It was a sign

It was clear, detailed and pointed us in the right direction. It was just a simple sign, but it did its job.

As a tourist,  looking for the historic waterfront in downtown Shelburne, Nova Scotia (pop 1800) I got the information I needed.

I took a photo of the sign to use as an example of how to be tourist-friendly.  And while I acknowledge most people will have access to GPS or a Google map, that’s not how everyone travels. GPS can often be unreliable and while it is excellent for highways and major attractions, it doesn’t understand concepts like ‘waterfront’ or ‘arts/culture.’

As host cities we would be making a grave mistake if we left it up to GPS systems to tell our potential tourists where to go. Let me be clear, like the sign, we need to help people in every way possible. It’s impossible to dazzle them with hospitality if they can’t make it to their destination.

5 Canadian Fares under $300

Competition is a good thing and Canadians are now enjoying lower everyday fares on (at least) a few routes.

Thanks to Flair Airlines and now (Westjet’s new discount carrier) Swoop, you can typically fly to these cities, from Winnipeg for under $300, return, all taxes in. While you will find discount fares with the new airlines, Westjet and Air Canada have also lowered their typical fares on these routes.

These are sale prices, which pop up a couple times a month. I consider them “target prices” or what I would be happy to book at. These sale fares have become the norm.

However, holidays and high-demand dates will always be at a higher fare.

  1. Edmonton (Average price about $170)
  2. Abbotsford (Average price $220)
  3. Hamilton (Average price $220)
  4. Calgary (About $265)
  5. Ottawa (About $265)

The new Canadian discount airline, Swoop, can be found online at www.flyswoop.com

Wear your poppy

 

I was downtown Seattle yesterday, near the Pike Place Market. Things were starting to feel a little sketchy even though it was just mid afternoon.

I got called out for being Canadian by a couple panhandlers and a guy who wanted to sell me a CD. “Hey Canadian…. ” they said. “Give us your loonies or coloured money. I’ll take whatever.”

Later I was at the market and I was I stopped to look at some stuff and I am the guy asking what part Canada I was from.  So I asked him “what’s the dead giveaway why does everybody know I’m Canadian?” He said because that poppy you’re wearing on your jacket.”

Ah… my lapel poppy. Frankly I didn’t see it as a “Canadian thing” until that moment.  I saw it as a universal sign of respect for our veterans and soldiers.  I couldn’t imagine not wearing the poppy at the beginning of November.

I asked the friendly clerk. “Should I take it off? Does it make me stick out like a target, a tourist?”

“No! No!” He says, “we like Canadians. You all are good.”

I will admit that there were a few minutes on my walk back to the hotel where I thought about taking off the poppy because I was feeling a little uncomfortable.  But I surely didn’t take it off! War isn’t comfortable either. Our veterans and soldiers endured unspeakable horrors in defence of our country and freedoms. And therefore, I wear a poppy, because it’s November and I am Canadian. I frankly don’t see it as optional.

 

 

 

 

Splurge on your vacation with Air Miles

It might be old news to you, but I’m just learning about the new Air Miles reward certificates that can be used for package vacations with almost every popular, main stream supplier.

For each $100 certificate you will need 909 Air Miles. Frankly, in my opinion this isn’t the best redemption rate. HOWEVER, I’m going to think of it this way…. if $300 is the difference in what I what I feel is a good hotel package, and what I feel is a “splurge” package, then I would definitely use my Air Miles to pay the difference.

For example, it my budget dictates “Holiday Inn” but I’d be thrilled with “Four Seasons Resort” then why not use the Air Miles to cover what my budget would not? Be thrilled with the supplement to the vacation, rather than stress about trying to save enough Air Miles to cover the whole vacation.