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 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.

A handy guide to picking the right seats

Poor seats are the bain of a frequent traveler’s existence, especially those where access to Business and 1st class seats fall outside an organization’s approved travel policy. For the cost-conscious traveler, having to make the most out of economy class is the only option. One can, however, make the most of it, especially when we choose our seats properly, but what ‘properly’ looks like, can be different for everyone.

So, Worldgo has created a go-to list just for you:

Are you bringing carry-ons on board?

If you are traveling with awkward carry-ons that you make sure you choose a seat towards the rear of the airplane, this way you ensure you get the first choice of the overhead storage compartments.

Are looking to sleep?

Pick a window seat on the left-side of the aircraft. The middle of the craft generally means you won’t be bothered washrooms and people stretching their legs, plus the windows tend to be off-centered allowing you a better place to lay your head.

Nervous passenger? Choose seats in the rear of the plane.

Do you have flight anxiety?

Popular Mechanics states that passengers in the rear of the plane are 40% more likely to survive a crash than those in the front. If you are really concerned, make sure to choose an aisle seat for quicker faster deplaning.

Are you looking for extra legroom?

Choose Exit row seats. On some flights, you can have an extra 4-7 inches of legroom. Don’t confuse Bulkhead with Exit Row, they make look promising, you will lose storage space and that could cut into your leg-room.

Feeling Sick? Choose seats located over the wing.

Are you feeling under the weather?

The smoothest ride is always found with seats over the wings, and the bigger the plane the smaller the bounce. If you are prone to motion sickness or had a big night after closing the deal of the year, this is where you want to be.

Are looking for space away from kids?

If you are looking for as much quiet as possible we recommend 2 things. Firstly, get yourself a good pair of noise calling headphones and then choose seats as far away from the bulkheads as possible. Bulkheads are where families are often put, or select because they travel with more gear and tend to be closer to washrooms.

Are you looking to avoid engine noise?

Choose seats as close to the cockpit as possible and get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones. They really are a great investment for frequent travelers.

Are you looking for a quick exit after a long flight?

Ever noticed that airplanes almost always depart on the left side? It goes without saying that choosing an aisle seat up front, on the left, will get you out the door as fast as possible.

Are you looking to be close to the washrooms?

Choose bulkheads and/or aisle seats and ensure that running to the washroom is as fast possible.

Although you may not have the budget to fly 1st or Business Class you can still choose seats that give you the best flight possible. At Worldgo, we get to know your preferences and can help you make the most of your time in the sky!

The best gifts for business travellers in 2020

It’s here again – another year of what to get for the impossible-to-buy-for business person in your life. For 2020, we’ve put together a sure-fire list to help make your life a little easier. From bags to pillows, and smartphone cases to socks, here are our picks for what to buy the business traveler in your life.

Best Travel Luggage

Best Travel Luggage: Got a long-haul trip coming up? This four-wheel Trade Large hard shell luggage offers extended trip volume. Quality construction and a minimal aesthetic are complemented by custom Herschel Supply finishes. It comes in 9 different styles. Buy from $260.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag: Don’t let the ‘Messenger Bag for Men’ limit your interest, this is a unisex item, and solves just as many business problems for women as it does men. The price is right, and the best part is the thoughtful padded bottom and reinforced leather corners. There are 3 styles to choose from and there is a 1-year warranty on the bag. Buy from $57.Travel Pillow for Business Travellers

Best Travel Pillow: If you are an ‘I just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep’ type on a flight than this is the pillow for you. It’s maybe a little bulkier than one would want on a short-haul flight, but if you are crossing oceans overnight, this is the one to buy.

Best Travel Umbrella: Hershel Supply Co. isn’t just one of our favourite clients they also make the best compact umbrella in the game. Protip: When in Iceland, using an umbrella tells the locals you are a visitor. Why? Notoriously heavy winds. Buy from $27.

Best iPhone case: The Catalyst case offers protection from a 3-metre drop, and has found a way to keep sleek and minimalist at the same time. It doesn’t interfere with wireless charging, and if you order directly from Catalyst they will give you a 12month manufacturer’s warranty. Buy from $60.

Best Google Pixel case:  Caseology is an award-winning designer for smartphone cases and they are great value in comparison to other brands. Sleek, thin and crash absorbent. Everything you want in a smartphone case for business travelers. Buy from $15.

Compression Socks: These compression socks are woven with copper fibers that work to benefit circulation and limit bacteria growth. They prevent lactic acid production and keep your feet dry. Buy from $19.

Feel-Good purchase: This is no ordinary backpack. Developed by a senior designer at The North Face, it is loaded with high-end features like durable ballistic nylon and tons of organizational pockets. What makes this backpack feel-good is the women who make it — graduates of St. Monica’s Tailoring School in Gulu, Uganda.  These women were captured as children by the warlord Joseph Kony and forced to become child soldiers in his rebel army. When they ultimately came out of captivity, often bearing the children of their captors, more than 2,000 of them were taken in by a Ugandan nun named Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (CNN Hero, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”). Recognizing it was too late to give them a full education, Sister Rosemary formed the Tailoring School to train them in practical skills to support themselves and their children. This backpack is part of their legacy. Buy from $109 on Kickstarter.

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

Business travel is a known expense and is generally one of the largest controllable expenses for many companies. While airlines are looking to increase their airfares, hotels are consistently merging, and these changes get passed on to the traveler. There are a few ways of controlling these expenses, so you can create balance, accommodate your employee’s requests or preferences, and lessen the impact of these industry changes.

Here are a few ways to reduce your travel spend in 2020:

Align Employee & Employer Interests

Coming up with a rewards-based program to reduce spending is a good way to create value in your travel policy. In essence, this just means incentivizing employees to spend less.

An example of this is creating a budget for various trip styles. Whether travelling for a trade show, meetings, conferences, each trip should have a budget assigned. If the traveller comes in under budget, they will earn points or credit which can be used for upgrades on their next trip.

Re-Evaluate Your Travel Policy

We talked about this in a previous blog, but sitting down and looking at your travel policy will give you a more accurate view of the areas you can improve. Whether it is renegotiating hotel rates, utilizing other technology, etc., knowing your travel policy inside and out can only help.

There should be enough flexibility to allow for some convenience, clarity in booking processes and the spend thresholds.

Encourage Compliance

Take some time to review your company’s 2018 travel spend. Have a look at the areas where travellers are overspending, underspending, or booking outside of policy. If overspending is an issue, why? If employees are booking outside of the policy, why? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate the travel policy clearly with employees and encourage compliance. If this remains an issue, you may want to consider implementing authorization processes.

These ideas, combined with the utilization of technology in simple reporting from travelers will save your company time and money, increase your employee satisfaction and make business travel more sustainable from all perspectives.

It’s not an expense that is likely to go away, but it is one that you can manage through good communication, clear guidelines, and setting realistic budgets.

Promote Public Transit

Encouraging the use of in-destination public transit (over a taxi), not only helps the environment, it reduces expenses. In cities like Amersterdam, visitors can now pre-pay for a digital transit pass before they leave home. When they land, they head to the airport metro station, scan their smartphone, and off they go toward their hotel. Taking initiative before your staff land creates implied convenience, a benefit which can pay for itself as soon as they land.

Some companies are even bonusing their traveling staff for hitting expense targets. For example, a company could buy its staff a transit pass, while encouraging them to stay under $20 (additional local transit) for the rest of their stay. If they hit that reduced target, they receive a $50 bonus. The numbers need to work based on the number of days in destination, but schemes like this tend to generate results.

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

As a corporate travel agency, we balance client expectations while leaving extra ‘leg room’ for unique needs, wants, and interests. We recognize that at least initially, our business travel clients come to us with a singular problem – one that requires responsible assistance. Over time, however, we’ve come to recognize that solving these problems at the highest level is not quite good enough and that a client’s problems are often more complex.

They require both a technical solution and an emotional solution, and we need to find the sweet spot between solving travel problems and good-feelings.

When one buys life-insurance they aren’t buying a piece of paper, they are buying peace of mind. When one goes out for dinner they are satiating their hunger, but what they are really buying is convenience, entertainment, and an experience. If you stop to think about it, have you ever made a purchase that wasn’t either a solution to a problem or something that made you feel good? I don’t think you have.

For every one of us at Worldgo, our clients bring travel problems to us. They need to go, to stay, and to do – all within a unique budgetary and accountable framework. It’s here that the most important part of our job occurs. We listen. We then ask What is the ideal solution to this problem?It’s like visualizing the finish line and then committing to work backward from it.

The answer is always the inner space in the Venn Diagram below – that sweet spot between problem-solving, customer service, risk mitigation and needs anticipation.

A recent Inc. article by Ilya Pozin claims that customers are really just buying experiences and that there are 4 pillars to delivering a positive experience.

  1. Focus on the shopping experience, not the buying experience.
  2. Choose quality of service, over speed.
  3. Personalize customer experiences.
  4. Communicate constantly.

Pozin goes on to say that “Delivering a great experience is powerful, and while it’s not always easy to do, it will keep your audience coming back for more“.

Similarly, Hubspot wrote an article that details ‘Service Needs’, and at Worldgo Travel Management, this is where we hang our hat.

  • Empathy – When our customers get in touch with customer service, they want empathy and understanding from the people assisting them.
  • Fairness – From pricing to terms of service to contract length, our customers expect fairness from a company.
  • Transparency – Customers expect transparency when they’re doing business with us. Service outages, pricing changes, and delays, our customers deserve openness from the businesses they give money to.
  • Control – Customers need to be in control of the business interaction from start to finish and beyond, and customer empowerment shouldn’t end with the sale. Where possible, we make it easy for them to change their plans or adjust their terms.
  • Options – Customers need options when they’re getting ready to make a reservation. We offer a variety of options, prices, and terms to provide freedom of choice.
  • Information – Customers need information, from the moment they start interacting, to the days and months after traveling. As a business, we invest in educational, instructional knowledge base content, technology, and regular communication so our customers have the information they need when they need it.
  • Accessibility – Customers need to be able to access our service and support teams. This means providing multiple channels for customer service and support.

Truth be told, our clients aren’t any different than any other business or service provider. They all have problems, and they want an experience that makes them feel good. That’s where the business relationship can flourish.

 

Best City to Plan a Corporate Retreat

Best City to Plan a Corporate Retreat

Corporate retreats are an important part of any large business. Getting scattered teams together to align goals, review past achievements, and set the table for tomorrow are important measures.

Choosing where to host a corporate retreat isn’t as straightforward. Depending on where your team members are based will be your first consideration. Your budget and its limitations are the next consideration, and what you want to offer and/or achieve is the final factor.

In the USA (Chicago)

Chicago Illinois

If you have a team that’s spread out of North America we recommend you consider Chicago as your destination of choice. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is the 9th busiest airport in the world, and offers you consistent flight options from nearly anywhere in North America. The city is home to 9M residents in the metropolitan area, and there are no shortage of things to do and places to stay. The Windy City also offers retreat planners more budget-friendly options (versus New York, LA, San Francisco). There is great shopping to be had and sporting events t0 attend, and being lakeside is particularly nice in the warmer months.

Runner Up: Denver. The city is a major gateway, it is easy to get around, and is affordable by major market standards.

In Canada (Hamilton)

Hamilton, Ontario

If your organization is spread throughout Canada, we recommend Hamilton, Ontario as a great choice. Hamilton is just an hour outside Toronto and has its own mid-sized airport with daily flights from Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, and Edmonton. It is served by major highways and is a short drive to Niagara Falls and Ontario’s wine country. Hamilton’s hotel rates are a fraction of that of nearby Toronto, and it is now a ‘cool’ city growing up from its industrial reputation as a former steel-town.

Runner Up: Calgary. The city is home to WestJet which means it’s a domestic flight hub and is affordable when compared to Vancouver and Toronto.

If you are looking for help in planning your next corporate retreat, we invite you to reach out to one of our experts today. We’ll make sure your objectives are met and you are given the right information to make the best decisions for you.

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

The Punctuality League has awarded Copa Airlines, the popular Latin American airlines with the highest on-time percentage OTP, marking nearly 90% of its flights arriving at their destination on time. There were no Canadian airlines in the top 20, and only 2 American airlines (Hawaiian and Delta) cracking the list.

What are the criteria?:

To qualify for inclusion in the Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have flight status data for at least 80% of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport.

  • OAG’s definitions of on-time performance (OTP is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.
  • Cancellations are also included.

How is it scored?:

The scoring is based on 58 million flight records using full-year data from Flight Status modules that create a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports.

Why should you care?:

It’s true that the weather has a big hand in airline timeliness, but so does the mechanical health of their fleet, and efficient check-in and loading processes. An airline with a healthy on-time record is often a result of a collection of factors, some luck, but many by design.

Top 20 Rankings:

2019 Ontime Airline performance

You can download the full report here.

 

 

 

Best Business Packing Hacks

Working in tourism, Holidays for Humanity, CEO, Aaron Smith is a very frequent flyer, he has traveled to over 60 countries and all but one continent. His business travel lifestyle has taught him the best ways to pack for work and the unexpected.

1. Accept a clean laundry routine

“Look at your itinerary and make sure you’re bunking down at least three nights in a row in the same place, within every 7 days,” he says. “Even though it’s pricey, hotel laundry will get you through. You can then get by on ‘5 of Each’ (5 pairs of socks, 5  shirts, 5 pairs of underwear, etc.) if you buy into a clean laundry routine.”

2. Pack Black

“Black is your friend,” he writes. “It matches everything. Johnny Cash had it figured out. I’ve yet to hear the compelling logic for any business sock colour other than black. One pair of black jeans, two black t-shirts, and business attire will get you through any long trip.”

3. Just use carry-ons

“I never check my bags, even if I’m going to Central America for a month,” Smith says. “I travel with a Kosan pack with front attaching laptop case, it fits in the overhead and my arms are free to hold a coffee and show my travel documents at the same time. The reduced hassle of never having to wait for bags, being the first guy through customs, and never dealing with the nightmare of lost luggage, has made me a believer. A suit is a suit: one is enough, but bring another sport coat. Wear the sport coat on the plane with a t-shirt or casual shirt, and pack the suit. Also, find a pair of workout shoes which can be casual walking or gym-ready.”

4. Charge up your batteries

“Know the capacity of your batteries in your rechargeables (shavers, cameras, iPods, etc.),” he writes. “You may be surprised by how long of a trip you can make without bringing the charger if you leave home with a full charge, but do make sure you have the right electrical ports for the countries you are visiting.”

5. Don’t bother with zip-lock bags, store liquids in tiny containers

“There is no need to pack home-size packages of toothpaste, shampoo, or pain-killers. Buy small containers, reuse past hotel products, or plan to pick up what you need in the destination. It’s bulk that’s easy to pick up anywhere, and next to no cost.”

6. Push your light limit

“Once every 3-4 months, remove the entire contents out of your briefcase. Challenge everything. When was the last time you touched it or used it on a trip? Throw it away or leave it at home if you will not need it overseas,” he says.

7. Pack duplicates

“Have a high-resolution scan of your driver’s license, your visa, passport, and credit cards on the SD card of your smartphone or on your computer HD,” Smith advises. “It’s a lifesaver if you ever lose anything.”