April 2015

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 →


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 →


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 →