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Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Sure you’ve been to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but there’s another big city in North America worth visiting—and this one has nothing to do with your adjusted gross income or itemized deductions. Up in Canada you’re outside of Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction, so we think a weekend in Toronto could be a great way to blow that tax refund.
Thanks to business travelers and a decent demand there’s usually a nonstop flight to or from somewhere nearby, and maybe even your local airport. All the big city airports and hubs do the nonstop thing, and Air Canada is always a good place to start. Sometimes the international taxes ruin the fun, but if you scored close to $3,000 like other people you should be okay.
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We’ll have to wait a little bit of time, as there’s still some of this and little of that to figure out; however, it looks like Air Canada will start doing the WiFi thing aboard their North American fleet as early as May.
In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was Detroit-style pizza. This week, we head to Montreal to see what's cooking.
Other than that Montreal has been making delicious smoked-meat sandwiches since the early 1900s, the history of the style's emergence is hazy. In all the speculation that exists, the general consensus is that it has Jewish origins and roots, brought to Canada rather than created within the country. No matter. It arrived, and it is now the most distinguished sandwich in Quebec's largest city.
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This spring, the Nova Star Ferry will begin service from Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, increasing accessibility for Americans in the northeast to Canada's beautiful maritime province. The ship is currently making its way from Singapore and is scheduled to begin service on May 1st.
We're sure it's a pretty ride across the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, but this ferry will do its best to keep you occupied and spending money onboard with three restaurants, three bars, live entertainment, a movie theater, and a casino. It will also have a fitness center and children’s play area to accompany 163 cabins and the capacity for 1,215 passengers and 336 cars.
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There’s some goodies heading to Canada this theme park season, as one of the country’s best park’s—Canada's Wonderland—is adding a brand new attraction just in time for the warm weather. It’s not exactly a roller coaster, but at the same time it kind of is one too.
Things are set to open for the first time around the beginning of May, as the park cuts the ribbon on its $10-million investment in fun and entertainment. Known as Wonder Mountain’s Guardian, the new slice of theme park awesomeness will feature a 60-foot coaster hill to enter the dark ride environment.
The Monday after the Olympics is kind of bummer, and that’s especially the case for those who have been hooked on the sporting events—even with the tape delay—for the last couple of weeks. Thankfully ice hockey has some neat stuff to look forward to, as the National Hockey League is continuing their series of interesting events through the upcoming weekend.
For those that want to continue the celebration of Team Canada and their gold medal win in men’s ice hockey—and women’s ice hockey for that matter—the fun takes place on Sunday, March 2 in Vancouver. This is when the 2014 NHL Heritage Classic does its thing at BC Place, as the Ottawa Senators take on the Vancouver Canucks. The game is played in Vancouver at the home of the area’s Canadian Football League team. Things might even be played outdoors like some of the other league events this year, as the hockey road trip has already included games at Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
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Skiing is one of the most expensive hobbies you can get into, but thanks to one of those made up national holidays, "Play Hooky and Ski Week," you can get great deals on lift tickets across the country this March.
The website to find them on is called Liftopia, and it's pretty straightforward. It's a discount "lift ticket deal engine" that partners with over 250 resorts across the U.S. and Canada. In this case, it has a special site set up for "Hooky Week" from March 3rd to 7th, and there are some great opportunities on single and multi-day passes, with the typical savings in the 30-40% range.
We are suckers for a good airline lounge, as after all nothing is more enjoyable than a few free drinks, a bite to eat, and somewhere decent to sit before our flight. Okay—there are probably better ways to spend our time than at an airline lounge, but we still do get a kick when we have the chance to check them out.
As you probably know access to these lairs of airport solitude are often limited to frequent flyers or those in the upper class cabins, so it’s hardly a warm welcome to one and all. Thankfully the latest lounge over in Vancouver is a little bit different, as the Plaza Premium Lounge at the Vancouver International Airport is open to one and all. However, that assumes that you’re willing to pay for the pleasure to visit.
Seaplanes / Valentine's Day Travel / Vancouver Travel / Harbour Air / Green Travel / Glaciers / Private Jets / YVR / Seattle Travel / Canada Travel / → All Tags
Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.
Idea #2: Seaplane flights for two
Please allow us to switch into the first-person for a moment, to describe the most romantic thing we did for ourselves in 2013 and which you, in 2014, should absolutely take under consideration.
There's something innately seductive about Vancouver. Perhaps it's all that fresh air, the surrounding mountains and sparkling harbour, and a summer season short enough to get the entire city out and about in their shortest shorts from July to September. For a frequent traveler like myself, however, the allure is heightened by the delicious tangibility of seaplane flights.
Vancouver is the home base for Harbour Air, the world's largest seaplane airline and also the only completely carbon neutral airline. Their DeHavilland Otters and Beavers buzz Vancouver's shoreline day-in and day-out, flying commuters and residents to Victoria, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Whistler, but it's their extra special offerings you'll want to check out.
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For those looking to visit Walt Disney World this year the best ride there might just be aboard WestJet. The carrier from Canada recently revealed its latest livery, and this thing is all magic and Mickey Mouse.
The custom paintjob on the Boeing 737-800 features Mickey in his Sorcerer Mickey role, along with plenty of other magic sprinkled over the outside and inside of the airplane. They’re calling it the Magic Plane, and we’ve got to say—we’d call it that too.
It might be cold in your neighborhood, but we’d be willing to bet it’s even colder across much of Canada. The country certainly knows all about winter weather, but instead of staying inside and binge watching Netflix programming they get outdoors and enjoy it. If you want to check things out for yourself—and embrace the winter—here’s three winter festivals to do just that:
The fun starts on January 31, and it runs through three weekends during February. Residents and tourists alike bundle up and take to the outdoors, as they enjoy things like the world’s largest skating rink over at the Rideau Canal Skateway. Slip, slide, and skate your way through portions of the city all while checking out the goodies that Canada’s capital has to offer.
There’s ice carvings over at Confederation Park, and the world’s biggest snow playground—they call it Snowflake Kingdom—does its thing over at Jacques Cartier Park in nearby Gatineau. Most of the activities are free, but be sure to bring to bring along some extra cash for a BeaverTail or two.
For those who have been waiting for even more up in the air connectivity in Canada, the wait is now over. Gogo has been busy at work running wires, writing code, checking settings, and doing all the behinds the scenes stuff to get things ready to go. It now looks like they have flipped the switch to go live, as they just announced that the first phase of their Canadian WiFi network is now open for business.
Things are very similar to the connectivity down in the nifty fifty, but in Canada they are pairing some of their original air-to-ground technology with some next generation stuff. There’s even some hybrid and satellite technology solutions, and these ground-to-orbit goodies can offer up peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps. Let’s just say Gogo is pretty darn happy with themselves right now, and we think rightfully so.