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Business Travel, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Relocation, Toronto Family Travel

Top 10 Things to do Before Leaving on Vacation

June 5, 2014

Organization is the key to travel success. When your schedule involves frequent business trips, having a set plan will ease the frantic pace that can be an unwelcome part of the journey. While you know that a short term rental has been the secret to a smooth and seamless stay during your travels, it’s sometimes a little more challenging to have peace of mind that you’ve left everything at home in working order. Here are 10 quick and easy things to do before leaving on vacation that will help keep you on track the next time you head out the door. By using this checklist as a starting point, you won’t have the feeling as though you’ve left something (or someone) behind.

1)     Keep an emergency folder. Include a copy of your flight or train itinerary, the address and contact information of the furnished apartment at your destination and personal information such as your credit card and passport. Having these resources available at your office and home not only ensures that your colleagues and family members will be able to reach you if needed, but that you’ll be able to have access to the information you need should you lose something during your travels.

2)     Home sweet home. Ensure that one or two of your closest neighbours are aware of your departure dates as well as when you’ll be returning. Keeping neighbours in the loop means they’ll have a watchful eye on your home should any unusual activity occur. Arrange to have a close friend or family member check in on your home while you’re away, collecting any mail and double checking that your home is in order – just be sure your neighbours are aware that someone will be stopping by.

3)     Phone home. Have your home phone number forwarded to your mobile device. This will ensure that you’ll be available, and give the impression that you’re in the area to prevent your home from being compromised.

4)     Pet Care - KennelOrganize pet care. Whether you’re having someone come into your home to pet sit or bringing your pup to a kennel, it’s important to have the arrangements made well in advance. Along with keeping additional pet food and treats available, you may want to purchase a new toy or two for the caregiver to give to your pet. During the first few days you’re away it may be a difficult adjustment period for your pet and a surprise may be a good distraction.

5)     Rearrange plants. Keep your plants in a sink during the time you’re traveling will not only make it easier for the person who is watching your home to water, but it will also ensure they don’t forget to keep plants well hydrated.

6)     Electric reduction. Turn off any electronics and unplug small appliances such as your blender or coffee maker to help reduce your home energy consumption.

7)     Clean your kitchen. From the fridge to the compost to the dishwasher, clean your culinary space from top to bottom. Freeze any leftovers, pitch the perishables and make a list of what you’ll need when you return. While it may be a bit of a chore to do before you leave, you’ll be happy you did once you’ve returned from your travels.

8)     Refill prescriptions. Even if you’re mid-way through your current prescriptions, having refills in your carry on is essential. You’ll be happy you did if your luggage containing medication gets delayed, or worse – lost.

9) Landscape    Hire outdoor maintenance help. Keeping freshly cut grass or a shovelled driveway is a good indication that people are home. Hiring someone to do your yard work while you’re away will help you keep up the appearance and illusion that the house isn’t vacant.

    10)  Contact your credit card company. Keeping your credit card company aware of your travels will help prevent any potential fraud that can happen while you’re traveling.

Keep DelSuites’ top ten things to do before leaving on vacation in mind and we know you’ll have a stress and worry free trip. Happy travels!

Business Travel, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Relocation, Toronto Family Travel

How to Get the Best Deals on Flights

May 28, 2014

Image of business woman holding suitcase looking at airplane inWhile booking your flight is easy enough, we all pay more than we’d like to. Whether you’re traveling for business or taking your family on vacation, there are some quick and easy ways to save on airfare — and it doesn’t involve cashing in your travel rewards miles. Here are four quick and easy ways to score the best deal on your next flight. Who knows, maybe you’ll even save enough to extend your vacation by a day or two!

Shop Around – With travel and airline websites abound, it’s important to compare flights among multiple sites. Although travel websites will often give you what looks to be a terrific price, make sure you read the fine print for restrictions on flight schedules including days of the week and time of day. If you’re flying at 2:00 a.m. to a make a 9:00 a.m. business meeting, the money you save may not be worth it. When you’re schedule permits, take advantage of the deals on flights that airlines may offer that make booking flights well in advance worthwhile. That means, when you know you’ll be traveling to a destination within a certain time frame when discounted rates apply, then book two flights at once.

Check out Social Media – Travel companies including Trip Advisor, Travelocity, Travel Alerts and nearly every airline regularly post links to discounts and Young man relaxing on the sofa with a laptopother special promotions through Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Get in the habit of following tweets and wall posts regularly to find out when and how to get the best deals on flights. Some airlines will even provide promotional discounts for retweets on Twitter or posting to their Facebook wall.

Sign Up For Alerts – Although no one wants a regular influx of email alerts going straight to their inbox, it can be worthwhile to filter travel and airline email alerts to a destination mailbox. This gives you the benefit of seeing the best deals on flights without having your inbox spammed. You can also be selective to which email alerts you sign up for, opting for the websites you don’t check as regularly rather than those you do which is another smart way to shop around for deals. 

Know When to Buy – You may often hear that ‘timing is everything’, and booking your flight is no different. It’s not uncommon for websites to offer discounted rates on mid-week flights. In a similar way, travelers can also score deals when booking their flights mid-week – usually, Tuesday mid-afternoon is an optimal time to strike a killer deal.

 Airplane passengers relax during flight cabin sleep businesspeopWith these tips in mind, we’re confident you can become a pro at snagging deals across the country! Looking for more cost saving tips? Read ‘Tips for Traveling on a Budget’ to learn more how to about having an amazing trip, without breaking the bank.

 As always, DelSuites is proud to offer short term rentals and executive suites in Toronto. Keep us in mind should you ever come out our way!

 

 

 

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Uncategorized

Tips for Traveling on a Budget

April 14, 2014

Two young sons watching parents load luggage in car trunk      Whether you’re taking your family on vacation or traveling solo, your next holiday doesn’t have to empty your bank account.
Here are five tips for traveling on a budget.

 1) Make a Budget. From transportation and accommodations to meals and entertainment, decide the amount you want to spend and plan your vacation accordingly.
009-Kitchen-and-Dining-Area

2)    Choose Accommodations Wisely. Renting from a short-term housing provider adds value to your vacation in more ways than one. By offering you a fully equipped kitchen to prepare some meals as well as having access to on-site fitness centers and swimming pools, you’ll enjoy value-added entertainment without spending extra money.

 3)    Be Adventurous. Considering destinations that are a little off-the-beaten-path will help you maximize your budget as these locations are often looking to attract more tourists. For instance, traveling to smaller towns close to metropolitan cities, give you the opportunity to explore lesser-known areas while still enjoying tourist hot spots.

4)    Make A Deal. Contact the travel and tourism board in the city you’re traveling to. This is a great resource for scoring deals on everything from theatre and sports tickets to finding out about the latest restaurant openings and family-friendly dining spots.

Music Festival       5)  Go Local. Be on the look out for music festivals, street parties and carnivals that are often held during the summer months. These events are often free to the public and offer a variety of entertainment for all ages. Check the municipality’s online calendar before you travel to find out more about events wherever you’re heading.

Inevitably you can’t plan for every situation when you’re traveling the open road. That said, plan for those extra expenses by keeping a few dollars stashed in a safety fund. You’ll be happy you did when you find for those last minute concert tickets you just can’t pass up.

Lifestyle talk, Toronto Condos, Toronto Family Travel, Uncategorized

Five Ways to Go Green on Vacation

April 2, 2014

family mother father and two child run in house on field under bThese days we all want to be more eco-conscious in how we live, work and play. But making environmentally friendly choices isn’t always as easy as we’d like; especially when you’re traveling. Whether you’re packing your bags for a weekend road trip or a month long getaway, here are five practical solutions for minimizing your carbon foot print wherever your travels take you.

ONE: Free Refills
While there’s nothing like bottled water to keep you well hydrated, we all could do without adding another plastic bottle to the landfills. Packing a refillable water bottle in your carry-on bag is not only an easy eco-friendly fix but it’s also a cost-friendly one too. By filling up at public water fountains in airports or at tourist attractions, you can be sure you’re doing something good for you and the environment.

TWO: In the Shower
Keeping simple practices that you have at home, like turning the tap off when you brush your teeth and sticking to aSix years old boy cleaning tooth in the bathroom. shorter shower, goes a long way. Before anyone in your family takes a shower, make sure everyone is aware of where to hang their towels and face clothes to minimize the need for daily laundering. This helps keep local water costs in check. And when you’re packing hair and body products, make sure that you’re opting for biodegradable ones which minimize the impact on the local environment.

THREE: Choose Local
When you’re making dinner reservations, choose restaurants that serve local fare. With the movement towards local and organic cuisine, an increased number of restaurants are advertising partnerships with local farmers and food providers as a means of attracting eco-conscious travelers. Local ethnic and farmers’ markets are also terrific places to purchase foods that are prepared close to home, but also offer a taste of the local culture.

018-Master BedroomFOUR: Curtain Call
Using your window coverings to regulate temperatures in your suite does the environment good at any time of the year. By keeping the windows covered during mid-day will help keep your space cool, especially when you’re not in your short term rental. Before you flick the air conditioning switch in the evening, open the windows to increase the natural air flow.

FIVE: Use Your Power
Instead of driving your vehicle or renting one at your destination, consider renting a bicycle or take walking tours as a way to experience your surroundings as a local resident.  For business travelers commuting to and from work, making use of public transit systems is an eco-friendly way to get around without the added hassle of looking for parking.

Community Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Uncategorized

3 Tips To Transition Your Teen to a New Home

November 26, 2013

Making the move to a new city or a new home can be a difficult transition for the whole family; factor in a teenager or two, and you’re bound to encounter a few additional challenges. From leaving their best friends to finding new ones, teens can be more sensitive and perhaps even a little less adaptable than younger children especially when their school, social network and extracurricular activities suddenly change. But whether you’ll be staying in a short-term or long-term rental, try incorporating these ideas to help lighten the load for your teen and make it a smooth transition for your whole family.
Put In Face Time
Thanks to technology, teens can still stay connected with their friends no matter where they may live through a variety of social media networks. With DelSuites free WIFI, encourage your son or daughter to schedule weekly chat dates with friends on Skype of FaceTime which will help them feel that they aren’t missing out. If your teen doesn’t already use Facebook or Twitter, help them set up an account and encourage them to reach out to friends and family, which is a great way to share updates about your whole family’s new adventure. At the same time, it’s important that your teen begins to establish friendships at school and in your new neighbourhood. Be supportive of inviting new friends and classmates back to your home or encourage your teen to participate in extracurricular activities or sports where they’ll meet new friends who share similar interests.

Creating a Room of their Own
Even if you’re living in a furnished rental in Toronto, you still want your family to be comfortable. Helping your teen personalize their bedroom with familiar items from your previous home or purchasing a few new accessories that they have selected, will help them create a space for themselves. From homework to finding a quiet spot to read or listen to music, having their own room to retreat to will not only enable them to feel at home but will likely also save you from a few arguments with other children in the family.

Get Involved in the Community
Whether you’re family is residing in a condominium suite in the Toronto’s downtown or suburban dwelling, you’ll find that your neighbourhood is a hub of activity. From arts and entertainment to community recreation centres to an abundance of not-for-profit organizations, it’s easy to find new activities that will keep your teen engaged. Encourage your teen to volunteer with a local community centre or charity group, which will not only help them learn new skills but will also help them establish and broaden their social network; making them feel right at home.