John Candy, Steve Carrell, Mike Myers, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler… and the list goes on! This really is THE comedy club to visit, and it is none other than Second City.

Top 3 Spots for Work Drinks in Chicago:

A rooftop bar, a food market that will have even the fussiest of eaters salivating, views for days of this breathtaking city, and a cozy all-season location to find it all. Tony’s Rooftop Bar was named after the Time Out Founder, Tony Elliott, and is located at the top of the Time Out Market Chicago. Fairy lights, exposed wooden beams, and a plethora of delicious drinks on the menu, this spot is great for after works drinks to start the night off right.

Did you know that Chicago has the oldest Jazz club in the USA? Known for its eclectic jazz performances, poetry readings, and a great night out, The Green Mill jazz club has been welcoming tourists since 1907. They serve up a mean cocktail, they don’t serve food, and they take cash only. This place is a gem and has some quirks, but you won’t find a spot in Chicago that will serve up better live jazz music than these guys.

Barrel Run Bus | Chicago, Illinois | Travis Wise | FlickrA unique experience and drinks all rolled into one. Chicago’s Barrel Bus is a gigantic beer barrel on wheels (okay so it’s a bus that looks like a beer barrel) that is one of the coolest ways to experience a couple of drinks after work. You can take one of their brewery tours, and while you can’t drink on the actual bus, it will take you between some of the best Chicago breweries the city has to offer. I love kitsch, I love beer, and I love exploring new cities, so this tour is a gigantic win in my books!

Top 3 Free Things to do in Chicago:

You have probably seen this spot in your favourite movies and shows multiple times, but maybe you (like me!) didn’t know it was actually located in Chicago. The iconic Navy Pier that juts out from downtown with incredible water views is the go-to spot in Chicago for live music, free public programs, dining, shopping, cultural events, and more. The Navy Pier is a great spot to just wander around for free, but you can also get some delicious bites from a concession stand, ride the Centennial Wheel, catch a movie at the IMAX, enjoy a Shakespearean show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, or take a cruise on the river. Whatever you do – be it wandering and taking in the sights, or having a full day of concession stands, rides and theatre – you’re going to love it here.

Catch an illuminating water and lights show at Buckingham Fountain, located in Grant Park. Once the sun sets, head to the fountain for its mesmerizing nightly light show. Up to 14,000 gallons of water is shot up into the air per minute, and it is all beautifully lit up after dusk. Water shows occur every hour on the hour and last for roughly 20 minutes.

Millennium Park is one of the most extraordinary public spaces in the world. The architecturally stunning centre-piece of the park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion which hosts a range of free culturalarchitecture art chicago chicago bean public domain image - FreeIMG performances like concerts, movies, and dance shows, but is worth a visit even if nothing is on for its sheer beauty. Millennium Park also is home to “the bean”, you know the one… the gigantic mirrored bean that is one of the world’s largest outdoor sculptures by British artist Anish Kapoor. Its official name is Cloud Gate and is more incredible in person due to its overwhelming size. Be sure to visit Lurie Garden, which includes sculptures and lighting across their five-acre urban oasis.

Top 3 Business Travel Hotels in Chicago:

This lovely four-star boutique hotel is well priced, comfortable, sophisticated, and welcoming. This award-winning hotel, the Thompson Chicago, is located downtown and a short walk from Lake Michigan. Excellent dining options just steps away, friendly and helpful front desk staff, and trendy, clean, and cozy rooms that will have you wishing to extend your stay for another night… or 7.

Virgin Hotel Chicago is a fantastic business hotel, with economically priced rooms and is located in the heart of downtown. It’s a chic hotel with a cool rooftop bar, which has some of the best skyline views to offer while sipping your handcrafted beverages. They have a huge amount of meeting room space, a phenomenal coffee bar, a couple of great restaurants and as mentioned, their rooftop bar – they really have everything you could need so you wouldn’t even need to step outside of the hotel if you didn’t want to! But do step outside the hotel, Chicago is incredible and you don’t want to miss this vibrant city. What I’m saying is, the Virgin Hotel Chicago is an excellent choice for your business or leisure stay in this city.

It would be remiss of me to not include The Langham on here. Five-star luxury, with no expense spared, this mid-century-inspired hotel will have architecture enthusiasts enthralled. They also have one of the best hotel lounges in town! Sure, so it might be a bit high-end for business travel, but if you’ve got the budget for it, or want to stay an extra night in luxury, then this is the place to enjoy yourself (and in their award-winning spa!).

With your Chicago travels schedule looked after, it’s time to pack!

Packing can be one of the hardest things to do before a business trip. You’ve got home from work, you’re exhausted and all you can think about is taking a quick beer out of the fridge to relax… but you’ve got to be up early tomorrow to fly to another part of the world. We’re here to help. Read our article on the best business travel packing hacks here.

We hope you enjoyed our list and it helps you enjoy the best of Chicago!

Are you looking to set up your business with a travel management company? Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written By: Holly Atkins

February 26, 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!

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 that 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 any 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. 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.

Top Eats and Drinks in Vancouver

With our primary office situated in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, and most of our staff true locals, we decided it was time to compile a list of our favourite eats and drinks for you to check out while exploring our hometown. We hope this list gets you excited to explore this incredible city of ours, and you find something unexpectedly delicious!

Rise and brunch

After a much needed sleep in and a beautiful lazy morning, all of a sudden you’re starving and it’s almost noon… the perfect combination for a brunch! My personal favourite local brunch spot is at Aphrodite’s Café. I usually order their Special Bacon Benny along with their Bailey’s Latte Bowl to hit the sweet spot. They have an incredible pie shop opposite their café, so you can pick up the perfect dessert pie for later! If you’re after a view and something quite special, then Lift Bar & Grill in Coal Harbour can’t be beat with their selection of eggs benedicts and other brunch delights.

It would also be remiss of me to not mention my favourite café, Aperture Coffee Bar (Main & King Edward location). They serve the best espresso I’ve had in Vancouver, serve great pastries and their shop is filled with retro motorcycles and motorcycle décor.

Anita deJong, our Groups and Events Manager, is on the money with her two brunch recommendations, Yolks and Jam Café! These are two of the busiest and best brunch spots anywhere in Vancouver. Neither take reservations so it’s likely you’ll be in line for a little bit, so hopefully you’ve got a friend to keep you company. From Yolks we recommend the Croque Madame, or for something without the meat, their Grilled Asparagus & Double Cream Brie Benny will hit the spot. Jam Café does the best Fried Chicken Benny we’ve ever had, and their Banana Walnut Pancakes will blow you away.

Are you after something a little lighter? Miles Walker, our Business Development Manager, says that the homemade bagels from Siegel’s Bagels is the first stop you should take. The Rosemary Rock Salt Bagel will keep you coming back for more every time, and their Montreal Smoked Meat Bagel is a sure thing for lunch.

Top lunch spots in Vancouver

Here at Worldgo Travel, we are extremely passionate fans of the Canucks, and we’re also suckers for a great burger. Inside one of the most Canucks friendly bars, The American, is located DownLow Burgers which ticks all of our boxes. The Not in Kansas Burger is always a winner, and if you’ve got a large appetite then definitely get it with a side of onion rings.

Wanting to try something really unique to Vancouver? Japadog fuses the North American staple of hot dogs and fries with Japanese cuisine. The Japanese owners moved to Canada in 2005 and promptly opened their first location. They have since built it into a thriving business, attracting people from all of the world to their store and food trucks. A trip to Vancouver would be incomplete without a stop here.

One of my favourite things to do on a nice day is to get my takeout from Thai Basil Restaurant in Kitsilano and then walk across to the beach for dinner with a view that money just can’t buy. Taking your shoes off and wiggling your toes in the sand whilst eating some of the best Thai food in Vancouver just can’t be beat. If you find that sand is coarse, rough, irritating and it gets everywhere (which rules out dinner on the beach!), then a great alternative is to head to a patio with water views. Take the adorable False Creek Aquabus ferry from downtown over to Mahony & Sons at Stamps Landing for one of the best Vancouver patios. They offer excellent pub food, a great drinks menu and some good Irish craic.

Best dinner locations in Vancouver

With so many incredible restaurants in Vancouver from all corners of the world, this was one of the hardest lists to narrow down. After much heated debate between all of us of about which spots to include, these are our top locations for dinner. My favourite place in Vancouver, Little Bird Dim Sum & Craft Beer, opened up less than a year ago and has everything you need to know in the name. They have just over 20 small plates on the menu and 10 local BC craft beers to accompany them. Every single dish is quite simply, perfect. What’s best is that everything on their menu is under $10. Another restaurant that I can’t stay away from is the Dinesty Dumpling House for their Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao). Get there early (5pm or just after) and put your name on the list. Just trust me on this one, everything on their menu is phenomenal. They have a few locations, so it’s convenient no matter where you are.

Ask For Luigi is without a doubt the best Italian food I’ve had in my life, outside of Italy. I have nothing more to say, except “buon appetito”!

Eric Sakawsky, our Co-Founder, has recently got us hooked on Mangia e Cucina, an amazing Italian restaurant inside a quaint heritage house in Mount Pleasant. Their authentic and mouthwatering Sicilian food will see you returning time and time again. Another staff and client favourite, Hy’s Steakhouse, is the place to go for a special occasion (though it will hurt the wallet a little). Their New York Strip is heavenly, and get the Maple Pecan Carrots on the side to really treat yourself.

It wouldn’t be a Vancouver food list without sushi. Mark Salmon, one of our Corporate Travel Managers, recommends the non-pretentious and highly underrated Toshi at Main & 16th. There’s always a wait but just sign your name on the wait sheet located inside the door and head over to El Camino’s for a Mezcal based cocktail or grab a beer at the Five Point while you wait. On the topic of seafood, Mark also recommends a visit to Rodney’s Oyster House for hands down the best oysters in Vancouver. Their Slap Jack Chowder will have you cleaning the bowl.

The best bars & breweries in Vancouver

This list would be incomplete without our favourite East Vancouver breweries. East Vancouver has been nicknamed  ‘Yeast Van’ by locals as it contains some of the best breweries in BC (and perhaps even in Canada). Parallel 49 Brewing Company, Container Brewing Ltd, Andina Brewing Company, Callister Brewing Co and Strange Fellows Brewing have all made our list for the top Vancouver breweries. Another location we love is 33 Acres Brewing Company (located in Mount Pleasant) due to their ever-changing list of great beers and their incredible brunch menu.

If you’re after a down-to-earth sports bar with a large drinks menu that’s constantly changing, then Bells & Whistles might be the spot for you. With large screens to watch the game on, and a large selection of great beers to choose from, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better location that this. They also have a couple of arcade games to enjoy. Their Crispy Chicken Sandwich with a side of Garlic Fries can’t be beat, but everything on their menu will leave you satisfied and eager to return.

For something different, the Keefer Bar has just opened their Keefer Yard where you can play mini golf and cornhole while having some of the city’s best cocktails. Make sure you have a reservation as they’re booking up fast. I was here just this week and had a blast. You can order Juke Fried Chicken and Hey, Dumplings right to your table. We ordered from both restaurants (for our group of four) and everything we ate was amazing! Pourhouse has quickly risen to be one of our most loved bars with unique cocktails and mouthwatering meals. Also, you have got to try their award-winning burger, a 40 day dry-aged chuck steak with aged cheddar and pork belly!

Ben Livingston, one of our Senior Corporate Travel Managers, says a visit to Craft Beer Market shouldn’t be missed. It will allow you to discover your new favourite BC beer as they have over 100 beers on tap to choose from! Some of our other favourite Vancouver bars for something a bit more intimate include The Narrow and Alibi Room.

Satisfy that middle of the night craving

We have something for everyone with these two late night eats. Lucy’s Eastside Diner is open 24/7 and is an authentic North American diner with all of the burger, fries and shake classics, and an amazing retro interior. If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan options, then The Naam is also open 24/7 and is the stop for you. They are Vancouver’s oldest vegetarian and vegan restaurant, and we’re always craving their burritos and smoothies.

We’re excited for you to get out and try our beloved list of the best Vancouver eateries and breweries. Hopefully you’ll find lots of new favourites and experience some wonderful surprises. Happy eating!

If you’re looking for some suggestions on things to do in Vancouver, make sure to read my earlier article here.

 

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

Note: We are not being sponsored for any of these mentions. This article has only been written with incredible love for these delicious Vancouver joints.

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
September 8th, 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!

 

 

 

Make Your Next Business Trip to Calgary a Bleisure Trip

Calgary for Bleisure? Oh yes!

How many times have you been to Calgary and not stepped foot out of the hotel to explore the city? It can be so easy to fall into the trap of not leaving your hotel. Meetings are often on hotel premises, and most have good onsite bars and restaurants too. I’m here to show you how to switch that up and give you some new ideas and insider tips for your next visit to try and turn your business trip into an enjoyable bleisure trip. (Bleisure travel is a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure”, and, it refers to “the activity of combining business travel with leisure time”).

Okay, so a few of these you might turn your nose up at because you’re not one of “those” tourists. I get it! I often try to avoid the popular tourist stops on my travels as I don’t like large crowds of people. My idea of travelling is to just wander lesser known areas and stumble across hidden gems. In saying that, I’m a glutton for collecting kitsch souvenirs, eating delectable foods, and enjoying a good view… and most of the popular tourist destinations check those boxes! I promise you that these experiences will make you view Calgary in a new light. Keep reading and you’ll have all of the insider info to have the best bleisure trip possible.

Treat yourself to brunch

Okay, so Vancouver just got its first location of OEB Breakfast Co. which has been life changing, but OEB was actually established in Calgary in 2009. I have never before made the noises I made when I first ate at OEB. Their breakfast poutine will absolutely rock your world. If you’re in Calgary with a free morning, do yourself a favour and get over to one of their locations ASAP. I highly recommend the “Meat-less to Say” breakfast poutine (but make sure to get it with added bacon if you’re a meat eater like me!). Really though, you can’t go wrong with anything on their extensive menu. See my photo below for further proof of the worthiness of their brunch.

Stretch your legs

After sitting in meetings, you’re probably longing for a good stroll to stretch your legs. From downtown Calgary, the raging Bow River is a short walk away, flowing through the city with a mighty force from the glacial melts.  The southern bank of the Bow River heading east has a 2 kilometre (1.2 miles) pedestrian and cycle path from Centre Street Bridge all the way to East Village. This walk does not go unrewarded, as you arrive at the East Village you’ll find the Simmons Building. A former mattress factory, it is now home to an incredible bakery (Sidewalk Citizen), a craft coffee shop (Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters) and a phenomenal Argentinian restaurant (Charbar). Grab yourself a coffee from the experts and head to the bakery for their delectable almond cherry brown butter tart.

2kms not enough, or coffee not your thing? You could also head west along the Bow River (on the northern bank) and you’ll find yourself with the best views of the city at the top of McHugh Bluff. You will also be able to treat yourself extra for dinner after your calorie-burning adventures!

It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere

What better way to explore a city than to drink your way through it? If you’ve got a free afternoon or evening, make the most of it with a brewery tour by the beer geek experts. You can choose to visit 3 or 4 breweries and you’ll get a flight of beers at each stop. Calgary Craft Collection are the guys who will look after you. Don’t want to join a group? You can easily Uber to each brewery for your solo beer crawl.

Heart racing adventures with windswept hair

Ever been on a motorcycle? What about in the sidecar of a motorcycle? If you’ve answered no, now’s your chance. Tours departing daily from Calgary, and you can opt for a shorter city tour if you’re on a time crunch or do a full day tour into the Canadian Rockies. Check out Rocky Mountain Sidecar Adventures. I’ve been riding motorcycles for 14 years now, and I still absolutely loved it. Trust me, being in a motorcycle sidecar is an unforgettable experience.

Motorcycles not your thing? There’s mountain biking tours with Alberta 66 Mountain Biking, hot air ballooning with Sundance Balloons, white water rafting tours with Wild Water Adventures and Calgary even has Segway tours with River Valley Adventure Co!

Delight your appetite in Calgary

Had a long day of meetings, but all you’ve been thinking about for hours now is what you’d like for dinner? Say no more, we have you covered. Few things are as satisfying after a long day as tacos and a cold beer. Moose and Poncho is a small restaurant with communal style seating (we love their no frills approach!), and they will satisfy this craving for you and have you thinking of it for months to come. If you’re still hungry, they do some of the best churros outside of Mexico.

Want a meal without the meat? Tamarind Vietnamese Grill & Noodle House is a small vegetarian and vegan joint that uses old authentic family recipes that are also gluten and MSG-free. How about something a little “extra”? Get dressed up and enjoy a nice evening out with a little mystery added – Betty Lous Library is a speakeasy that requires a phone reservation to get the password for entry! Cocktail dress encouraged, but not mandatory. However, baseball caps and jerseys will need to be checked, so don’t dress too casual.

Views for days

The amount of people I’ve talked to who have been to Calgary and not visited the Calgary Tower is too high! The Calgary Tower is a must-see in my opinion, whether you’re a tourist, local or a frequent visitor to the area. If you can get up there on a clear day, the views out to the Canadian Rockies are out-of-this-world stunning. Seeing the Rockies from such a height while the rest of the land lays flat and quiet really is something else. At 190 meters (623 feet) it’s less than half the size of the CN Tower in Toronto, but out here such a height isn’t necessary because of the flat landscape beneath you.

Get your culture on

Studio Bell is set inside one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture and spans across five floors. The exhibitions are hands on and you can play some amazing instruments (with video tutorials), try out some karaoke, and have a museum experience like no other. Studio Bell is fun, creative and won’t make you yawn or want to tap out early.

If music isn’t your thing, how about a sports museum? Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is located at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park and has been around for 65 years. They’ve got 12 galleries to stroll through with lots of interactive exhibits and you’ll find your inner kid coming out to play.

Extend your stay a little while

For boutique hotels, I absolutely adore Hotel Arts. It’s modestly priced and it’s a really funky little spot with well furnished rooms, excellent dining options and centrally located. Got a larger budget to play with? The Hotel Arts Kensington is the place for you with only 19 large sized rooms and impeccable service. Their onsite restaurant is a must-visit too. Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire is a popular choice for our business travellers, along with Le Germain Hotel. Both offer great service, comfortable rooms and bit more luxury. For something no-frills the Best Western Plus Suites Downtown is a great option with stunning Calgary skyline views and an included hot breakfast.

We hope that next time you head to Calgary for business travel, you will be able to fit some of these great stops and eats in to upgrade it to a bleisure trip worth remembering!

 

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

We would love to plan your next Calgary trip for you.

Written By: Holly Atkins
July 29th, 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!

Why You Need a Travel Management Company (NOW!)

Travel restrictions are starting to lift and your staff have important meetings they need to travel for. You don’t want to miss a mandatory quarantine requirement and be turned around at the airport if your travel dates don’t add up. This wastes a lot of time, money and resources. How do you ensure your staff are safe while travelling, and where are you getting the up-to-date information required?

That’s where Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) come in. Not only do TMC’s have access to and knowledge of the most recent travel restrictions, we work hard to look for cost saving measures to improve our clients ability to survive over the short and long term.

The Boston Globe writes that “Travel advisors will be more important than ever.” in a recent article. Why? Because we’re on your side to get you home and re-book your travel, or fight for refunds and future credits when necessary. We’re up to date on travel restrictions, and do everything in our power to ensure you’ve got the information you need so your staff can travel safely.

TMC’s have fought hard for refunds and travel credits since the start of COVID-19. We work tirelessly to save our clients money because we know how important this is to them. TMC’s fight for you and endure the long hold times with the airlines as we know this matters to you.

Every day there are new changes to airline procedures and policies, and it’s a TMC’s job to incorporate these up-to-the-minute developments into the travel quoting and booking process. We strive to protect your employees as they commence travel, so there’s less stress and worry for all involved. Safety is key in these times and we aim to stay informed to reduce risk and increase your time to focus on more important things.

So what are the biggest benefits of using a Travel Management Company?

  • Round the clock, 24/7 support for all travellers in case of an emergency or last minute travel.
  • Saves your company long hold times with Airlines. We fight for you to get refunds and travel credits.
  • Flight changes take us just minutes instead of hours as we have direct access to the booking system.
  • Educate and inform your clients on the latest travel restrictions and updates.

Here at Worldgo Travel Management, we have over 90 years of collective experience, and we offer complete transparency with personal service. On top of this, we have industry leading technology to provide a faster and more efficient booking process. Our innovative technology gives us the ability to save your company money and help out quickly in a crisis. We know each business has different travel needs, and we will sit down with you to hash out the details to implement the best travel plan for your company and staff. Give us a call to see how we can help your company survive long term.

We’re here for you.

Read our article on what to look for in a travel management company, and how to choose the right one for your business – click here.

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

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
July 19th, 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!

 

Travelling in Canada during COVID-19

Today I caught up with an old friend and colleague  Justin Elton, the President of  the 10 STAR AGENCY group based in Vancouver (with offices in Toronto) https://10star.ca/

I was eager to hear about his recent trip to Toronto and see how his first business trip was since COVID-19 started.  With travel starting to come back, and having known Justin for years, I thought it would be great to hear his honest answers about what travel is like in the ‘new normal.’

 

Worldgo: Justin! Hope all is well. I see you are back travelling now, which is a great sign that things are starting to open up! Where were you off to this week?

Justin Elton: I had my first flight back to Toronto since the pandemic started, I had to head out there for work on a project we were working on out there.

 

Worldgo: Did you book an aisle or window? I’m an aisle guy myself as I like to get up and walk around.

Justin Elton: I actually ended up in business, I booked premium economy but the upgrade to business was only $250 on check-in so I took it. Got the window, it was awesome.

 

Worldgo: What was the experience like upon entering the airport?

Justin Elton: Fine, lots of signage, everyone was respecting the new rules and all the airport staff were very well organized. There was no sense of unrest or anything like that. YVR was actually busier than I expected.

 

Worldgo: What was it like going through security, any info on that?

Justin Elton: Quick and easy, no real difference, just had to maintain the distance in line, also the VIP Nexus line was gone due to the US situation but other than that no real change.

 

Worldgo: After security, were shops/lounges open in Vancouver?

Justin Elton: Not all of them but some of them, Starbucks, Tim’s, the fast food places and the convenience stores were open, most of the other retail gift shops were still closed.

 

Worldgo: What was it like boarding the plane?

Justin Elton: Same as always, AC handed out little cleaning kits, masks and gloves which was a nice touch.

 

Worldgo: In-flight what was your experience like? Were food and drink still the same?

Justin Elton: No food service or drink service, we got a chicken wrap and as much water as we wanted. The staff stayed tucked away in their compartment for most of the trip. They would only come out to remind people to keep their masks on or to clear items.

 

Worldgo: Upon arrival into Toronto Pearson how would you compare it to Vancouver?

Justin Elton: Pearson was pretty quiet, only a handful of shops open.

 

Worldgo: What safety measures did you take before travel?

Justin Elton: None really, just packed my own mask and hand sanitizer.

 

Worldgo: How was your experience travelling?

Justin Elton: It was pleasant, way less crowded and hectic for sure. It was actually a really nice experience.

 

Worldgo: Will you and your staff be travelling again soon for work?

Justin Elton: Yes we will, after that trip I have zero concern with future domestic air travel. I would argue its safer than your regular day to day activities. Everyone is super vigilant about it, both the staff and patrons were cleaning everything. You saw people even wipe down their own seats and arm rests even though they had already been decontaminated. I don’t think you could actually find a cleaner place to be right now.

 

Worldgo: Any travel hacks or tips for our readers/clients to bring with them that might make their experience smoother?

Justin Elton: This one is kind of funny. So you’re supposed to wear your mask the whole trip unless you have to eat or drink. So on the way back I bought a bag of pistachios, they are very tedious and take a long time to eat so when I had those on my lap, slowly eating them I could keep my mask off while doing so. They don’t provide pillows or blankets anymore so be sure to pack your own if you want to get comfy.

 

Justin Elton – President of 10 STAR AGENCY

With a head office in Vancouver and another office in Toronto, Justin runs a national brand activation agency that specializes in nightlife and entertainment marketing. They bring brands to life across Canada within Canada’s entertainment channel and have been in the business of entertainment marketing for over 10 years. They are a full service activation agency, from concept, to development, production and on site execution as well as being one of the only full service agencies in Canada, making them a one stop shop for their clients.  https://10star.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.

Travelling During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives completely, and not just for the short-term. There are many things that likely will have changed for good. This includes how we travel and the locations that we are travelling to. We thought we should discuss the most important need-to-know items for domestic and international travel, post COVID-19, so you can travel safely and with more peace of mind.

Airlines are providing specific COVID-19 instructions for travellers, so please check with your airline prior to travelling. We recommend you arrive at the airport early (give yourself an extra hour than normal), as COVID-19 has drastically affected the time needed for going through security screening and getting your bags checked. This will ensure you can get to your departure gate on time for boarding.

You will not be permitted to board if you show any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19. This also applies to travellers arriving from outside Canada.

The Essentials for Business Travel with the Coronavirus:

  • If you are sick, even just mildly, do not travel. Please stay at home and self-isolate.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more before and after going through security, and again after disembarking the plane. Use hand sanitizer once you’re seated on the plane. For an added safety measure, we recommend you wipe down your immediate area with travel-sized Lysol wipes.
  • Wear a face mask in the airport and on the airplane. Most airlines are stating that this is mandatory for all flights, both domestic and international.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.
  • On return from your travel, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Updated TSA Security Procedures and the Coronavirus:

  • TSA is no longer handling travellers boarding passes. Instead of handing these to the TSA officer, travellers will need to place their boarding pass (paper or electronic) on the boarding pass reader themselves. Once scanned, hold your pass toward the TSA officer so they can visually inspect it.
  • Food should be in a clear plastic bag and placed in a separate bin. As food often triggers an alarm during screening, this lessens the changes of the TSA needing to open the bag for inspection.
  • Keep 2 metres apart while in queue for physical distancing. There will be signs up to remind you of this.
  • TSA is now allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.

For more information on TSA security procedures, please click here.

International Business Travel and the Coronavirus:

  • Please review and observe the current entry requirements (including quarantine restrictions) for your destination, as well as the regulations at the departure and destination airports.
  • If passing through other countries or airports to your destination, you will need to check their respective regulations to ensure your smooth travel.

Cruise Ships and the Coronavirus:

We hope this clears things up. If you have any other questions, we’re happy to help.

 

To book your business or leisure travel contact a Worldgo Travel Specialist at 1-888-236-1566. Read our testimonials here.

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
June 16th, 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!

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 Airline Meal Options

The Importance of Understanding your Airline 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.

How to save money on business travel in 2020

Save on your business travel in 2020

Business traveling comes with budgets. Budgets come with restrictions and limits. At Worldgo, we recognize that this is especially critical for early-stage operations, or business’ with considerable recurring travel needs. We created an off-the-cuff list of guidelines to help you get the most, for the least.

Here are some great ways to save money while travelling for business in 2020.

Dine out using the 10-15-25 rule

Unless you’re taking clients and stakeholders out to dinner, business travelers should aim to follow the ’10-15-25′ rule for dining out. The simple rule applies $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner, and if you can find a hotel with breakfast included, you will free up a more to spend on the other 2 remaining meals or tighten up your budget. There are very few places, Scandinavia being a possible exception, where this rule can’t be followed with relative ease. To stretch things further, look for Happy Hour discounts, or book accommodations with kitchens and trade dining-out for eating-in – which is generally a healthier option to begin with. Another great option, and increasingly interesting choice, is choosing food trucks. Cities like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver are known for the quality and quantity of their food truck vendors.

Choose free activities

Parks, beaches, mountains, and quirky urban adventures are often free of admission and a great opportunity to get out, explore, and save a few dollars in the process. They are a great place to get your nature fix and see how locals enjoying their lives.

Use your credit card and loyalty points

You have a legion of points that have been quietly accumulating behind the scenes. It’s time to take stock of what those points can do. Credit cards can offer incredible rewards programs, such as travel air miles, gas, and restaurant options. If you don’t have a credit card with travel perks, it’s worth looking at a change.

Are you a AAA or CAA member?

Membership really can have its rewards. May hotels in North America recognize the American and/or Canadian Automobile Association membership. It’s not uncommon to save 10% off published rates for being a member. Saving 10% off 5 nights in New York could cover a year’s worth of membership costs.

Use cell phone apps to save on calls

There is Wi-Fi just about everyone; and smartphone apps like WhatsApp, which is huge in South America, Asia, and Europe, help travellers stay connected for free. Viber is another option for those looking to stay out of Facebook’s reach (they own WhatsApp).

Make sure you have the right cell-phone plan

If you don’t have the flexibility to get to wi-fi every time you need to make a call, at least reach out to your mobile provider and get them to recommend the best plan for your needs. You could pay $10/month in an updated subscription plan but save hundreds every time you go away.

Groupon still matters

Yes, it had its moment in the sun, but it hasn’t set yet, either. Groupon (Getaways) has a tonne of hotel deals and restaurant options. They may not meet your needs and there are certain restrictions about the number of nights, and seasonal availability, but its worth a look. It could save you 30-40% off the rack rate.

These are some simple ways to save while travelling for business, but it all starts with awareness and desire to save. Reach out to us today, and we’ll help you take this to the next level.