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

How to Avoid Expensive Holiday Airfares

March 12, 2015

Save on AirfareAs many of our guests are, you may be on the go and expected to travel frequently, whether for business or pleasure. (Check out our tips here on how to get the best deals.) But sometimes, the only time you can get is over the holidays –when everyone else is traveling. Here are some ways how to avoid expensive holiday airfares.

1. Do not book last minute. More likely than not, the closer you travel to your desired date of departure, the higher the price of your flight. You may be lucky and get a last minute fare -if others are not going to your destination or it’s not a popular destination – but the best advice is to book as far in advance as possible. This advice is especially useful for summer travel to Europe and the recommended time to book is around three to six months in advance, if possible. Rumour has it, however, that the ideal number to book in advance is 49 days or 7 weeks in advance.avoid expensive holiday airfares

2. Be flexible with your dates and times. Inflexibility could result in a higher airfare. If you cannot budge on your date or time or if you’re traveling on a weekend, this will increase the costs of your flight. But if you can travel on an early weekday (Monday to Wednesday or even a Saturday, as some experts say) or in the early mornings/nights or nudge your date a day or two, it could be worth the change in savings.

3. Track your fare. Services like Yapta and airfare watchdog enable you to track and analyze when your flight price will increase, which can help you make decisions.

4. Alternate modes of tranAvoid Expensive Holiday Airfaressportation. If your flight is too expensive, consider driving to your destination or taking an alternate airport like Buffalo (a popular option in recent years). What you will lose in time, you will make up in savings.

5. Points. If you can’t get around the cost for an airfare, using your airline points (if you are loyal to one airline), Air Miles, or a co-branded credit card that will accumulate points for you, will help towards the cost of your flight.

How do you avoid expensive holiday airfare or save on flights? We’d love to hear your tips! Do check out our top ten essential travel apps for your next trip here. Of course, if you’re staying in Toronto, check out our properties.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Markham

Five Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day, 2015

February 11, 2015

Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines DayToronto is a chock full of places to get romantic but if you wanted to get creative, go beyond the restaurant. If you’re not snuggling up in your furnished suite in Markham this year, opt to take your date to one of these great events just in time for February 14 (or opt to go when there are no crowds!). Here are our favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day.Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day

1. A Helicopter Tour. What better way to cozy up to your significant other than up high in the sky with a different vantage point of the beloved TDot? Toronto Heli Tours has special discounts for your special one for a private flight for two.

2. Paint! Maybe you were inspired by that movie Big Eyes. Or maybe you’re inspired by your lover. Take the inspiration to the canvas in this creative way for a date. Paintlounge has three different locations near our furnished apartments in Markham and Downtown Toronto. Their special packages for valentines run from February 12 to 15, 2015.

3. Board Games. Popular board game cafe, Snakes and Lattes has taken date night to another level with its second location, Snakes and Lagers. Board games, beer, and a speciRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayal someone. What better way to get to know someone (and how competitive they are!)

4. A Tasty Tour. What better way to surprise your sweet than with a sweets tour? Toronto’s only sweets tour, Tasty Tours, will help you explore the best places to get those chocolate truffles for your loved ones and are running tours on Valentines Day.

5. The Toronto Zoo. Not just for the family, the Toronto Zoo’s So You Think You CaRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayn Romance event has you discussing the romantic habits of animals over dinner (next year you can book the sold out dinner at Ripley’s Aquarium, another one of our favourite places in Toronto). This event is on both February 13 and 14, 2015.

What are your favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Events

Where to Watch the Superbowl in Toronto

January 27, 2015

Where to Watch the Superbowl in TorontoLooking for a Superbowl 2015 party in Toronto beyond your couch in your furnished suite? Grab a few of your friends or find new ones at one of these five places hosting some epic superbowl parties or stay in and grab a feast to take-home. What better way to discuss #Deflategate and cheer on your favourite team, regardless of whether the footballs are deflated or not? It is basically your excuse to eat some fabulous BBQ.

1. Real Sports Bar. The perennial sports bar for all major sporting events houses over 47 screens for your viewing pleasure. Chicken wings are the snack of choice here and Real Sports features over 15 different flavours. Take your pick! Reservations recommended for this special event.

2. Big Crow. In genius ideas, Big Crow has crafted up a Big Crow Touchdown BBQ fest for you and your friends. Ribs, pork n beans, fudge brownies and more are available for a minimum 5 person order at $32 per person. Make your order by Thursday January 29th, 2015.

3. Baju BBQ. Caplansky’s newest BBQ joint at the top of the Monarch Tavern is having its first annual Superbowl 2015 party and it features a tap takeover by Great Lakes Brewery. Come for the beer and the game; stay for the BBQ.Where to Watch the Superbowl in Toronto

4. Boots & Bourbon. Leslieville’s saloon, famous for its line dancing, is hosting its Country Tailgate Pig Roast and beer specials, starting at 5pm. Get here early.

5. Barque BBQ. If you’re in the west end, Barque BBQ has one an ultimate pre-order Superbowl menu, including a slider platter for 12 people.

Be sure to check out one of these fun venues on where to watch the Superbowl in Toronto this weekend.

Are you staying in to watch the Superbowl? Do you only watch the half-time show? Will you be going out to watch the game and socialize? Tell us your Superbowl XLIX plans!

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

The Best Destinations for 2015

January 23, 2015

Best Destinations for 2015 As we settle into 2015, we may be thinking about our travel plans for the year and our vacation plans or island escapes. Our list is based on destinations that have dominated travel magazine headlines; places that are newsworthy, have flown under the radar for the past few years, and are booming with new hotels, attractions, events or dining scenes.

Nashville, Tennessee
No longer solely the destination for starry eyed country musicians, Nashville has become a mecca for foodies; less honky-tonk and more Music City, home to popular musicians like the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Taylor Swift. Until the ACE Hotel comes along in 2016, try The 404, a hotel and restaurant hybrid, housed in a former garage (very similar to Chicago’s Longman & Eagle). Get acquainted with the burgeoning hip neighbourhoods and food scene with Walk Eat Nashville! tours. Don’t forget to get a reservation at the new outpost of Husk, from famed chef Sean Brock, who interprets Southern cuisine in a modern way. Late night? Check out hipster-themed Pinewood Social, where you can drink, eat, lounge by the pool, bowl and sing karaoke. If you’re looking for an alternative to Los Angeles or Charleston for a fun weekend escape, this is your ticket.

Toronto, Ontario
This year, your home away from home, Toronto welcomes the Pan Am Games from July 10-24. The metropolis is gearing up with the games with new facilities, including the Best Destinations for 2015 revitalization of the West Don Lands. Explore the Corktown Commons park (with a picturesque view of the city skyline) and a pit stop at new, upcoming cafe, Odin. New restaurants and bars are opening up at a rapid pace. Look out for Bar Isabel’s second outpost, Bar Raval on College Street and try the sleek Rush Lane if you haven’t had a chance. DelSuites has furnished apartment rentals in Toronto for short-term stays, including a review of our 300 Front Street West property. We also have guides to North York, Mississauga, and Etobicoke, if you need a place on the edges of the city. Here are ten photos and ways to get inspired to see the beloved T Dot.

Portugal

Situated on the western edge of Europe, Portugal is a great country to explore independently and solo. Travelers are now taking advantage of its coastal delights (by the beach and on the table); its stylish hotels; and more affordable prices than its European neighbours. Ride the historic tram 28 through the city of Lisbon; take a day trip to the Unesco-world heritage site, Sintra, with its glorious mountains and architecture; or head north to Porto, with its golden beaches, its first Michelin-starred restaurant at the Yeatman hotel, or a wine tour of the Duoro Valley. Don’t forget to bring home some port!

Best Destinations for 2015 Taiwan
Off the radar of other Asian countries, Taiwan is a clean, active and filled with delicious and affordable eats. Taipei has experienced growth in the past five years and is expecting a few new hotels like the W, Mandarin Oriental, and Citizen M to open in the next two years as it ramps up to be named the World Design Capital in 2016. Taiwan is more than its capital. The ideal R&R can be found in the idyllic Sun Moon Lake. With its hot springs hotels and meandering bike paths, it’s a nice 1-2 day getaway. Take the high speed trains down south to the majestic Taroko Gorge (ideally, if you can get a guide to drive you there, it is a drive of a lifetime). Further south, you’ll find another food capital: Tainan. Tainan is known as the city of snacks and is as chock full of street food as it is Taipei, whether it’s tofu, chicken chop or those addictive steamed dumplings (xiaolongbao).

Myanmar
This country formerly known as Burma until 1989 feels like going back in time. That said, now at the helm of democracy activist, Aung San Suu Kyi and with a change in government in 2010, Myanmar is rising to the top of traveler’s wish lists. E-visas make the process to explore a little bit quicker too. As a result, travel magazines list Burma at their top destinations and consequently, a flurry of hotels, restaurants and other trappings of western civilization will result in places like Yangon and Bagan to meet tourism demands. Like any good traveler, do your research, and try to glimpse at this magical place and meet the locals while you can. There are quite a number of tours here including Woodland Travels, G Adventures, and Kensington Tours.

What are your travel plans for 2015? What would you include on your best destinations for 2015?

Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Mississauga, North York, Toronto Family Travel

Statutory Holidays in Toronto, 2015

January 15, 2015

Statutory Holidays in TorontoAs we begin the new year, one of our plans may be to organize our schedules to our statutory holidays. As most Torontonians get two to four weeks of vacation on average, stat holidays are a great way to maximize that time whether it’s buying new furniture for your apartment or suite or getting out of the city for the weekend. Here is a list of statutory holidays in Toronto for 2015:

New Year’s Day: Thursday January 1, 2015
If you’re not staying at one of our furnished apartments to watch the specials on television, New Year’s Day is a great way to lounge around and think of your goals for 2015 or plan to go take advantage of January’s winter festivals in Toronto if you have an extended stay in Toronto.

Statutory Holidays in TorontoFamily Day: Monday February 16, 2015
This Monday off is a great way to take advantage of a long weekend or a winter weekend escape just away from the city. You may use this time to get some sun on an island escape or take advantage of the staycation by soaking up local culture or seek out some new restaurants or cheap eats in Toronto.

Good Friday: Friday April 3, 2015
A Catholic religious holiday which extends into Easter Sunday and Monday (check with your employer to see if you get this day off) to extend into a long weekend.

Victoria Day: Monday May 18, 2015
Celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, Queen Victoria’s birthday is an unofficial way to mark the start of summer. The weekend is also unofficially known as “May 2-4.” This is the perfect time to go somewhere near the city (like Etobicoke, Mississauga, or Brampton), explore the city (like watching the fireworks), or planning your next vacation. We recommend these apps if you’re traveling.

Statutory Holidays in TorontoCanada Day: Wednesday July 1, 2015
Celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday in Toronto (maybe relaxing by our pool at 300 Front Street West), or in our Nation’s capital, Ottawa. July also marks the inauguration of the Pan Am Games in Toronto. If you’re embarking on a road trip, can we suggest our Great Canadian Roadtrip Playlist for the ride? It will be an exciting summer for Torontonians!

Civic Holiday: Monday August 3, 2015
Also known as Simcoe Day, which was to honour the first Lieutentant-Govenor of Upper Canada, John Simcoe, this statutory holiday is celebrated the first Monday of every August. August is prime time for a number of festivals in Toronto. Here are our must-dos in Toronto in August.

Labour Day: Monday September 7, 2015
Labour Day marks the unofficial last day of summer, the day before school starts and many companies go into their last quarters of the year. Perhaps, there is a need for corporate housing for executives who are coming into Toronto for an short term stay or an extended stay in the city. Or you want to spend as much time with your family to sStatutory Holidays in Torontooak up the summer rays. Here are our top ten family fun activities in Toronto. September is the lead up to fall and fall activities including our famous Toronto International Film Festival. Here is our guide to Toronto in Autumn.

Thanksgiving Day: Monday October 12, 2015
Thanksgiving Day is traditionally the day we go home to spend time with our families. It’s also a great time for a weekend getaway if you decide to eschew tradition. October is also the mark of low season in places like Europe and the Caribbean if you are planning to travel. Perhaps, it’s time to take that solo trip? Here are our tips.

Christmas Day: Friday December 25, 2015
Christmas Day is a popular statutory holiday. As it falls at the beginning of a weekend, you’ll have the week to prepare for the festivities. Here’s our guide to a hassle-free holiday and our guide to the top shops in Toronto for your Christmas shopping needs.

Boxing Day: SaturdaStatutory Holidays in Torontoy December 26, 2015
Whether you’re braving the crowds at the malls for shopping deals (or some discounted furniture for your apartment or suite) or just staying in to enjoy a day off post-Christmas celebrations, Boxing Day this year will be the ideal Saturday. Another year has come and gone and now is the time to start getting ready for New Year’s Eve!

How do you use your statutory holidays in Toronto? Do you use them as a way to tag on extra vacation time? Or do you use them to maximize a staycation?