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Travel tips Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Air Canada Vacations

03 Jun

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6 Slices of Heaven: Jamaica for the First Time Traveller

June 3, 2014 | By |

Jamaica’s vibrant culture, magnificent beaches, thriving reefs and jungles, and bustling cities make this island the perfect destination for anyone who needs to get away, relax, and live it up for a while. This Caribbean island is well known for being a stopping place for many cruises and honeymooners, so resorts, water sports, and other services catering to tourists are in abundance. Why does Jamaica have so much appeal to Canadians? Perhaps it’s the mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine. It could be the natural beauty of the island. Or that Jamaican culture varies so widely from the cultures of other countries Canadians might have visited, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or Mexico. If this is your first time travelling to Jamaica, choose the part of the island which best suits your needs and consider your options for what you definitely don’t want to miss and the many possibilities you haven’t thought about yet as you determine what to do in Jamaica.

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18 Nov

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Tips to stay connected while you’re away!

November 18, 2013 | By |

Travelling in the digital age is an amazing thing, but before you pack those charger cables, here are some crucial tips you need to know.

Buy an international plan before you go

Most travellers make the mistake of calling their providers at destination, usually after receiving an urgent message from accounts! When buying a plan, be realistic about how much data, calling and text messaging you expect to do. Find out if your plan offers preferential roaming rates and/or if the plan includes a limited amount of data and airtime. Also, don’t forget to ask about charges if you go over the limit.

Shut off data roaming

Even if you have purchased an international plan, turn off your data roaming when possible — or even better, switch into airplane mode when you’re not using the device. In doing so, you are reducing the risk of accidentally incurring additional charges. This means getting to know the settings of your device before you leave!

Turn off notifications and alerts

Although you may love the alerts that pop up on your screen, letting you know that an email has come in or that you’ve been retweeted, every alert represents a data transfer. And that could mean extra charges. Perhaps use airport waiting  time to deactivate those alerts!

Regularly check usage to make sure that you’re not going over

If you’ve purchased a plan, it’s crucial to track your data transfers, text messages and phone calls while on your trip. The easiest way? Log in to your profile on the website of your service provider and check your numbers on a regular basis. That way, if you need more, you can contact your provider for an additional package.

Use WiFito make calls and send texts

In addition to Skype and Facetime, there are a number of other apps that will let you make phone calls and send texts — free of charge or for a nominal fee — over an Internet connection. This will not only save you money, but it’s also a worry- free way to stay in touch with loved ones.

01 May

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Cuba, from tip to tip

May 1, 2013 | By |

From tip to tip, every part of this great island offers a unique mix of history, music, art, passion and beauty – as unique and warm as the sun in the sky.

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19 Jan

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Choosing a cruise

January 19, 2011 | By |

There are many ways of choosing a cruise, such as following in the footsteps of friends who are just back from a trip that stirred their passions, but as a veteran of 200 sailings, let me tell you the best way: go to a professional who knows the business such as a cruise specialist at Air Canada Vacations or a travel agency.

 

They know what’s out there, and they want to sell you a vacation that you will love. Why? Because they want you to come back with a smile on your face and give them more business. It’s as simple as that.

But first, think about where you want to go and when. There are a lot of choices, with dozens of ships of all sizes, at vastly different price levels and offering something for everyone.

For starters, who’s going? Some ships are better for couples, others suit children, while a few specialize in weddings with the captain doing the honours. Ships are great for families, sometimes several generations, who will have their own spaces, but can get together easily, such as for dinner.

Yes, meals are served on board (the understatement of the year) but you don’t have to put on weight because the newer vessels have fabulous spas and tremendous gyms to help you stay in shape. In fact, spas have become a very important part of cruising.

Sports fans who choose the right ship are well catered to with live, big-screen showings of top games, while I know from experience that Carnival Cruise Lines has a big golf program with rental clubs and shoes on board.

And if you want nightlife, Royal Caribbean International will find a way to keep you up all night.

Fact is, modern cruise ships are floating resorts. But why not see some of the world at the same time? There are epic destinations out there. A Mediterranean cruise, for example, can let you spend a night out in Monte Carlo or a day exploring Tuscany. In Spain, visit the Alhambra in Granada, while a Baltic cruise is the easy way to get to the treasures of St. Petersburg.

Closer to home, there’s the colonial charm of Bermuda, diving in the Bahamas, the thrill of a Panama Canal transit and ships that will let you go down the gangway to the beat of the samba. And almost anywhere, you can go shopping!

Be prepared to find the experience of cruising addictive, so regard your first trip as base camp. You might start with a honeymoon cruise to a faraway place, enjoy fun getaways in the Caribbean, and one day take the kids on a Disney cruise.

I’d start with a short cruise, say a week, and nothing too complicated. If you’re close to the east coast, choose a sailing out of Miami or thereabouts. Westerners might want a sailing from Los Angeles or Hawaii.

And while the big, new ships are so stable you hardly know you’re moving, if in doubt, ask for a cabin in the middle of the ship and on a lower deck. It will likely be cheaper too, and nothing wrong with that!

By David Wishart, who likes to write about cruises, and has taken more than 200 of them.