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Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Five New Trends in Travel, 2015

February 20, 2015

TravelIn the past five years, travel has made significant changes. We’re going farther to more adventurous and closed-off destinations; we depend on technology for our travel decisions; we’re focused on making healthier decisions to extend into those when we travel (and airports are taking notice); and we want more for less – when we fly and where we stay. Here are the some new trends in travel that you may see pop-up as the industry continues to change, evolve and make the process easier and more convenient for you, hopefully while keeping the price affordable.

1. Closed-off Countries are Opening Up One of the biggest news items of 2014 was that Cuba and the United States were restoring their relations with each other since the Cold war era. This means that travel restrictions could soon be loosened for Americans on a country that is one of the most popular travel destinations for Canadians. There is no prediction on how this will affect Canadian travel patterns to Cuba but here’s hoping it will be positive (if anything, hopefully, the food options will improve once the embargo is lifted).

Similarly, travelers are flocking to Myanmar since government reforms and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi (an activist of democracy and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient). An untrodden country is now open up to capitalism, so it will be interesting how Myanmar will evolve from these changes. Other countries that were feared by travelers from either politics, religion, or disaster like Iran and Haiti are getting a boost from tour operators like G Adventures as safer and textured places to travel.

2. Airports are getting healthier. Being healthy on the road has been an increasing trend over the past 5 years. Just look to SFO where you can take a yoga new trends in travelclass; and the introduction of a Goodlife fitness location at the Toronto Pearson International Airport (Pearson). At Pearson, healthier and more varied eating options are now available to improve your experience via some of the best chefs and restaurants in the city.

Roger Mooking just opened Twist, which features a comprehensive breakfast menu, a step up from that sausage on an english muffin you were getting from Starbucks for the same price. Freshii is a great grab & go option, which will help you hit the mark for your 5-a-day. For heartier meals -or at the very least, fresh meals try Corso for its pizza (from famed Libretto chef, Rocco Agostino) and Boccone Trattoria Veloce for great Italian food (from Mistura’s Massimo Capra). Also look out for new restaurants coming soon from Chefs Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watch Co.), Susur Lee (Lee, Luckee), and Claudio Aprile (Origin), where you will likely see hearty and healthy fare, global flavours and twists on airport food.

That said, if you want to chow down on a smoked meat sandwich from one of Toronto’s most popular restaurants, there is now a Caplanksy’s in both Terminals 1 and 3. Rejoice!

3. Premium Economy and Better Boarding Practices.
Getting those perks of business class – like more leg room, better meals, privacy dividers, and lounge access – for a price less than business class but slightly higher than economy class, is something travelers are willing to pay for, as reported by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. This is especially true for airlines that offer longer haul flights like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, Japan Airlines, and New Zealand Air (search for their Skycouch). Just make sure to read the terms and conditions for refund policies (which are much more lenient in business and first class).

Boeing has recognized the increased need for better bins for carry-on luggage and has created Space Bins for its 737s. They feature more room for carry-ons (up to 174 bags, almost a 50% increase from its current capacity) and are now lower so it’s easier to hoist your bag up into the bin. Hopefully, it will be this trend and not “Carryon Shame” that people will discuss this year (which has its own twitter account).

new trends in travel4. The Accommodations Rental. Alternatives to hotels are getting more popular as travelers want to be situated in local areas but have the amenities and decor of a hotel room. With DelSuites, you’re in luck! Not only are our furnished apartments and suites situated across the GTA in central locations to get the best of a local experience but they are also have modern interiors and extras like stocked kitchens (plates, cutlery, cleaning supplies) and laundry facilities. Many of our properties also have state-of-the-art fitness facilities and some will have a pool (like our rooftop pool at 300 Front Street East across from the CBC. A full review is here). If you are in Toronto, it’s the ideal solution for a short-term or a long-term stay.

5. Giving back and back to nature.
According to the Deloitte Hospitality 2015 report (source: Responsible Travel) 95% of business travelers surveyed believe the hotel industry should be undertaking ‘green’ initiatives.

Awareness of sustainability is also influencing trip decisions to destinations where you can volunteer like Haiti or New Orleans. Travelers now want to unplug to new trends in traveldestinations where they can’t acess their wifi. National and State parks are a big trend in North America. Instead of big cities (where half of the world’s population lives), think of that road trip to the Redwoods National Forest in California, Oregon’s coast, hiking Machu Pichu, or walking along the Trans Canada trail in our home and native land. Closer to home, we have one of the most majestic parks, Algonquin Park.

Companies like Pack for a Purpose encourages guests to bring essential items to local communities who have development goals in their partnership with hotels. As a business traveler, this is a simple and small thing you can do to help developing cities and nations.

What are the biggest new trends in travel you think will happen for 2015?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Toronto Family Travel

Best Places in Toronto for New Years Eve

December 30, 2014

best places in toronto for new years eveSometimes, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to lounge at home — whether you’re in your temporary housing in Toronto or in a suite for an extended stay– or host friends for a house party. Other times, you may want to kick up your heels, dress up, and dance the night away. Here are our picks for the best places in Toronto for New Years Eve –whether you’re with friends or the family.

Gladstone Hotel’s Lower West Side event is an affordable ticket ($50 in advance) and is your chance to dress up to a theme. This year’s theme is the roaring twenties, so don your finest vest or sparkle and shine in sequins, gold, or silver to bring in 2015 in style.

Fun for the whole family and a quick walk away from our apartment and best places in toronto for new years evesuites, Nathan Phillips Square is the best free event happening in the metropolis on the last day of the year. The free event kicks off at 8pm with street performers. Bring your skates for a spin around the ice rink. Fuel up at the various food trucks on-site and continue the night with musical performances. At midnight, Toronto’s new mayor, John Tory will lead the countdown to 2015 before a magnificent fireworks display.

Another family-friendly New Year’s Eve event is at the Toronto Zoo. The celebratory activities begin from 5pm and end at 8pm. They include live music, a magic show, a special countdown, and of course, the chance to be see the animals!

best places in toronto for new years eveIf you wanted to get out of town for the New Year, ET Canada hosts their free concert event in Niagara Falls. Performers this year include Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, and Lights. Don’t miss the fireworks over the falls. This is a great excuse to stay in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Wherever you may be for this year’s festivities, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!

Downtown Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Top Shops in Toronto for Christmas Shopping

December 23, 2014

Top Shops in TorontoWhether you’re a corporate traveller or a local, finding that perfect present for your loved ones can be a challenge. You may want to find a unique shop that isn’t in the mall or an excuse to explore the different neighbourhoods to support local businesses. Here are our favourite top shops in Toronto customized for your Christmas or holiday shopping needs.

Drake General Store
As an outpost of the Drake Hotel, the Drake General Store set the trend for shops where you could find quirky treasures with a Canadinana twist and has since expanded to locations at the Hudson Bay Company across Ontario. (Also known as the ideal store for holiday shopping.) Vintage Canadian postcards and engraved key chains with popular song titles like “That’s the Way Love Goes” are perfect stocking stuffers; the Areaware Harry Allen piggybank is a design item worth the splurge; and Canadian brands –from Drake’s own signature cross items to Share and Aborist– factor heavily into the Drake’s eclectic and curated selection. These novelty goods are ideal for the playful, curious person in your life.

Kid Icarus top shops in Toronto
For the person who loves paper, Kid Icarus offers a selection of quirky handmade cards and paper products. Want to make your own? Screenprinting and linoleum carving workshops are available. This is a great option for someone who wants an experience. Shop and explore in two locations: Kensington Market and now, Parkdale.

Love the Design
Located in the tony Summerhill neighbourhood, no-one has a better selection of vintage decor finds that will add that extra flair to your home. That perfectly weathered cabinet, kooky light, or second-look accessory is all available in the equally gorgeous set-up of the store. Owner Christine Flynn also makes her own customized artwork and custom stationary, some with a Toronto twist (the linoleum streetcar piece comes to mind or list of Toronto street names and subway stops come to mind). A destination in itself.

Cambie Design
If you’re looking to add flair to your furnished suite or apartment rental or a piece that you can take home with you, Cambie’s home accessories are good options. Cambie is famous for their coloTop Shops in Torontourful, hand-spun alpaca wool and acrylic-made blankets sourced from Peru. Beyond the blankets, rugs, housewares, and vintage furniture are available for purchase. It is a great way to support local shops and local communities around the world.

Advice from a Caterpillar
Located in the tony Summerhill and Rosedale neighbourhood, this children’s store has everything your family needs. Designer clothes, decor, toys, nursery, travel, and lifestyle products for the parents are all available in this curated and sophisticated shop. Our picks include:Janod Story Box Farm, Hansa deer bambi and the Hoppop bato child plastic bath.

BYOB Cocktail Emporium
This cool and eclectic emporium to cocktail and bar resources is your one-stop shTop Shops in Torontoop for your home bar needs. Also ideal for a unique holiday gift, stock up on funky glassware, DIY beer and wine making kits, hard-to-find Japanese cocktail shakers, and much more. If you need to host a party in your furnished suite, this truly is one of the most niche shops in Toronto.

Though these are incredible stores for your holiday shopping needs, they are great stores to visit year-round. So if you are in Toronto for a short term stay, these are some of the most unique top shops in Toronto. It’s also a great way to explore the different areas of the city from Parkdale to Uptown.