General

Treat yourself in 2021

Get Set Go: CHCH Morning Live — (See the full episode below)

What a year! There’s no doubt that many of us are craving travel at this point but a pandemic and safety precautions mean that most of us will have to hold off for a little while longer. Still, if you’re looking for ideas to stoke that travel fever flame, I’ve got you covered.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

First up:  A way to stay connected now and when you do go. We all love our phones but our newfound attraction to all things binge-able when it comes to entertainment, may have you craving a bigger screen when you next hit the road. If you’re an Apple fan then you likely already have an iPad but if you’re looking for an Android option, The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a beautiful choice. It’s got all the power (10+ hours of battery life) and connectivity of a laptop with the portability of a tablet. Work from Anywhere just met its Android-loving match.

Casus Grill

Road trips have meant that we’re getting a lot more enjoyment out of our outdoor spaces. I know I’ve been exploring local parks more than ever before. Along with a good close-to-the-beach location,  a BBQ option is nice. I love this new creation from CasusGrill It’s a working grill made out of bamboo and cardboard! It’s eco-friendly and can grill everything from a  steak to smores. It makes a cool gift for someone you love – like you! Plus for about $15 it’s a no-brainer! Pair it with some great spices from your favourite spot like The Butchery by RGE RD in Edmonton  or Montreal original  ZOE oils, salts and herbs and you’ve got the perfect mix.

Buy Local – at home and abroad

Buying Local is a trend I hope never goes away. And it has been great to see the creativity and collegiality of local purveyors as they pivot. COne to check out is Mylocalmarkets.ca – it’s an online collaborative that allows you to shop for local Canadian products at one spot. I spent time in Southeastern Ontario this summer and it was fun to collect a selection of local foodie items as a memento. With thousands of farmers, makers and small businesses to choose from across the country, you can revisit a favourite spot or try something new.

And if you’re missing international souvenirs and markets, there’s something for you too. LocalPurse.com  allows you to pair a private, live virtual tour from Intrepid Travel with a local guide in places like Morocco with a stop in a souvenir shop for some live video shopping. All the money goes directly to NGOs, guides and locals who are suffering from the lack of tourists in their communities at this time. There has been a lot made of virtual tours, but this is the one that I think comes closest to feeling like you’re actually there.

Grab a Great Travel Book

And last but not least: Curl up with some great reads! Books can take us to the places we can’t yet get too or offer insight into places right around the corner. Ron Brown’s Toronto’s Lost Villages, Eternity Martis’s They Said This would be Fun or Jesse Thistle’s From the Ashes are great starts but the options are endless.

Book a Trip

Yes, a real trip! I booked one last week  and it’s an amazing feeling. A recent survey found that having a trip on your calendar – even if it’s months away – can improve your mood and your outlook on life. I’m here to tell you it’s true!

Above, a snippet of my chat with Annette Hamm on CHCH Morning Live

Here’s what I recommend if you’re nervous:

Look for trips that offer a purchase guarantee. Here are two to think about.

  1. Exodus Travels has Dateless departures which let you purchase your trip now and choose the date you take it later.

2. Travelzoo Canada has “Save now, Travel Later” options that take you to places like the Galapagos, the Amalfi Coast and the Maldives and allow you to take advantage of incredible deals now, for travel at a later date – whenever you’re ready.

These flexible deals are either fully refundable or have no change fees, and options include a full refund should you choose not to travel.

I’ll be heading to the Maldives in late 2022 and despite how far out that seems it feels so good to have a trip to look forward to.

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