An Insider’s Guide to Canada

Riding on a boat on a lake in Canada

Canada is a big country, and you will find a ton of information on it in blogs and articles, but sometimes you need a quick rundown of the best bits to give you a rough idea of where to go and what to do. That’s the intention of this Insider’s guide to Canada. Since the summer is fast approaching and folks are starting to make their vacation plans, an insider’s guide can give you a reliable overview of the highlights to help your planning along. Here goes:

Niagara Falls

Most people have heard of Niagara Falls; they are regularly classed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. And sometimes they are included in the official eight wonders of the world. That’s not surprising; they are the largest waterfalls in North America.

If you decide to visit this iconic natural wonder, fly into Toronto and take the 90 minute drive down the highway. Watch this wonder before you, or get closer with a Maid of the Mist boat tour. In addition to the falls, there’s lots to see and do in the Niagara Falls area.

Whistler Mountain

Canada is known for its Rocky Mountains, and no wonder, with such a special landscape spanning much of Western Canada. But perhaps, one of the more famous mountains is Whistler. Whistler Mountain is located 125km north of Vancouver and is well known for its winter skiing and outdoor activities.

But Whistler Mountain has much to offer in the summer months as well. The mountain is 2,182 meters high, and there is almost always snow at the higher elevations, even in the summer sun. You don’t have to hike the whole way to have an incredible experience; just do what feels comfortable.

Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital of French-speaking Canada. It was established in 1608, making it one of the oldest cities in Canada and North America. The original Old Quebec City is a walled city and is home to some amazing historical architecture.

If you decide to travel here this summer with your partner or your family, you are in for a magical experience. The city offers a wealth of culture and cuisine you won’t find anywhere else. If you are visiting Canada, this is what happens after an eta application.

St. John’s

If historical cities are your thing, then take a visit to St. John’s in the northeast. St. John’s pre-dates Quebec City by around 100 years. It was established in 1497. It doesn’t have the same medieval feel as Quebec City; in fact, as a coastal city it has a distinct Maritime feel.

St. John’s is known as the San Francisco of the north because of its pastel-colored houses and artistic sensibility, but it has more to offer besides. Off the coast of St. John’s, there are Atlantic waters perfect for whale-watching, and you can take a trip to see icebergs as well.

Tofino

People don’t always realize how much Canada has to offer. It has the Rockies, of course, the wildlife, the cities, and the great lakes, but it also has something more exotic – an island paradise. Yes indeed.

Where is this island paradise then, you ask? The answer is Tofino on Vancouver Island off the west coast. Tofino is primarily a beach location that looks onto the pacific. It offers some incredible sunsets, excellent surfing, and much more besides.

Looking over the water in Tofino, British Columbia

Churchill

Canada is home to many famous places and landmarks that you could spend a lifetime visiting and getting value from, but it’s also how to some lesser-known places that can offer big wins in terms of value-adding, life-enhancing experiences.

Churchill is one of those places. It sounds a bit stuffy, like the top-hat wearing Prime Minister from the 1940s, but it’s way more interesting than that. This is polar bear country, and if you visit, there will definitely be a chance to see one of these towering giants – eat your heart out Churchill.

Old Montreal

If you love Quebec City, then you will also love Old Montreal. It dates back to around the same time as Quebec City, established in 1642. And like Quebec City, it can be found in the heart of the city. Montreal is a very culture rich and authentic place to visit.

Travel to Montreal if you want a continental experience within the Canadian borders. You will find plenty of historic buildings, nightlife, and seasonal events to keep you and your family entertained. This is the cosmopolitan Canada that will appeal to everyone.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a gateway to the Rockies and perfect if you have all the gear but lack some experience of hiking. Banff National Park is located around some natural hot springs and gives you the best of both worlds.

Spend some time hiking in the surrounding wilderness, following the well-trodden paths to low summits where you get the best view of the landscape. Absorb it all, then return to the springs for a well-earned relaxer.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park in Vancouver is a bit like Central Park in New York. It’s an extensive city park that is in all seasons and is famous for all the right reasons. Stanley Park is where many of the romantic fall walks in TV shows and the movies are filmed, even ones set in NYC.

Stanley Park is a big place, and there are tons of things to keep you occupied and entertained. You can spend all day at the park and take a leisurely walk, going hiking, lay on the beach, visit native totem poles, and drop by the lively aquarium.

Okanagan Valley

If you’re in Western Canada, and you’re in Vancouver, then you are a short flight or 4-hour drive to the Okanagan. Take full advantage of this and head northeast to the Okanagan Valley. Here you will find the Okanagan Lake and plenty of sunshine and native wine.

Okanagan Valley has it all. Food highlights include chef prepared outdoor farm to table dining experiences for small groups. The lake is clear and sparkling, the sunshine is pretty much continuous, and you can visit many orchards and vineyards.

The mountains of British Columbia

6 Reasons why Road Trips are Better than Flying

People on a road trip relaxing in nature

According to statistics, flying might be the safest mode of travel, and there are some destinations that a car can’t reach. However, traveling by car is usually more affordable and allows you to create your itinerary – that’s just the beginning of its benefits. In this article, we’ll uncover 6 reasons why road trips are better than flying.

#1 You are in control

When it comes to traveling by plane, there are many procedures that you must follow. First, you need to get to the airport 2-3 hours before the departure time. Then, you get processed through security, board a crowded plane, and sit for a few hours in a cramped space. Depending on the airline and destination, food choices may be poor. As a result, people often arrive at the final destination feeling groggy. Some experience headaches or nausea due to turbulence and changes in air pressure. Not to mention the stress caused by delayed flights, long layovers, and missed connections.

If you’re lucky enough, you might fall asleep during your flight (in case there is no crying baby near you). If you happen to have a window seat and if you’re flying during the day, you can watch the clouds. And, that’s probably the only thing you’ll see, except the landscape before landing. All in all, traveling by plane is not very eventful.

On the other hand, when you travel by car, you can have an enriching experience and flexible schedule. When driving, you have many options available. You make the rules of your trip. You can stop and take a break whenever you want, whether to marvel at a lookout point, take photos, or eat something.

#2 It’s safer than you think

Many people are simply afraid of flying. On the other hand, do you know anyone afraid of traveling by car? Plane crashes are statistically more deadly than car crashes, even though they happen much less frequently. However, you’re much more likely to survive and avoid severe injuries if you happen to have a car accident.

Keep in mind that cars are safer now than ever before. You can rely on a car with GPS, automatic braking, anti-lock brakes, lane assist, parking sensors, camera, etc., and have a safe road trip.

However, if you still feel a little worried, you can always look for less busy routes for your road trip. Additionally, you can decide to pull over during bad weather and keep your phone in silent mode for better focus.

Woman driving a car
Whenever you’re driving, safety should be your top priority.

#3 Driving is less expensive than flying

Even though gas can be expensive, plane tickets are much more so. There are many extra fees you’ll need to pay as well. Low-cost airlines charge a fee for checked bags, preferred seats, airport check-in, in-flight entertainment, etc. Prices of food and drinks at the airport are usually outrageous as well.

Traveling by car is an adventure that is even more affordable when traveling with others. Road trips are better than flying because you can split gas money with your travel companions. In case you’re traveling with family, it’s easy to calculate the difference between multiple airplane tickets and the cost of gas.

#4 You can bring more stuff

Another reason why road trips are great is that you have more flexibility when packing your bags, and you don’t have to pay expensive fees for them. You don’t have to follow strict airline rules, and there is no specific weight limit. If you have a spacious car, you can bring almost anything you want. Some of those things can be:

  • Various games
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Camping gear

You can also take your dog with you without worrying about the airline’s pet policy or the pet fee.

A man and a child near white SUV during sunset
Road trips are better than flying because they allow you flexibility in so many ways.

#5 Endless discoveries

You should go on an adventurous road trip at least once in your life. The fun is almost guaranteed, along with the opportunity to experience many different things. There’s so much to see and do on the road that you’d miss if you traveled by plane. There are numerous roadside attractions which you can plan to visit. Whenever you drive through a quaint little town, you can make a stop and wander through its streets. Moreover, you can stop to explore anything that seems interesting and worth your time, such as small museums, historical sites, famous statues, geological wonders, etc.

#6 Planning a nationwide road trip is so much fun

Everything mentioned above contributes to the idea that your vacation is not only your final destination – planning a nationwide road trip is much more than that. To plan this adventure, get creative and make a list of all the places you want to visit and see how you can connect them on a map. Then, create your itinerary, set a road trip budget, and decide where you’ll spend your nights. Be sure to download offline maps (just in case) and leave at least a little bit of flexibility for unplanned adventures.

Aside from being fun, road trips can also strengthen your relationships – whether that’s with your partner, family members, or friends. When traveling by road, you get to know your companions more intimately by having deep, meaningful talks with them.

Couple sitting in the back of a car
Going on a road trip with a companion will strengthen your relationship.

Final thoughts

Even though road trips are better than flying in many ways, every form of travel has its pros and cons. If you’re going on a business trip, it’s probably best to go by plane. When you need to travel to a remote location, the same logic applies. But, when you do have the option to drive, go for it. You’ll have more quality time, more flexibility, you’ll see things you would have never seen by plane, you’ll learn some history, and you’ll even save money. However, remember it’s essential to be cautious and drive safely. Being on the road promises thrilling experiences which you can remember for the rest of your life.

10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021

Couple walking on the seashore during sunset

After the wedding, it’s finally time to take the ultimate couple’s getaway to a romantic destination. You’ll make unforgettable memories and start your new life together doing what you love. Some “just married” couples love being lazy on a beach and diving into the depths of the sea, while others like active vacationing and exploring medieval towns. Some prefer driving in a safari, while others enjoy all-inclusive packages and various spa treatments for a week or two. Discover the 10 most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021, find your fit, and start planning right now.

#1 MALDIVES

The Maldives has some of the top tropical islands in the world. This destination is famous for deep blue ocean waters, crystal clear beaches, and luxury overwater bungalows. Little islands in the midst of the Indian ocean are just perfect for newlyweds. You can enjoy the underwater spa and various massage facilities. While here, make sure to try spa treatments with island-sourced ingredients like seaweed, pineapple, or papaya. A honeymoon is an ideal opportunity to visit Undersea Restaurant. If you’re a water sports lover, this will be your paradise. For an ultimate experience, don’t miss a scuba dive excursion with your partner. You can also explore the capital city, Male.

Overwater bungalows, the Maldives
Maldives – one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021

#2 BORA BORA

Known for its protected coral reefs, Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a remote destination for couples who are up for a big splurge. Many resorts and hotels will give you the option to book photo sessions. Furthermore, you can book spa treatments and special honeymoon mealtimes. After relaxing on a white sandy beach, try some adventures such as safari and parasailing. Moreover, visit Bora Bora Lagoonarium, Coral Gardens, and Mount Otemanu. Take a boat tour, try Shark and Stingray Feeding, or other activities available on various tours.

#3 INDONESIA – BALI

This popular Indonesian isle is visually stunning. There is much more to it than just mind-blowing beaches that first come to mind. Bali is filled with gorgeous ancient temples, lush green rice fields, and beautiful rainforests with bushy palms. Once here, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. You can stretch out on the loungers and enjoy views of the Indian Ocean, and indulge in a calming couple’s massage. Alternatively, try something adventurous, such as riding mopeds around the island to discover some of its secrets.

Man and woman walking towards palm trees
Bali can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you’d like.

#4 THE CARRIBIAN GEM – ST. LUCIA

St. Lucia offers sparkling Caribbean waters, breathtaking mountain views, and luxurious accommodation. To explore the Caribbean atmosphere, visit blissfully quiet and romantic Marigot Bay. Apart from stunning beaches, be sure to visit Pigeon island – a national landmark. Furthermore, don’t miss The Pitons- volcanic plugs, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, Splash Island Water Park, Tet Paul Nature trail for some hiking, and Castries Flea Market for souvenirs, local food, and spices.

#5 GREECE – SANTORINI

This Greek island is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021. Santorini has an undeniably magical atmosphere with dreamy white terraces and an unobstructed view of the water. You’ll enjoy romantic walks down the neat alleys of the historic town. Make sure to discover all its beauties, from red and black sand beaches to wineries and historic tours. Don’t miss visiting the ruins at Ancient Akrotiri and Ancient Thira. Santorini has a great choice of luxury accommodation and clifftop restaurants. For a breathtaking view, take a catamaran cruise around the caldera. Then, you’ll see for yourself why Santorini sunsets are famous around the world.

#6 DUBAI

Dubai is known as “The city of Gold”, famous for its glamour. It rises from a desert as a buzzing metropolis with tall and modern skyscrapers, including the highest building in the world – Burj Khalifa at 2,717 ft (828 m). Don’t miss going up to the lofty observation deck on the 154th floor. Some of the world’s best hotels are located in Dubai, along with luxury boutiques and abundant entertainment opportunities. Enjoy a taste of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Take a tour and visit sand dunes for a camel ride, sandboarding, and a Bedouin-style feast. To experience the best of Dubai, book a helicopter tour over the Palm Jumeirah, and admire this amazing city from high up in the sky.

Burj Al Arab hotel, lake, and palms in Dubai
Dubai is a great destination for a honeymoon in 2021.

#7 THAILAND

Tropical Thailand is a wonderland of exotic flora and picture-perfect beaches. Visit Bangkok for opulent palaces and glittering gold temples. Make a reservation at an all-inclusive beach resort to unwind fully. Koh Samui island, with its crystal-clear waters, is excellent for couples with a tight budget. It has some affordable yet authentic and comfortable beachside bungalows. The more remote island is Ko Muk, where you can find jungles and a traditional village encircled by incredibly blue-green lagoons. While here, try local Thai food, admire exotic wildlife and exquisite ocean vistas. Enjoy your post-wedding escape to the fullest.

#8 MEXICO – CANCUN BAY

Mexico is still a great vacation spot, and a perfect place to celebrate the start of your life together is Cancun Bay. Enjoy fabulous beaches, clear aquamarine seas, lagoons, and coral reefs. Cancun is not only popular for its natural beauty but also for its urban sophistication, shopping, handicraft markets, fantastic food, and mysterious Mayan remains. Take a rainforest adventure trip, go swimming with the whale sharks and take a night cruise on the lagoon. Furthermore, visit the archeological remains and museum at El Rey, and whenever you want – just relax on a beach.

#9 HAWAII, USA

Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021. The soft-sand beaches, turquoise, and deep waters invite long, lazy days on the beach. Still, if you want an active vacation, you can also have it. Here are few suggestions:

  • Explore the Na Pali coast of Kauai by catamaran
  • Take a nighttime snorkel to view manta rays
  • Enjoy hiking or fishing
  • Try whale watching
  • Book a tour at Volcano National Park
  • See Maui and the Big Island from a helicopter

#10 ZANZIBAR

This East African island paradise is still a lesser-known, peaceful honeymoon destination, away from the big cities. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there are many popular places which you should visit, such as Stone Town, Old Fort, House of Wonders, Jozani Forest, the famous Rock restaurant and much more. Experience authentic Zanzibar food and take a dhow cruise while enjoying a beautiful romantic sunset. Try kitesurfing, scuba diving in pristine ocean water, and swimming with dolphins in the Kizimkazi area.

Please be aware that, when traveling overseas to remote, exotic destinations, some people may experience anxiety and have to deal with negative feelings. Many things can cause those feelings, such as cultural shock, leaving your comfort zone, and interruption of daily habits. If you plan your honeymoon much ahead, research the destination well and pack everything you might need, you’ll be able to enjoy it without worries.

Final words

Now that you know the 10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021, you can make a decision based on your priorities and preferences. Whenever you decide to go, your honeymoon should be memorable and filled with joy and love.