What a great study. I mentioned on Twitter the other day how I found a study that compared the cost of club sandwiches and a mini-bottle of vodka at various hotels around the world. That was fun. But now comes a far more exhaustive study that looks around the world at everything from the cost of a Big Mac to the price of a man’s haircut, a standard beer, a cheap date and the cost of a five-star hotel room. It’s useful information if you can believe all of it. But I’ll get to that in a minute. In the ... continue reading →

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Nobody will ever agree – ever – with anyone else’s list. That almost goes without saying. What you think are the top 10 wines in the world are almost certainly not mine. And I’ll never understand Academy Award or Grammy Award voters. So it’s probably not surprising that I take a bit of umbrage (and that I’m also dissatisfied) with CNN’s list of the top 100 beaches of the world. Before I launch a miniature rant, let me say I’m actually pretty happy with this list. I usually think of CNN as pretty U.S. focussed, but this is a very ... continue reading →

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I’ve always loved this kind of study. Instead of looking at boring things such as the cost of a hotel room and a cab, a Washington Post blogger has used Trip Advisor data on room service costs to come up with the cost of some of the basics for room service. They looked at 15 U.S. cities and tallied up the cost of a club sandwich, a bottle of water, a bag of peanuts, a bottle of soda and an individual serving of vodka. (By individual serving they mean those tiny bottles that aren’t really a proper serving, but that’s ... continue reading →

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March Break is officially in our rear view mirror. Ditto for Easter. So it’s time to plan for your summer vacation then, right? If you’re looking for a trip to the U.S., you’re likely in for sticker shock at your nearest bank. The loonie is still hovering around 80 cents U.S., and I recently paid something like $130 Canadian for a hundred dollars in U.S. greenbacks. With that in mind, here are a few out-of-town spots you might not have thought about. AUCKLAND My nephew recently booked a flight from Toronto to Auckland, New Zealand for $1,600. That’s not cheap, ... continue reading →

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The deliberate crash of a Germanwings flight in the French Alps last week set off alarm bells with many airline customers. Airlines and governments around the world, including Canada, immediately brought in rules to require two people in the flight deck at all times. It is probably an improvement, but some travellers remain uneasy about low-cost carriers (December’s AirAsia crash is still a recent memory). Consumers are naturally attracted to the cheaper prices of airlines such as Germanwings, Ireland’s Ryanair and Florida-based Spirit Airlines, which flies a number of Canadians to the sunny south each winter – by some estimates ... continue reading →

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Maybe it’s the booze. Or it’s the jet lag. Perhaps it’s that travel makes us feel free of our normal societal bounds. Whatever the reason, it seems a lot of us act like buffoons on the road – whipping off our clothes, carving our names into ancient relics and assuming ridiculous (or, worse, offensive) poses in sacred places – before posting our antics for all to see. It’s not even spring yet, and already the Internet is filled with examples of stupid people doing stupid things away from home in 2015. To recap just a few: • Two twentysomething American ... continue reading →

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Haven’t figured out where to go just yet for March break? Or maybe you’ve got an empty spot in your schedule and are looking for something different? I’ve been lucky enough to explore a fair bit of the southern U.S.A., which is an easy drive from southern Ontario and Quebec. And I’ve found some pretty cool destinations that may not be on your radar, but should be. First off is a fantastic little village called Murrells Inlet. It’s about a half hour south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it’s got charm by the bucketful. You’ll find a short but ... continue reading →

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