MUNICH – Sometimes in life we read too much about a place before we arrive. We get all pumped up about this area or that, and then we get there and it all goes flat. I have to plan my trips reasonably carefully to get the stories I want, but I still try to leave as much unplanned – and un-scouted – as possible. That way, I get to a destination and find myself more surprised than I might otherwise have been. That was the case for my recent (and sadly, quick) visit to Munich. We were on our way ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

NOTE: All thoughts about destinations and the kayak.com websites are my own. But KAYAK paid for the posting of this blog and for me to let people know about the blog via social media. The Internet is a wonderful thing when it comes to travel. But sometimes a bit terrifying at the same time. The choices are seemingly endless. Iceland’s hot springs and towering waterfalls look funky and off-the-beaten-track. But the temples and beaches of Thailand are tempting, too. Not to mention the pristine hikes you could take among the Alberta Rockies. On top of all that, the options for ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

Aeroplan has always been a great way to fly to exotic – and familiar – parts of the world for a romantic getaway or memory-filled family trip. Now Aeroplan members have the option to fly cash-free. With a new program that came into place in March, Aeroplan members can use the miles they accumulate with Air Canada and other Aeroplan partners to not only buy tickets but also now to cover the cost of taxes, fees, charges and airline carrier surcharges. Those costs can be an annoyance when they have to be paid in cash, but now you can use ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

Big. Bold. Impressive. Epic. Those are the kinds of adjectives being used by the folks at 2017 Ottawa as they get the nation’s capital ready for next year; the 150th birthday for Canada. I don’t know what I was expecting when I got a briefing last week off things both ready for publication and still not yet public. But I was totally blown away by the variety and depth and quality of what they’ve got planned. There are some things I was sworn to secrecy about (literally) and others still to be organized. But I saw and can report was, ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

World class wines in an area that resembles the Napa Valley of California. Fabulous lodges with great food. And kayaking in deep blue waters that feel like the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. I arrived in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, the far north end of the South Island, knowing I’d be tasting some of the world’s best – and most popular – Sauvignon Blanc. Somehow I didn’t realize the area had such jaw-dropping scenery, as well. Upon arrival at the small airport in Blenheim, my guide from Marlborough Tours and I motored over to Fromm, an old-school style ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

Things are looking up in Winnipeg, with NHL hockey back in town and new hotels springing up around downtown. With the Canadian dollar still down, this year is a great time to visit the city and explore Manitoba while you’re at it. I also read just today (April 7) that Porter Airlines is planning flights from southern Ontario to Winnipeg to test demand; a very positive step for the city. THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN Postmedia and Sun Media newspapers and websites on March 30… MUSEUMS The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the only national museum of Canada that’s ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }

BAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND – I’ve heard a lot about Queenstown and Auckland and Rotorua in the years I’ve covered and written about travel. But I didn’t know much about the Bay of Plenty. As much as I Ioved my recent visit to Rotorua, on New Zealand’s North Island, I’m too much of a beach guy to miss a chance to walk in the sand and get my toes wet. So with a bit of time to spare during my visit, I piloted my rental car (driving on the left side of the road is quite easy) to the ... continue reading →

{ 0 comments }