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Air Canada Vacations - Travel Blog

01 Jun

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6 Florida Destinations for Family Vacations

June 1, 2018 | By |

It’s no secret that Canadians love a vacation to Florida. Many of us share fond memories of growing up and escaping our harsh winters in the Sunshine State. Where else can you find all-day sunny weather, gorgeous scenery and adventure at every corner?

Discover our picks of the best vacation spots in Florida for a family getaway!

Fort Lauderdale 

Fort Lauderdale

First stop: Fort Lauderdale! Think activity-filled beach days with the kids or a shopping spree on Las Olas Boulevard. Take your family from the streets to the city’s canals with a fun amphibious tour or travel even further…all the way back to prehistoric Florida at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Seeking something completely unforgettable? Opt for a day-trip to the Everglades! Spot gators, turtles, and fish on an airboat tour that zips through Florida’s famous wetlands.

Miami 

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Family time might not immediately come to mind when Miami is mentioned. Nightlife and glamour, maybe, but family? Let Miami surprise you! Tropical temperatures and laidback vibes make it an ideal destination for everyone. Let your kids go wild at Zoo Miami, home to the planet’s most impressive animals, including elephants, lions and gorillas. For up-close encounters with Miami’s mammals, let your little ones swim with dolphins at the city’s Seaquarium!

Cocoa Beach

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Dreamt of being an astronaut when you grew up? Who didn’t! Big and small head to Cocoa Beach to visit the nearby NASA Kennedy Space Center and learn all about the past and present of space exploration. Who knows, maybe your kids will even be the next ones to journey to Mars! From space to sea, make your way to the Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf shop. Once you’ve stocked up on gear, enjoy the calm, consistent waves of the city’s beach, ideal for learning how to surf.

St. Pete/Clearwater

Clearwater Beach

Sandy shores and sparkling waters; sometimes, that’s all we need! Opt for very best around St. Pete Beach or Clearwater Beach, voted respectively seventh and first among Trip Advisor’s best beaches in the United States. At the southern tip of the area, the Fort De Soto Park welcomes families with sheltered picnic spots, playgrounds, nature trails and a historic fort. Save your sunsets for Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach where painters, magicians and street performers keep your kids entertained, while you settle in for glorious views.

Tampa

Tampa

Favour urban exploration over beach vacation? Try Tampa! This major city on the west coast of Florida offers something for all ages and tastes. Stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk, linking countless attractions, from the Florida Aquarium to the best waterfront restaurants. Art lovers will want to pop in to the Tampa Museum of Art and its neighbouring Glazer Children’s Museum. Follow up art with athletics any day of the week, because it’s always game day in Tampa where the MLB, NFL and NHL each have a team.

Orlando

Orlando

We can’t delay the inevitable: addressing the Mickey Mouse-shaped elephant in the room. After all, Orlando is home to the most magical place on Earth, the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes 4 fantastic Disney Theme Parks, including Disney’s Hollywood Studios where the all new Toy Story Land, opens June 30. Make sure the fun never stops and amp up the thrills at the nearby Universal Orlando Resort. Take a timeout from the theme parks to tee off at one of the city’s golf courses or dine at first-rate restaurants.

What’s next

Re-live your childhood, while making new memories for your kids! Create your dream family trip to Florida with our selection of vacation rentals, hotels and so much more. Hot travel tip: book by July 30 and save the equivalent of the taxes on Florida packages. That’s $300 off per family!

Plan your Florida vacation!

25 May

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What to do in Samaná

May 25, 2018 | By |

Top 3 Excursions

Los Haitises National Park

Board a speedboat to cross the bay of Samaná and explore one of the most unique national parks in the world. Discover a sanctuary of wild birds, a multitude of small islands and magnificent mangroves, caves with stalagmites and stalactites, ancient paintings, and sculptures of the Taino Indians. Then it’s off to Cayo Levantado for a scrumptious lunch before heading back to Samaná pier.

Jeep Safari

Spend an unforgettable day aboard an 18-person truck with spectacular views of Samaná’s countryside. Visit a local farm to see how tropical fruits and vegetables are grown, all while tasting the local produce, including coffee and cacao. An untamed beach and a hidden waterfall deep in the tropical jungle await your discovery. Continue your day along a winding road with spectacular views of the Bay of Samaná.

Catamaran Cruise

You’ll be greeted with a cocktail as you board the catamaran and set out to tour the bay of Samaná. There will be snorkeling at Cayo La Farola, then off to Cayo Levantado to enjoy the white sand beaches and sparkling waters, where lunch will be served under the coconut trees. Set sail mid-afternoon for your trip back with some merengue beats and a last drink  to end a spectacular day.

Book your trip to Samaná!

25 May

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Where to stay in Samaná

May 25, 2018 | By |

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts: Experience Happiness
With four resorts in dreamlike locations throughout Samaná, in the north of the Dominican Republic, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts offers travellers a mix of modern amenities, romance, relaxation, all-inclusive fun, and special rooms for families, on great beachfront locations. Travellers looking for an intimate atmosphere and tranquil setting can enjoy one adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe hotel, with 24-hour room service and unlimited à la carte dining.

Samaná – Your Paradise
Explore charming villages, adventure into tropical forests, unwind on alcove beaches, and feel the European vibes in Samaná, one of the most beautiful regions in the Dominican Republic. The turquoise waters blend into sandy shorelines, the beaches are unspoiled, and the natural wonders will leave you awe-struck. Samaná really is the ultimate dream destination.

Grand Bahia Principe Samaná Roulette

When you book a Roulette vacation, you’ll stay at either Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa or Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo… but you won’t know which one until you land in Samaná! Both resorts are located directly on a beach and welcome families, wedding parties, and honeymooners. Perfect for travellers who enjoy the element of surprise, a Roulette vacation is a win-win for everyone! Offered exclusively with Air Canada Vacations.

Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

Lose yourself in the most spectacular views of Samaná and disconnect in this gorgeous natural landscape. There’s never a dull moment at this resort with endless entertainment and loads of activities, including  paddle surfing, kayaking, diving lessons in the pool, and so much more! Take a complimentary shuttle  to the Bahia Principe Village for some local shopping.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

Discover pure Caribbean paradise and crystalline waters at one of the island’s most spectacular beaches. Steps away from Las Terrenas, a little fishing town with leisure activities and a lively social scene, this resort has a children’s waterpark, kids and teens clubs, an exclusive chilling out area, and entertainment programs for all! Family Suites are located close to the fun-filled action and offer family-centric services and amenities (including welcome gifts for the kids)!

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Experience tropical luxury at the only resort on Cayo Levantado Island. Now welcoming guests of all ages, this resort offers daytime activities, nightly entertainment, 24-hour room service, free WiFi, evening turndown service, VIP amenities, and a butler service option. Embark on a secluded getaway where you’ll be surrounded by the island’s natural splendour.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Luxury Bahia Principe Samaná

This adults-only boutique resort is perfect for those looking to go on a dream vacation filled with romance and relaxation. A couple’s intimate escape is elevated with butler service, premium amenities, and the unique  WE Wellness Experience that offers exclusive personalized wellness plans, relaxing body treatments, and more.  Let yourself unwind into a resort experience you’ll never want to end.

Book your trip to Samaná

01 May

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Top 3 Hotels in Barbados

May 1, 2018 | By |

Port Ferdinand Luxury Resort & Residences

Embrace total wellness at Port Ferdinand Barbados. With the soothing spa services of The Sandbox Tree Spa, paddle board yoga, Pilates, personal training in their fully-equipped fitness centre, and quality time and entertainment in the Adult Recreation Centre, this resort makes your health, relaxation and leisure their top priority.

Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels

New to the award-winning Elegant Hotels Group, the redesigned, eco-chic wellness Waves Hotel & Spa resort is located on the pristine beaches  of the island’s Platinum West Coast. You will find a selection  of island-inspired treatments and rituals that will provide a healthy escape to those seeking a holiday for the mind, body and soul.

Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa

You’re in for a sweet surprise at the Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa that offers a charming blend of luxury, serenity and seclusion on Barbados’ exotic West Coast. This adult-only boutique hotel combines Mediterranean design and tropical vibes with all-inclusive suite accommodations. Treat yourself to relaxation at the Sugar Cane Spa with hydrotherapy, massages, a dipping pool, and much more!

01 May

By

What to Do in Barbados

May 1, 2018 | By |

Mind, Body & Soul

Barbados is recognized as the home of rest and relaxation in the West Indies. Experience a refreshing mix of natural wonder, recreation, much-deserved pampering, and embrace music and fitness during the Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival. Wake up at sunrise for a peaceful yoga session by the ocean, compete in fun and friendly sports games, and indulge in spas of the utmost luxury.

Take it all in

With a cool breeze blowing from the ocean, yoga in Barbados will leave you feeling a calm like never before. Take part in a magnificent sunrise or panoramic rooftop class followed by a dip in fresh water lagoon pools. Then join in the excitement of the festival with activities such as the Sir Garfield Sobers Golf Classic, the Barbados Island Fit Games, the Barbados Cycling Festival and many others!

Retreat to Barbados

Offering an intimate connection with Mother Nature, the Naniki Retreat provides a home-away-from-home lifestyle in cottages with magnificent views of rolling hills and the Atlantic Ocean. Specially designed healing therapies include yoga, reiki, massages and an ozone sauna chamber that detoxifies the body. Make your way to an oasis of natural beauty where peace and serenity overcome the stress of daily life.

Yoga in Barbados

Invigorating yoga

Stand Up Paddle Yoga combines strength and stability, and the only requirement is that you don’t mind getting wet! If you prefer to be by the sea instead of in it, Samudra Yoga is definitely the right style for you, allowing you to feel refreshed and revived right by the turquoise waters. For an outdoor experience in an indoor environment, try Bawa Yoga, with classes taking place in a gazebo surrounded by beautiful almond trees.

The spa experience

Barbados offers some of the most lavish spas that will cater to all of your indulgent needs. Enjoy European style relaxation at the Red Lane® Spa in the luxurious Sandals® resort. Visit the Chakra Spa to experience true Barbadian treatment with the popular Chakra ceremony wrap using Barbadian cane sugar and spices. Or spend some quality time with your partner while enjoying a soothing massage on the beach. Whatever your spa preference, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated.

Beach and Wellness Festival

This two-day festival consists of events that reflect the authentic wellness scene of the island to help you decompress, clear your mind, and revitalize your body. Take part in yoga classes of all styles, calming meditation sessions, fitness workouts for all, massages on the beach, a line-up of wellness experts, and plenty more!

It’s your chance to take in all the amazing things Barbados has to offer! Stroll through the open-air Kula market featuring vendors like Brighton’s Farmers’ Market and Holders Farmers’ Market. Wander around and discover arts and crafts, clothing, juice stations and other local goods. Resident chefs will be cooking up a storm of BBQ delights and well-known local artists will add to the vibrant outdoor atmosphere with live music.

Book your trip to Barbados!

25 Apr

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The Best Greek Islands for Every Type of Traveller

April 25, 2018 | By |

So many islands, so little time!

We found pieces of paradise scattered across the Aegean Sea and we’re here to help you pick the perfect one (or ones! Island hopping, anyone?).  If you’re dreaming of a Greek island vacation, but aren’t sure where to start, keep calm and read on. Here’s our breakdown of our favourite Greek islands for every type of traveller!

Santorini

For Lovers & Sun Seekers: Santorini

If you’re looking up Greek islands, chances are you’ve stumbled on Instagram-worthy images of the island of Santorini, home to one of the most photographed, most spectacular sunsets in the world. If not, picture this: iconic, whitewashed houses overlooking volcanic cliffs, with the sun dipping into the horizon above cerulean waters, painting the sky in sumptuous shades. Shall we go on?

With its sweeping stairways and idyllic hillside villages, there’s no wonder stunning Santorini is a go-to spot for honeymooners and romantic revellers and one of the most popular islands to visit. If you’re not falling in love with the caldera views, then the colourful beaches and historic sites like the Museum of Prehistoric Thera might just seal the deal. Stop in Santorini with this Best of Greece tour!

For Party Animals: Mykonos

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Oh, mythical Mykonos –the place to party in the Aegean since the 1960s! It’s where your sunset cocktails last till sunrise and stylish hotels spruce up a rugged and rocky landscape. Pose for dramatic pictures next to the island’s traditional windmills in Mykonos Town before jetting off to decadent dance clubs or all-night parties on Paradise Beach.

For less glitz and glam, stroll through Little Venice to take in the charming architecture of buildings built right on the waterfront. Occupying its narrow streets are chic shops where you can stock up on breezy island fashion before your next escapade. Alternately, you can opt to redeem yourself within the bright, white walls of the uniquely shaped Church of Panagia Paraportiani. Hop on the Mykonos and the Aegean tour to move it in Mykonos.

For Peace Pursuers: Patmos

Patmos

Here comes your moment of zen! Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gorgeous Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, perched atop the island’s central hill, brings a calming spirituality to Patmos, appropriately nicknamed the ‘Holy Island.’ This is where Saint John imagined the end of the world and hey, it might not be the worst spot to find yourself if it does come.

Start at the Cave of the Apocalypse, a strange sacred site hewn into the rock and guarded by a monk to ensure total tranquility. Of course, once you’ve soaked in the spiritual atmosphere, countless beaches welcome you for some much-needed serene swimming. Find peace in Patmos with the Classical Greece & Cruise option.

For History Buffs: Crete

Crete

Time travel? It exists! Or so it seems when you land on the shores of Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization about 4,000 years ago.  Admire the remnants of one of the first major European societies at the archeological site of Knossos, the former capital of Minoan Crete. Highlights include the countless courtyards and chambers of the palace and the impressive frescoes colouring the ruins.

If you’re mad for mythology, venture to the alleged birthplace of Zeus, king of all Greek gods. Two caves make that claim, including the mysterious and gorgeous Dikteon Cave near the village of Psyhro and the Ideon Cave, located on Mount Psiloritis, the highest mountain on Crete.

We’d be lying if we said Crete is all about the past. Travellers seeking more modern indulgences can always happily convene on sun-soaked sands for happy hour. Our Island Delights tour allows you to take in the best parts, past and present, of Crete, largest of the Greek islands.

For Hikers & Beach Explorers: Naxos

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More beaches, please! With multitudes flocking to famous Santorini or Mykonos, many overlook the smaller, just-as-picturesque, Greek islands, like heavenly Naxos. The island’s mountainous lands and green valleys create all kinds of natural nooks and crannies for you to discover. Various hiking trails take you through this changing scenery, from the village of Filoti to the peak of Mount Zas. Naxos’ agriculture will please the most ardent foodie’s palate with local produce served up every which way in typical tavernas.

What about the beaches, you ask? We’re getting there! The southwest coast of Naxos is basically one long beach leading you to wilder sandy shores that range from secluded havens like Plaka to windy spots ideal for windsurfing like Mikri Vigla. Discover them all during our Cycladic Discovery tour!

What’s next

Map of Greek Islands

Set your watch to island time! Hot travel tip: Air Canada Vacations offers a variety of island hopping tours to take you from Athens to every island we’ve mentioned here and more. These usually last between 10 and 14 days to give you plenty of time to discover Greece’s capital, as well as several of the best Greek islands.  All of these tours stop in the two must-see islands, Mykonos and Santorini, and take place between May and October.

Plan your tour of Greek islands now!

28 Mar

By

Charming Curaçao

March 28, 2018 | By |

Explore the beauty of Curaçao, a blend of Dutch charm, Caribbean flair and Spanish heritage. Indulge in a culture, cuisine and lifestyle like no other. Home to golden beaches and crystal blue seas, it captivates visitors with hidden coves and intriguing underwater sites. Beautiful year-round weather and a sunny climate make for a perfect escape any time of year!

Our pick

Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino
This upscale resort has everything you need for family entertainment. It offers one of the largest and most visited casinos on the island, an in-house Dive Center, the Explorer’s Club for Kids and the Core Zone Teens Club. You can enhance your fun with a day trip to the National Underwater Park facing the resort or a trip to Willemstad, thanks to the resort’s complimentary shuttle service for guests.

28 Mar

By

Jammin’ Jamaica

March 28, 2018 | By |

Welcome to Jamaica, “the Home of All Right.” With so much to see in Montego Bay, you won’t know where to start! Take a stroll along the resort-lined beaches overlooking the beautiful bay. Set out to discover all that nature has to offer including plantations, verdant mountains and trickling waterfalls. And don’t forget to visit downtown Mo’ Bay for fine dining and the world-renowned reggae-splashed culture!

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Splash Montego Bay
Welcome to a child’s dream getaway! Youngsters can play all day at the Pirate’s Paradise Waterpark featuring a pirate ship and fort, 40-foot plank bridge, lazy river and two waterslides. That’s not all! The resort is surrounded by Montego Bay Marine Park, a fully underwater national park with snorkelling and protected swimming areas. Who are we kidding? This is fun for everyone!

28 Mar

By

Dazzling Dominican Republic

March 28, 2018 | By |

There’s no better place for rest and relaxation in the Dominican Republic than Punta Cana, offering turquoise waters along a panoramic stretch of white-sand beaches that are perfect for a peaceful getaway, destination wedding or honeymoon. Action-packed Puerto Plata will thrill you with windsurfing and kite surfing, and its historic town is a delight to explore.

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Set on the stunning Playa Dorada beach and in a tropical jungle, this resort is surrounded by a signature Robert Trent Jones 18-hole golf course. Kids get celebrity treatment at check-in with red carpet stairs, welcome treats and a resort passport. Take an excursion to the enchanting 27 Damajagua Waterfalls, the island of Cayo Arena or atop a mountain by cable car for stunning views of Puerto Plata.

What’s Next

Plan an all-inclusive vacation to Dominican Republic thanks to our last-minute deals!

28 Mar

By

Magnificent Mexico

March 28, 2018 | By |

Discover Mexico’s gems. Ixtapa, a jewel along the Pacific coast, blends timeless charm with natural beauty, while Puerto Vallarta beckons with breathtaking views of the mountains and beaches around Banderas Bay. The inviting island of Cozumel boasts calm beaches, clear waters, natural beauty and historic sites. Or explore Cancun, the gateway to Mayan ruins and picturesque beaches, as well as an enticing and vibrant nightlife!

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Star Cancun
The newest addition to the Sunscape collection, this resort opens on December 1, 2018, with double the live entertainment, free WiFi, a surf pool and rooms and suites that all have an ocean view! With a Sun Club upgrade, guests 18 and over can enjoy the adults-only rooftop pool, while children spend their days at the Kids Explorer’s Club, and teens hang out at the Core Zone Teens Club.