Travel

Spending the Summer in Canada? Get Moving with These Activities

Canada is a beautiful, vast country with a wealth of natural wonders—and an abundance of fun activities through which to discover them. And, contrary to the stereotypical image of Canadians constantly being buried in 10 feet of snow, summer in Canada is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the sun! If this is the first summer you will be passing in Canada—or even if you’ve just got some well-earned vacation time to spend inside our country’s borders—here are some of the best ways to take advantage of the summer weather, Canadian-style. Camping With so many scenic forests and sprawling national parks stretching across the country, camping is one of the quintessential ways to enjoy a Canadian summer. Grab a tent and some sleeping bags, locate your ideal campsite, and get your journey started! Best of all, spending your days directly in nature will put you in easy…

Regulators Weigh-in on Travel Insurance Transparency

If applying for travel insurance sometimes leaves you confused and has you reaching for a medical dictionary, you’re not alone.  Providers of insurance policies, at the urging of provincial and federal regulators, are working to make their products more user-friendly. Just last week, the Canadian Council of Insurance regulators released its latest in a series of study papers outlining what needs to be done to ensure fair treatment of travel insurance consumers when purchasing protection for out-of-country and interprovincial travel. The release noted that travel insurers have been cooperating with the council to educate consumers about the limitations and exclusions, as well as the benefits, of their products. But it noted that they would be monitoring their progress in making the purchase of travel insurance fairer and more transparent for the customer. That’s a positive move because travel insurance is an important purchase, and it should not be handled casually…

We the North: Exploring Canada’s National Parks

Akami-Uapishku-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains, Aulavik, Auyuittuq, Banff, Bruce Peninsula, Cape Breton Highlands, Elk Island, Forillon, Fundy, Georgian Bay Islands, Glacier, Grasslands, Gros Morne, Gulf Islands, Gwaii Haanas , Ivvavik, Jasper, Kejimkujik, Kluane, Kootenay, Kouchibouguac, La Mauricie, Mingan Archiepelago, Mount Revelstoke, Nááts’ihch’oh, Nahanni, Pacific Rim, Point Pelee, Prince Albert, Prince Edward Island, Pukaskwa, Qausuittuq, Quttinirpaaq, Riding Mountain, Rouge, Sable Island, Sirmilik, Terra Nova, Thousand Islands, Torngat Mountains, Tuktat Nogait, Ukkusiksalik, Vuntut, Wapusk, Waterton Lakes, Wood Buffalo, and Yoho. Phew. What a list. That totals 46 National Parks across Canada. (You can find out more about each park here.) For over 100 years, these natural spaces have been federally protected for environmental conservation and public enjoyment. And in honour of Canada 150, you have unrestricted access until the end of the year. Order your free Canada Discovery Park Pass today. This also includes boat and canal travel in National Marine Conservation Areas like Fathom…

Tips for Hurricane Season

June marks the beginning of hurricane season in Florida and the Southeast and Gulf States, so if you’re planning a vacation in any of these areas over the summer or fall, take a few simple steps to protect your investment. First, let’s establish that hurricanes touch down in the US rarely, appearing only once or twice a year. But the biggest threat is their unpredictability: how powerful will they be, when and where will they land?  They may give us three weeks’ notice, or only two days. And as anyone who has ever been through a real hurricane knows, they are frightening, life-threatening, and should not to be taken lightly. So what must you do?  Though June through November is traditionally known as hurricane season, the peak months of storm activity are August, September and October—with Labour Day weekend being the expected finale. Generally, that coincides with high ocean…

Should You Forego Foreign Travel This Summer?

With summer vacation season here, and more Canadians and Americans choosing Europe as their destination, it’s important to re-calibrate your strategies for foreign travel and establish fallback plans in case something does go wrong while you’re thousands of miles from home. First, register with your government foreign service for up-to-date information and advisories as you travel, and for emergency help in case you’re caught up in a serious disruption, civil disturbance, terrorist event or even a naturally occurring event such as earthquake or fire. You can easily register online. Americans traveling abroad can register with their State Department, while Canadians can register here. By registering your trip and itinerary, government embassies can use their resources to assist you, identify where you are, if you’re safe or in need of help, keep your family at home informed of your status, and guide you to a safe place if needed. Registration is…

Cuba Loves Canadians

Though US airlines are cutting back flights to Cuba due to weaker-than-expected demand, hotel and resort facilities remain jammed, prices are soaring, and government tourism authorities are claiming record numbers of visitors (close to 4 million in 2016)—Canadians leading the pack by far, accounting for more than 1 million visitors last year. Less than a year ago, almost a dozen US airlines filed for US government permission to fly to 10 Cuban locations on a daily basis, hoping to open up the entire island to a broader-based tourism. Their enthusiasm was pumped up by an agreement between the Obama administration and the Cuban government to ease trade relations between the two countries following a 50-year embargo placed by the US. But demand to most locations—other than Havana—did not keep up with expectations and within six months after launching the new airlift in August, the airlines realized their hopes in the…

Keep Track of Your Border Crossings

One of the most frequent questions Canadians who live close to the border shared with the United States ask is how often they can cross over to do some shopping, visit friends, play golf, have dinner, and watch a ball game. Really, it’s not complicated. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to be unprepared, or uninformed about what you are allowed to do and what your responsibilities are. You do have to keep track of your comings and goings. You need to keep your documentation (passport, travel insurance card, etc.) up to date and in order, and you want to keep in constant touch with your government’s border-crossing updates, especially now that the summer vacation season is near. . First be aware that border crossing data is shared by both governments so you must assume all of your crossings are being recorded. Keep your own record so you don’t…

Be Prepared While Borders Return to Europe

If you’re travelling to Europe this summer, be prepared for more border crossing restrictions than you may have been accustomed to in past years, ensure that your documentation is up to date, and make sure you have proof of private supplemental travel health insurance that meets EU standards (€30,000 to €40,000 in coverage). Because of the continuing threat of terrorist activity, many EU countries have reintroduced border inspections and so you need to be prepared to show passports, any relevant visas that apply, and whatever documents border agents ask for. For example, if travelling to Russia to visit family or relatives for more than 3 months you may have to show evidence of recent negative HIV or TB testing. The same is true of Egypt if you’re planning a stay of 30 days or more. If you’re travelling to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, or…

It Is Necessary to Protect your Visitors While They Are in Canada

If you’re expecting friends or family to be visiting you in Canada this summer, one of your top priorities should be to ensure they have appropriate travel insurance to cover them for any accident or illness they may encounter while in the country—and that means from the time they set foot on Canadian soil. Most Canadian travel insurance companies that cover you when you journey abroad or to the US have Visitor to Canada policies that can protect your visitors, but you need to understand how to assist them in applying for and choosing the policy that best meets their individual needs. The first thing they need to understand is that buying a plan before they exit their country is essential if they want to be covered from the moment they arrive in Canada.  If they purchase a policy after they arrive, there will be waiting period—usually 48 hours—before their…

Though Legal in Canada, Marijuana Remains Banned in the US

Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s efforts to legalize marijuana, Canadian travellers must be warned that carrying it into the US is hazardous business. The US border is a federal jurisdiction, controlled by the State Department, and the importation of marijuana—whether commercially or in small amounts for personal use—is illegal and can get you turned back at the border. Moreover, if, under questioning by the customs and border protection agent, you admit or even give the suspicion that you have ever used pot, even for medical purposes, you can be barred from entering the US forever. If that sounds extreme, understand that it has happened. Leave your “legalize marijuana” t-shirts at home as wearing them would be quite enough for an agent to turn you away. He or she doesn’t need to justify the action. Border agents have the authority to bar your entry for a multitude of reasons they don’t…

South Florida Prepares for Zika 2017

Thanks to a particularly dry winter season, the Aedes aegypti mosquito species has been relatively dormant in South Florida and no new cases of locally acquired Zika virus have been reported by the Florida Department of Health as of the end of March 2017. The last of the warnings for active ongoing transmission of Zika in Miami Dade County were lifted in early December 2016. But with the return of temperatures to the mid to upper 80s, and the impending approach of the rainy season, the threat of mosquito regeneration and risk of Zika transmission returns. To date, the FDOH reports 25 cases of travel-related Zika infection being monitored in South Florida; these are cases involving travelers who have returned from areas where the virus is being transmitted. In addition, 2 cases of locally acquired virus are being monitored, but they are thought to be in residents who were infected…

Can US Border Agents Look at My Phone?

Would you hand your cellphone over to a friend and let them scroll through your messages, photos, and social media accounts? If that doesn’t sound ideal—then what about handing it over to a stranger at the US border? Recent reports of travellers being asked to unlock their phones for inspection when crossing into the US are raising fears about invasions of privacy at the border—and bringing up questions for Canadians who are planning to travel south. If there’s a trip to America in your future, what do you need to know about the potential for your phone or your laptop to be examined by border agents? And if you are asked to hand over your devices and your passwords, do you have to comply? Is it actually legal for border agents to search my phone? The short answer is yes. US border agents are legally allowed to request access…

Should Canadians Be Concerned about Crossing the US Border?

Recent media reports focusing on incidents in which US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have turned back seemingly innocent Canadians—some legal permanent residents, others fully documented citizens—tend to stroke a growing unease about heading south for leisure and business travel. These reports include Canadian school groups forfeiting field trips in the US for fear they might run into visa problems. And there was also a recent report in the US trade journal Travelmarket Report citing the case of a Montreal woman born in Canada who was stopped by CBP officials at a border-crossing point in Vermont and told she would need a visa to enter the US—even though she was a Canadian citizen. Now if this sounds unfair, dictatorial or authoritarian, please remember that this is not new, it has been standard procedure at international borders forever. Entry is a privilege, not a right You can be armed…

Travel to Canada

I have lived half my life in Canada, half in the US, and it has always amazed me that most Canadians I know personally, know more about travel in the US and abroad, than they do about Canada. It’s time to remedy that. But as with travel anywhere else, travel throughout Canada needs some foreknowledge—especially in respect to management of a medical emergency while out of your province. According to several recent surveys, about three quarters of Canadian frequent travelers buy some form of travel insurance when journeying out of the country. They know the financial risks they run by traveling uninsured. But they’re not so sure about the need for travel insurance to cover medical emergencies when traveling to other provinces even though all insurers strongly advise purchase of insurance for coverage within Canada. Do you need it? Portability of medical and hospital services for interprovincial travelers has…

Canadians in the Caribbean. Staying Safe.

The fatal stabbing of a Toronto school teacher on a beach in Costa Rica has again raised the question: just how dangerous are those fabled tropical vacation spots that continue to attract Canadians throughout the year? Though we continue to hear that there might be occasional reports of violence in almost any location frequented by tourists—tropical or otherwise—most visitors remain safe, happy, unharmed and completely satisfied with their escape to paradise for a week, a month, or a half-year sabbatical. However, if you’re the family of a victim of violence, safety statistics aren’t much consolation. And given the evident rise of break-ins, muggings, rape and murders in what were once benign islands in the sun, it’s clear you need to practice a heightened state of vigilance wherever tourism is a mainstream activity. According to the most current advisories from Global Canada, the majority of Caribbean countries are relatively safe so…

Europe Tightens Border Rules: Prepare, But Still Enjoy

With the onset of spring and milder weather, many countries in the European Union are once again preparing for visitors testing border security. In response, the EU has adopted new rules to tighten checks on all persons entering its member countries. According to a report from The Associated Press, the rules oblige EU countries to check everyone (including EU nationals) leaving or arriving in the 28 member-country bloc against customs, crime and visa databases. Though the rules are intended to address potential risks posed by terrorism, they can’t help but further affect border crossing procedures and scrutiny of all travelers, including summer vacationers touring historic sights or visiting families and friends. Consequently, it is essential that if Europe is in your plans this summer, you build in extra time to get from one location to another, you carry (or have access to) extra cash in case of travel interruption or…

Loonie Weighed Heavily on Travel to Caribbean in 2016

If you need assurance that the weak loonie is hurting Canadian leisure travel, consider the recent statistics tracking arrivals in the Caribbean and Mexico (from the Conference Board of Canada). Though Canadians made 4.27 million trips to that region in the first 11 months of 2016 (admittedly, not bad for a population of only 33 million) it was 1.4 percent fewer than the same period (January to November 2015), and the reductions were distributed pretty well across the board. Of 20 countries in the region, only six saw positive arrivals from Canada: Anguilla, 3.7 percent (just over 3,000); St. Vincent, 1.6 percent (just over 6,200); Barbados, 1.1 percent (almost 67,000); Costa Rica, 4.6 percent (just under 160,000); Dominican Republic, 2.4 percent (just under 682,000); and Mexico, 0.8 percent (1.54 million). All 14 other countries saw reductions, among them Cuba (-3.2 percent); Bahamas (-11.6 percent), Aruba (-6.2 percent); Jamaica (-5.9 percent);…

A Destination Wedding Guide for the Traveller at Heart

After exploring various corners of the earth with your partner in crime turned fiancé, you have decided on a destination wedding. First off, congratulations! Secondly, let`s get to work. Planning a wedding in your locale requires a lot of organization. Cut to a location five hours away by plane, combined with your closest family and friends, and your to-do list may appear overwhelming. But a challenge of the travelling kind has never stopped you before. Follow the six step guide below to ensure your nuptial’s go off without a hitch. Early Bird …catches the worm. Despite 365+ days to plan your special day, it is always good to start on the good foot. Island time can begin after the ceremony. To start, narrow down your resort preference of sun or rustic, indoors versus outdoors, and 5-course barbeque over a late night buffet. Once booked, extend the early bird sentiment…

Spotlight City: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and is the second most populated city in the United Kingdom with about one million people living in the greater Edinburgh area. As part of the United Kingdom, Edinburgh is home to the monarchy, the Scottish Parliament, many historical and cultural attractions including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is the second-most popular tourist destination in the UK. Crime rates are among the lowest in the country.. Before embarking on your adventure through bonny Scotland, be sure to keep a few things in mind to have a safe and enjoyable trip! Threats and risks to travellers in Edinburgh Edinburgh is considered a safe city by international standards. Its crime rates are comparable to that of any other large city in the world. While violent crime is rare, petty crime may present occasional issues for visitors to the city. Pickpocketing is the most prevalent form…

Are Canada’s “Winter Texans” up Against Trump’s Wall?

With the construction of a wall between Mexico and the US attracting so much attention in the media, Canadian snowbirds who winter in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas might be concerned about the durability of their retirement lifestyle. According to a 2014 study by the University of Texas Pan American Business and Tourism Research Center, the numbers of snowbirds (from Canada as well as the northern US) who wintered in the Rio Grande Valley dropped from 144,000 to 100,000 in the previous 4 years. The principal author of the study, Dr. Penny Simpson, told the Rio Grande Guardian, those who are traveling to the Valley are older and staying for longer periods, but new people are not coming. She added that those who come seem to love it here. “They come for the climate, the friendly people, and the social activities.” She said she could only study the…

Though Obamacare Wanes: Insured Visitors Experiencing Medical Emergencies in the US Need Not Worry

The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) by the Trump Administration is going to be attracting a lot of media attention in the coming months and some of the media coverage may stir up unease among Canadians planning long term visits to the U.S. According to most polls, the majority of Americans have been disappointed with the ACA because of its high premiums, deductibles, and loss of familiar provider networks. But for visitors to the US who need emergency hospital care and have supplemental private health insurance, it will remain business as usual—at least for the immediate future—with very little difference in the high quality of care or the unlimited availability of hospitals or doctors. Travel insurers in Canada all work through assistance companies that have arrangements with networks of health care providers (hospitals, doctors’ groups, urgent care clinics, etc.) that give them preferential rates, and…

Jaana and Jenn Are Going to Malta

Winter in Toronto has been easy so far. But the real test will be the month of February. In preparation, conversations between my colleague Jaana and me about faraway places have escalated. Striking sunsets at Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, bluer than blue waters in Kemmuna, and tasty Aljotta (or Imqaret for me because of my sweet tooth) are just a few items on our wish list. We are talking about Malta. My friend from Palermo frequents Malta and raved about last year’s Groovefest in St.Paul’s Bay. Ingle International’s CEO, Robin Ingle, attends Annual General Meetings at one of our offices based in Valetta, and has told us tales of touring temples and the like. Jaana and I have lived vicariously, but for how much longer? After great debate, we created a list of 5 things we would make the most time for given the opportunity to travel to Malta. In no…

Even with Bad News, Florida Remains Strong Tourism Target

Despite predictions of a tourism drop-off to Florida in the wake of last year’s Orlando nightclub attack that killed 49 people, a highly publicized Zika virus threat, and the recent Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, there has been no tangible effect on tourism to South Florida so far, and travel companies are actually gearing up for record arrivals in 2017. According to a report in South Florida Business Journal, Stacy Ritter, CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau says: “We are not seeing any effect on tourism as a result of this senseless and random act (the airport shootings)….We are confident that the goodwill we have built with visitors will assure our continued tourism popularity and success.” As reported in the New York Times, any damage to Florida’s travel markets because of the random shooting and Zika appear to be minimal, and several indicators show that tourism to…

Canada Has Eased the Visa Requirements for Mexican Travellers

Planning to visit Canada from Mexico? Good news! The Canadian government has lifted some of the visa requirements that were previously in place, making it easier for Mexican travellers to take trips up north. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules: As of December 1, 2016, Mexican travellers no longer require a visa for visits to Canada of up to six months. That said, Mexicans planning to travel to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (or eTA). Fortunately, this process can be completed in just a few minutes online for a cost of $7 CAD. You can take care of your eTA right here. Coming to study in Canada? If your study program will be shorter than six months, you’re good to go. For programs longer than that, however, you will still need to apply for a student visa. As well, work permits…

Four Things to Know about Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain

The Camino de Santiago is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages of medieval times. Legend has it that the bones of St. James, Jesus’s first disciple, are buried at the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. Today, pilgrims of all faiths come from around the world to walk The Way for religious, spiritual, health, or personal reasons. If you’re contemplating taking on this challenging pilgrimage here are a few things to keep in mind before you go. 1. Earning a compostela  Every pilgrim will carry a passport, or credencial—a document that identifies them as a pilgrim. If you plan to start your walk in the popular launching-off city of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port you will be given a passport when you register as a pilgrim at the pilgrim’s office. Otherwise, you can obtain a passport at almost any church or albergue (pilgrim’s hostel) in Spain. Each…

4 Home Security Tips for Holiday Travellers

You have enough to worry about over the holidays that you should not have to worry about leaving your home while you travel for vacation or a visit with friends and family. Yet, each year, homes fall prey to intruders who wait for homeowners to go away for the holidays. If you will be travelling over the holidays this year, give yourself some peace of mind. Our home security tips will help you protect your home and alleviate some of the stress associated with holiday travelling. 1. Give the Appearance That You Are Home Even though you’ve probably seen Home Alone, not all thieves plan or organize their home invasions that thoroughly. In most cases, intruders drive into a dark neighbourhood and look for homes that appear empty or unprotected. To prevent thieves from thinking your home is vulnerable, you need to give the appearance that you are home.…

Seven Tips for Solo Travellers

Solo travel isn’t for everyone. In fact, I’m one of those people who isn’t especially fond of it. However, I also am one of those people who wouldn’t stop myself from going somewhere just because I couldn’t find a partner in crime to go with. It’s hard to find people who have the ability, flexibility and want to travel to the same places at the same time as you, so sometimes, solo travel is a must. However, solo travelling doesn’t need to be intimidating. Naturally, we like to be with people that we know, especially when we’re doing something brave like going to a new country, but travelling solo can bring all sorts of its own benefits. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best time while on your solo adventure. Stay in hostels One of the biggest fears of solo travellers is how they are going…

Lola Answers Questions about Her Summer Trip to Africa

1. Where did you go in Africa? I went to Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Tanzania. 2. Do I need to get inoculated before I go? Absolutely. Check out Do I Really Need to get Vaccinated? for more information. 3. How do you choose a good tour company? First, research what you want to see. I began with Trip Advisor, read reviews, then emailed my choices for quotes. I asked lots of questions and eventually narrowed it down to 3. 4. What type of clothing should I take on safari? Take clothes that are easy to wash and dry quickly. Choose earth tones; no whites or bright colours since they make you stand out. Don’t take camouflage clothing that can be confused for military uniforms or dark colours such as black or dark blue because they attract Tsetse flies. Think casual, comfortable and easy to layer; t-shirts,…

Last Minute Tips for Holiday Travel to the US

With snowbird season well underway—the number of Quebec cars in Fort Lauderdale seems higher than normal this year—a little catch-up on cross border rules might be in order. Even if you came across the border with little apparent attention from US border control officers, the tracking of inbound (and now outbound) visitors is getting tighter and you must assume your record of crossings is being kept—accurately. But with a total of 6 months out of 12 in your annual US travel allotment, you should have no problem enjoying your vacation in full. Still, here are some reminder tips. That 30-day rule again If, while in the US you leave the country on a side trip or a cruise (say to Mexico or the Caribbean), remember that if the trip is less than 15 days, it will count as part of your total 6-month (i.e. 180-day) B2 visa quota in…

No Hospital Beds at Home For Canadians Travelling Abroad?

If ever you’re stuck in a foreign hospital waiting for your travel insurer to get you back to Canada for continuing medical care, don’t blame your insurer for putting you on hold. You can be darned sure your insurer would like to get you back home where your medicare picks up the tab. In a foreign hospital, it’s the insurer who pays. The problem with repatriation now, as in the past 35 years, lies in the inability of health care bureaucrats  to break the hospital bed logjam that bedevils doctors, nurses and floor staff working in most of Canada’s hospitals. How bad is it? On November 30, 2016, the Ontario Auditor General released its most recent report on lengthening waits for beds in the province’s community hospitals. I note that this is a provincial report and not all the findings translate exactly to other provinces. But the similarities are…

6 Tips for a Great U.S. Road Trip

1. Get off of the Interstate Almost all of the United States looks the same from the highway. Invest in a great atlas and, whenever possible, route yourself off of the Interstate and onto U.S. Highways or Scenic Byways (marked by blue lines on the map). County roads almost never fail to disappoint. When you take these lesser-travelled roads you get a taste of the area of the country you are travelling in, including some of the local culture and cuisine. 2. Give yourself time to stop at roadside attractions The U.S. is famous for its’ quirky roadside attractions, like the World’s Largest Brick (Alabama), the World’s Largest Jack-in-the-Box (Connecticut), and the World’s Biggest Beagle (Idaho). Although visiting the World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Kansas) might seem a little silly in the moment, we promise that the memory will stick with you long after you’ve returned home and unpacked…

5 Tips for Part-Time Travellers

Not everyone can quit their jobs and travel full-time—it’s just not a lifestyle that suits the majority of people. But having a career and a life at home doesn’t mean you have to wait until you retire to travel. Despite what people may think, it’s possible to see the world and maintain a career and home base. Here are five tips that will help you succeed with part-time travel. 1. Use your vacation days In 2015, more than half of Americans left vacation days unused. In most of North America, employees get two to three weeks of vacation, but so many people don’t take advantage of these days and instead let them go to waste. Those with full-time jobs are in the best position to travel because they have a steady income. So stop feeling guilty about asking for time off from your job, you’ve earned it! 2.…

8 Myths about the Full-Time Travel Lifestyle

When I sold everything to travel, I couldn’t imagine a time when I’d say I’ve been on the road for 10 years. But here we are, 10 years later. I’ve travelled through and/or lived in over 50 countries in that time. And I’ve learned a lot about what “full-time travel” really means. Here are eight myths about the full-time travel lifestyle that I’ve learned along the way (often the hard way!). Myth: Full-Time Travel Is an Extended Vacation Full-time travel is a lifestyle rather than a trip or vacation. When travelling full-time, there’s no “regular life” or “home” to return to, like there is if you are travelling for a limited time. This creates a different mindset around foundational ideas like what home is, and ultimately, how to create that sense of home abroad. Myth: Full-Time Travel Is for Rich People Most full-time travellers work in some way…

Canadians Are Still Loved in Cuba

With Cuba much in the news these days, given the death of former president Fidel Castro, you might want to update your to-do list if you’re planning a visit to that island country during the winter months. Though US relations with Cuba may be entering another uncertain phase with the accession of Donald Trump to the presidency, you should not expect any immediate major changes in your entry requirements to that island nation, and it is still likely that the number of Canadians visitors will remain high. Last year Canadians made more than one million visits to Cuba, the most from any single nation. What do you need? You need a Canadian passport valid for at least one month beyond your anticipated stay. You will also need a visa/tourist card; that will likely be included in your air and hotel ticket package.  Make sure it is. And if you’re…

Spotlight City: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland with over 1.2 million residents. The city is characterised as a centre for national education, culture, industry, and economy in the country. Around seven million tourists visit Ireland each year, and the number is growing especially after it was ranked as one of the top cities to visit in 2016. The tourism sector is an important and well-developed industry in Dublin, and providing a safe and memorable visit for tourists is one of its top priorities. Before departing for a trip to Dublin, be sure to understand the security situation to have a safe and enjoyable time. Threats and Risks to travellers in Dublin:  Dublin is generally a safe city, and it is a progressive and accepting society. Millions of visits are made each year, and almost all are trouble free. Violent crime is rare; however organised crime and gang…