Friday, 11 November 2016


The Canadian Rockies offer a wealth of lakes for your viewing, swimming, boating and exploring pleasure. It was hard for us to pick a favourite, so here is our Top 6 Lakes in the Canadian Rockies. 

Lake Minnewanka - Banff

The largest lake in Banff National Park is nestled between mountain scenery and is cloaked in history. A cruise on board the Banff Lake Cruise, with experienced captains and entertaining guides, will delve you into the past yet transport you in to the present of the beauty surrounding you. You may choose to rent a pedal boat and explore the water’s edge, hike on local trails or use it as the centre-point for amazing photography in all seasons. Lake Minnewanka is also a popular spot for scuba-diving in the Rockies for exploration of the submerged village of Minnewanka Landing. 

Peyto Lake Icefields Parkway

One of the most awe-inspiring lakes in the Canadian Rockies is easily accessible from a viewing platform high on the mountainside. Watch the glacier-fed turquoise waters sneak into view as you complete the short pathway to the view point. These mountainous lakes get their vibrant turquoise tint from rock flour, or glacial flour that is picked up during the melting process. Peyto Lake received its name from Bill Peyto, a significant man of history in the Rockies; an early mountain guide in Banff National Park.

Lake Louise – Lake Louise

A destination in itself and needs no introduction, this Iconic lake of the Rockies is cuddled by towering peaks and mesmerizing glaciers. Discovering the Rockies is simple onboard a sightseeing excursion such as the Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls tour - visit Lake Louise and gain a bonus of a visit to Moraine Lake. Lake Louise, beautiful in every season offers canoeing opportunities to explore the water’s edge and popular hiking trails in the summer. In winter, the lake is a host to the Ice Magic Festival showcasing a stunning carved Ice Castle on the surface of the lake. 

Pyramid Lake - Jasper

A warmer lake in the Jasper area offering another unique perspective of the Rockies as Pyramid Mountain towers over the lake below. Stroll over to the island on foot-bridge, canoe across the lake to the secluded lake beaches or look for wildlife along the shore! Swimming is also popular in this temperate water. For those who wish to visit in the winter, this lake turns in to a winter wonderland with cross country skiing and sleigh rides. 

Maligne Lake - Jasper

The largest glacier-fed lake in the Canadian Rockies is a must-see! Not only that, it holds the iconic Spirit Island only accessible by boat. Hop aboard the Maligne Lake Cruise and be transported to this magical place. For those experienced in kayaking or canoeing, you may choose to paddle the almost 30km round-trip to the island itself. The lake goes further past the island and ends with a small campsite at Coronet Creek at the 22 km mark (if you are daring enough to embark on a multi-day canoe trip).

Johnson Lake - Banff

Trust a local, this is a top pick for summer relaxation! This is a great place for a cool-off as the water is the perfect temperature for swimming or a float on a warm day. A quick exploratory loop around the lake gives you great view points within a small distance and it’s an achievable hike even with small children. You may even come across the Red Chairs (Parks Canada initiative) to sit and enjoy this unparalleled landscape.

There are so many more lakes we could list; however, we hope this compilation offers some inspiration for your travels! 

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Thursday, 27 October 2016

6 Cities That Are Perfect for Life Overseas

There are some places you can travel to, that you’ll find you like well enough. You’d probably happily visit again and again, if so inclined and able to. And that’s enough. No matter how much time you do or don’t spend there, you’re always happy to eventually head back home.

Then, there’re other places that somehow manage to steal your heart. You find yourself wandering the streets of these new cities, imagining what your life would be like if you lived there. This café is where you’d take your weekly Sunday brunch. That pub would be your local watering hole. And that beautiful house is where you’d like to live if you had all the money in the world.

It happens now and then. As someone who is more inclined to expat life than long-term travel, I’m always storing ideas and impressions away in my mind, for later contemplation.

I love traveling, but I also like to have a base – one that’s preferably near the part of the world I’m most interested in seeing at the time.

So just for fun, here are some cities around the world that I’d happily live in if land boundaries were a thing that didn’t exist.

1. If I were to live in the UK again, I’d pick Edinburgh, Scotland

I’ve loved my time spent living in London – however, if I were to move back to the UK, I’d probably head north to Edinburgh.

There’s something about the Scottish capital that makes my heart swoon. The Georgian terraces, the cobblestone streets, the close proximity to nature… the general vibe of the city itself.

Plus, I love that you can travel an hour north and find yourself completely devoid of human company. As anyone who has lived in London knows, this is a thing that needs to be respected and cherished.

2. For travel around Europe, I’d live in Berlin, Germany

Edinburgh is a great landing platform for traveling both around the UK and to far-flung places like the Faroe Islands. For easy access to Central Europe, I would choose a life in Berlin.

Berlin already has a thriving expat scene and is undeniably a cool place to visit in its own right. You could spend hours wandering around this vibrant city, soaking up its culture and history.

Should you ever get bored with that (yeah, right), you could easily board a bus or train and soon enough find yourself in Munich, Prague, Warsaw, Dresden – or anywhere else in Europe.

The hardest decision you’ll face in Berlin is choosing where to visit next.

3. For North American Explorations, I’d base myself in Vancouver, Canada

As much as I’d like to experience a spell within the USA, acquiring a visa as an Australian is no easy feat.

However, being part of the Commonwealth means that our Canadian brothers and sisters will welcome us with arms wide open!

Vancouver is one city in Canada where I feel right at home. It reminds me of Sydney 15 years ago. It’s staggeringly pretty. It’s got a strong café culture. These are important factors to consider.

Plus, everyone is just so darn nice. I was shocked to hear people thanking the driver as they stepped off the bus – more a testament to the fact that I’ve spent way too much time in London, more than anything else.

4. When traversing Asia, I’d base myself in Kyoto, Japan

I admittedly haven’t seen much of Asia, but Kyoto in Japan was one place I really felt at home.

It had the same energy as Tokyo, without the hordes of people. I could easily imagine riding a purple fixie bike around the city, a wicker basket fastened to the front handlebars.

Perhaps I’d acquire a small puppy – maybe a pug, or French bulldog. It could nestle into my wicker basket and go with me on my jaunts around the city. We certainly wouldn’t be out-of-place.

5. I’d search for Pura Vida in Monteverde, Costa Rica

I fell hard for Costa Rica – no place more so than Monteverde.

Monteverde is a mecca for nature lovers. The town lies near the Costa Rican cloud forests. These are areas that feature persistent cloud cover, keeping the forest evergreen. Only 1% of the global woodland can be classified as cloud forest, making this a very special place indeed.

This particular town is also a hub for adventure activity – you can go white water rafting, horse riding, ziplining, bungee jumping. You name the terrifying experience, it will surely be on offer in Monteverde.

Costa Rica is ideally situated for further travel around Central America – a region that is only going to become more and more popular for backpackers.

6. If heading home to Australia, I’d move to Melbourne

I’m a Sydney gal at heart, but Melbourne has been in my sights for a very, very long time. In returning home, I would do everything in my power to establish myself in my own country’s second biggest city.

I would spend a lot of money on events and shopping. I’d probably gain more than several pounds from all the food I’d consume. Yet, I’d be happy.

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Tips for First-Time Fliers on International Flights

Flying to a destination abroad for the first time can cause feelings of excitement and trepidation, as many travelers are concerned with flight comfort, logistics and getting through customs at their destination. With a few tips, even novice world travelers can have a restful flight, sail through customs and get on with their trip.

Sleep and Eat on Destination Time

Many airlines try to help travelers adjust to a different time zone by closing the shades and dimming the cabin lights for sleep even while the mid-afternoon sun is shining at the departure city. Taking advantage of sleep during this time helps travelers prevent extreme jet lag and exhaustion upon landing. If sleep is elusive, be courteous of other travelers by staying quiet during this time. Bring snacks or enjoy light meals about the time that the people at your destination would be settling down to a meal. This also will help with schedule adjustment while you're abroad.

Make the Seat a Comfort Zone

On long flights, a business suit or pair high heel shoes is not conducive to comfort. Change as the plane approaches your destination or at the destination's airport, but wear comfortable clothes and thick socks for most of the flight. Be sure to bring lip balm, unscented hand lotion, earphones, earplugs if necessary and any other item that will help you relax or sleep. An eye mask can block light and allow for deeper sleep, and a neck pillow will provide comfort and support.

Move Around

If the flight is a long one, make sure to get up and move around regularly. Airline staff usually expect to see passengers walking the aisles on long flights, so don't feel awkward with cruising around the cabin and stretching out of the way of other travelers; just avoid restricted areas. Stretching in yours seat also can be effective in reducing stiffness. Try small leg circles, neck rolls or arm stretches.

Prepare for Customs

Preparation for getting through the destination's customs area starts before landing. In the air, most airlines provide travelers with the necessary immigration forms. These forms usually ask for the flight number of the arriving flight, its departure city, which other countries you have recently visited and if you are carrying anything unusual, such as food items or large sums of money. As a general rule, countries try to avoid botanical infestations from foreign fruit and soil, so airline staff may ask that fruit be consumed or thrown away before landing.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Basic Tips While Travelling Abroad

With the progression in the tourism industry, travelling around the world has become more affordable. As travelling has become an expression of leisure and relaxation, people dont only travel for work or business.

Following are some helpful tips to plan well if you decide to travel to a new country:

Your Identity

Only if you have a proof- identity, you can be known as a recognized citizen of your home country. While you are travelling or if you are in another country, you may be asked to present your proof- identity in an unexpected situation. Hence it is advisable to always carry your passport or driving license that can help to prove your recognition- citizenship, age, etc.

Your Suitcases

Check with relevant consulates in your home country before you leave. Know the right rules from the right source. Your flight operator can answer queries such as restriction on luggage, what to carry, etc. Every country is different in their rules and checking procedure. Some countries do not allow perishable food items on flights. Get your facts clear.

New Culture & Food

It's often useful to understand or get to know different cultures, traditions and beliefs of a foreign place. For example, some Arab countries have preferred dress codes.

A translation dictionary can always help you to learn the language around you. It's usually appreciated if you can also speak simple words like Thank you', 'Hello', etc with the locals.

When it comes to food, try to eat healthy meals and not just junk. Most places offer a variety of options such as restaurants, bars, fast food places and take-aways which cater for all budgets.

Guide books often contain information about eating out such as where to go, how much to tip etc.


Communicating while travelling or settling aboard is one of the important things that you could be doing. Today, with the advent of the latest technologies many calling services offer you cheap international call rates . Hence it's convenient to keep in touch with people. Some countries even have the benefit of free calling, discounts and offers. So it is easier to stay in contact with your family or organize a business call while you are travelling.

Places Around You

Discovering new places is exciting, relaxing and it keeps you occupied during your free time. Contact a travel agency or a travel planner to guide you. The internet is a good source to help you with information. Local newspapers and magazines often have special offers and travelling tips too.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tips to finding Cheap Flights in Canada

Scoring a cheap flight in Canada isn’t the easiest thing. By comparison to other countries, flying in Canada can be expensive if you don’t plan it right and use all the services at your disposal. There are several factors to take in when trying to find the best deal on a domestic or international Canadian flight.

The two most popular airlines are AirCanada and Westjet. Both of which run international and domestic flights through Canada. AirCanada Jazz and Tango are their cheapest flights, and occasionally that can be noticeable. However, since AirCanada became the official airline of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the flights are getting much nicer. The majority of airplanes in Canada will have a personal entertainment system built into the seat ahead of you, as well as those awesome fold down trays we all love so much.

1) Check for specials. Airlines will occasionally have specials during certain weeks of the month. If you’re trips not for another couple months, make a habit of looking twice a week for specials. Sometimes its only 15% off, but that 15% could go towards accommodation, food, or drinks.

2) Book your flights to fly during Mid week. A flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday will be cheaper than a flight on Friday or Saturday. Always! Also, try and making the initial booking on a Tuesday or Wednesday, airlines have a habit of lowering their prices mid week.

3) Search Google for Coupon Codes – apply a coupon code to your flight and save sometimes up to 40% off your flight! Check out Smart Canucks and Bargain Moose, they occasionally run coupon codes for flights. I’ve used these several times without a problem.

4) Compare costs of flights between different website – some will be cheaper than others. Once you’ve found one, don’t hesitate too long. If you think it’s a better deal than what the others are offering, it probably is, dive on it before someone else does. However, check the airlines website for the exact same date.

5) Book ahead – leaving a flight until last minute can cost you quite a bit. Try and give yourself at least 3 weeks, 4 would be preferable. But when you’re Backpacking Across Canada, sometimes schedules don’t always work.

6) If you plan on making more than a couple flights throughout Canada, The United Stated, and Mexico, you should consider buying a North American Air Pass through Star Alliance. This pass allows you to purchase coupons (3 to 10) for flights anywhere through North America. There are serious amounts of savings to be had here, definitely worth looking into it.


Flights between Labor Day and Thanksgiving tend to be the cheapest time to book flights. Should you try and grab a flight around Christmas, you’re sure to pay some holiday inflation. Same goes for just about any other holiday, as well as the time of the day. Airlines update costs up to 5 times a day. Check the flights as early as possible. Check at least once before 5am, and again at or around 5pm.
Fly safe!

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

4 Incredible Canadian Hostels In The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are absolutely beautiful and people who go to visit the area will be thrilled to know that there are four incredible Canadian hostels where they can stay during their vacation. These hostels are perfect for people who want to save money while on vacation and still have a wonderful place to stay with all of their favorite amenities...

Here are four of my favourite Canadian Hostels in the Rocky Mountains:

HI-Canmore Alpine Club of Canada

The HI-Canmore is located at the bottom of Grotto Mountain and is just minutes from downtown Canmore. Visitors enjoy the scenery of Bow Valley as well as the wooded areas. Each of the dorm rooms sleeps 4-6 people and the private cabins sleep 3 people. Guests are able to use the fully stocked kitchen with updated appliances to make meals to enjoy by the fireplace or on the outside deck. As soon as guests step outside the hostel, they can go mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. A few miles away from the hostel, guests can go ice climbing and resort skiing.

Samesun Banff Hostel

The Samesun Banff Hostel is located a few minutes from downtown Banff and is really close to restaurants, bars and shopping. They have dorm rooms that sleep 6, 8, 10 or 14 people as well as private rooms. Each room has its own restroom facilities as well as fireplaces, balconies and views of the Cascade, Norquay and Tunnel Mountains. The hostel offers many activities for their guests including hiking, canoeing, hot springs, ice skating, snowshoeing and movie nights.


HI-Jasper is located within Jasper National Park on Whistlers Mountain and it is the perfect place for guests to enjoy the quiet that nature has to offer. HI-Jasper has both private and shared rooms available and it is recommended that guests stock up on supplies before arriving at the hostel. HI-Jasper has been named the World’s Largest Accessible Dark Sky Preserve and guests can take advantage of this by seeing lots of stars and the Northern Lights in the clear skies at night. Many guests bring inner tubes so that they can float directly to the Arctic Ocean from the Arctic watershed in Athabasca Valley.

Misty River Lodge
Misty River Lodge is located in Radium Hot Springs, which is approximately an hour and a half from Banff. The lodge is the perfect place for guests to stay as they explore Kootenay, Banff and Yoho National Parks as well as the Bugaboos, which is an infamous climbing destination. The majority of their rooms have private restroom facilities and a few have their own private kitchen. After a long day of adventure, guests can enjoy their meal outside on the deck with a view of the mountains in the background. The lodge even has a reading room available, so that guests have a special place to go during their downtime.

With so many hostels available, everyone should be able to find their own perfect place to stay during their adventures in the Rocky Mountains. Each hostel is unique in its own way however they all want to make sure that their guests have a wonderful time during their stay.