Category Archives: Tips

Aeroplan Deadline 2020

Just got this press release and wanted to share it.
Air Canada announced today that they intend to launch an in‑house Frequent Flyer program. I wanted to personally provide some additional information.

First and foremost, through June 2020, Air Canada and Aeroplan are committed to business as usual. You can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan flight rewards, including flights with Air Canada and Star Alliance member airlines — just as you do today.

In addition to the miles you earn on Air Canada eligible flights, you will continue to collect miles from our network of over 75 world‑class partners, representing more than 150 partner brands in the financial, retail, and travel sectors.

With more than 5 million members, Aeroplan is Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, and there is strength in our numbers. Last year, Aeroplan members redeemed for 1.9 million flight rewards, enough to fill 11 Boeing 777s (the biggest plane in Air Canada’s fleet) every single day of the year.

We know how much you care about this program, and we’re working to secure great new redemption options for you after June 2020.

We are committed to providing the best value for our members. We’ll post the most up‑to‑date information and FAQ’s on

And finally, I’d like to thank you for your continued passion for the Aeroplan program.

Travel Gadgets

I just received this press release list of travel items. I haven’t tried any of them, but they look interesting. Just wanted to share…

1.) remodeez: It’s not always easy to wash your clothes and other luggage while traveling. No worries though because remodeez is a product line that neutralizes odor naturally by using activated charcoal to absorb odor at the source and is great for shoes, garments, inside luggage and hotel rooms too!

2.) HYDAWAY: a reusable, collapsible water bottle that folds down to just over an inch high that you can put in a purse, backpack, briefcase, or carry-on and can fill with water (or any other beverage) wherever you are (airports, restrooms, parks, etc…)

3.) CarbonKlean: designed specifically for lenses and screens of all types, including smartphones, tablets, eyeglasses, sunglasses, reading glasses and is the only the only lens cleaner used on the Space Station by NASA!

4.) Rogue Industries: the most comfortable, stylish, identity theft-secure wallets, clutches, and travel bags designed using RFID blocking for your safety and protection while traveling. Rogue wallets are specially designed with a unique curve to fit in any FRONT pocket which not only keeps your cash and cards safe, but is better for your back too!

5.) NapAnywhere Travel Pillow: The ultimate travel companion helping you to arrive at your destination refreshed and without an ache in your neck! NapAnywhere is a portable, head-support pillow developed specifically by a physician for frequent travelers.

BugBand Towelettes: Keep pests away when traveling with BugBand Towelettes! With mosquito-borne illnesses a concern, especially while traveling, the BugBand Towelette is a very handy, easy-to use method of applying DEET-FREE insect repellent for heavy duty insect protection. The towelettes travel anywhere, are lightweight and take up very little space.

Travelling with Zero Waste

Tips for a garbage free vacation
From the German company Green Pearls Sustainable Tourism

I love these ideas!­
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Darmstadt, May 4, 2017 *** From the principle traveling is not really eco- friendly. Nevertheless, it does not help anybody to only stay at home. While traveling one can do a lot to minimize the carbon footprint and behave more environment friendly. Traveling and Zero Waste is. Green Pearls® gives tips on how to avoid or minimize garbage.
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­We have known it since the 80s: Jute instead of plastic

For the purchase in the holiday destination a jute bag is very convenient. Besides, it is light and does not take a lot of place and one avoids to tale any plastic bags. If the jute bag becomes dirty, it can be easily washed, an ecologically friendly alternative to paper and plastic.

Omnipresent: Water bottle (with filter)

An absolutely indispensable companion for garbage free traveling is a water bottle. The best choice is a BPA free bottle made of stainless steel. It looks trendy and can be refilled just as one likes and, besides, it saves on the travel since one does not need to buy expensive drinks. Certainly travellers should find out whether the water is drinkable in the destination. In the Alps it is absolutely no problem to drink tap water. In Portugal or Asia it be a problem. A good solution is a drinking bottle with integrated water filter for chlorine, lime and other organic pollutants from the water. Even E-Coli bacteria and parasites can be detained by a high-quality filter, so that dirty water becomes drinkable.

Digital tickets & E-Books

A possibility to avoid garbage not only in the destination, but already at home are digital instead of printed out tickets. No paper is wasted for something, which is thrown away anyway. Airlines, railway or bus enterprises can easily scan the QR codes on the smartphone or tabloid. Moreover, the fear to lose the paper ticket turns out to be superfluous. A useful companion when traveling is an e-reader. Instead of carrying along heavy books or magazines, one has all digital media on one device. The compulsory free newspaper with the entrance in the airplane is therefore redundant. Besides, e-readers have the advantage of an integrated lighting and travelers do not depend on additional sources of light. Usually the battery lasts for a couple of weeks.

Rather a container than a cling film

Who still has place in the luggage, should pack some reusable containers. They are incredibly useful, for example, upon a spontaneous purchase at a local market garbage can be avoided. Moreover prepared snacks can be simply taken away. It is also useful for people with allergies or diets. A new product on the market is the reusable wax paper, which is an alternative to aluminum or cling film.
Cutlery and the return of the soap

Who has not been to a supermarket to buy a tasty ready-to-eat salad ? With it comes usually a plastic cutlery which one throws away immediately. An ecologically friendly alternative is a so-called Spork (mixture of fork and spoon). It is light, practical and fits in every handbag. And a material cloth is a sustainable substitute for a paper-napkin. With firm cosmetics one can kill two birds with one stone: On the one hand garbage is avoided, because there is no disposal of the bottles. Moreover, problems with liquid restriction when flying do not occur. Instead of shower gel take a piece of soap. Firm hair shampoos can be easily produced with patience and precision.
Minimalist packing & souvenirs

The less place is in the luggage, the less purchases. And the less one shops, the less has to been thrown away later. It is an easy equation, which always works. Travelers with only small hand luggage suitcase or backpack, consider twice which clothes they really need, and whether they must buy any souvenirs. People tend to buy so many souvenirs that the suitcases seam to burst. Coming home the souvenirs loose their attraction end up in the basement or garbage. A key ring is surely more useful than a miniature place of interest, which serves at home only as a dust catcher. Spices are a good alternative, the suitable recipe can be found on the Internet. And a travel diary with photos and drawings to look at with friends and family is a nicer and more sustainable small present than a T-shirt with “I love XY”

The German Green Pearls GmbH w is the first holding company worldwide that consolidates sustainable hotels, destinations and restaurants in a global data source.

Among the criteria of admission to Green Pearls® Unique Places, are a sustainability plan on management level, sustainable architecture, comprehensive water, energy saving and waste recovery measures, the use of seasonal and regional ingredients in the kitchen, as well as a large commitment for the social balance in each of the vacation regions.

Best Countries for Women Working Abroad


From InterNations Insider’s Survey

Hungary and Bahrain prove great locations for expat women who want to work abroad, but Luxembourg, Taiwan, and Germany top the chart

An above-average share of women worry about the cost of living and taxation abroad before their move and more than one-third actually end up earning less than at home (36%).
But money is not everything: six in ten are satisfied with their occupation, work-life balance, and financial situation abroad.
Nearly 80% of expat women consider themselves happy with their life and three in ten are even thinking about staying abroad forever (31%).

Munich, 07 March 2017 — Almost half of the women who currently live abroad (46 percent) mentioned their job or business as a reason for expatriating. This share is still lower than among their male counterparts, of which seven out of ten (71 percent) say the same. Nonetheless, it is the factor most often given by expat women, followed by 33 percent who moved for their partner and 26 percent who were looking for an adventure. Based on the insights of more than 6,000 women given in the annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, compiled a so-far unpublished ranking of the top countries for women working abroad, which varies quite a bit from male expats’ picks. Luxembourg, Taiwan, and Germany top the chart, and they all do particularly well for women’s job security. More surprisingly, Hungary and Bahrain follow just behind in the top five, performing extremely well for job satisfaction and career opportunities for women — as opposed to the more negative perception of men working in these countries.

Check out the results of InterNations Insider Survey!


Luggage Buying Tips

Here are some luggage ideas from manufacturer/Distributor The Holiday Group. I’m going to China soon. I don’t want to be the “Over Packer”!

Smart Luggage traveller: Travelpro
For those who need to keep charged on the go, technology enhanced luggage options are the next groundbreaking innovation since the 360° spinner model was introduced. New tech-friendly luggage designs relieve some of our largest hassles such as finding a plug at an airport to recharge our smart phones and tablets. Travelpro®, the creator of The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, offers an innovative design with the Travelpro Crew 11 for tech-savvy travellers with an exterior USB Port to connect any USB device to a power bank.

The over-packer: Atlantic

For the traveller that always packs a few extras, a lightweight luggage is a necessity –especially to compensate for the weight added from over-packing. The Atlantic luggage collection offers fashionable designs of lightweight, affordable travel bags perfect for the over-packer. The designs come in hard and soft shell with expandable features that range in all sizes from carry-on’s to high-capacity rolling uprights with imaginative designs and practical packing options.

The efficient and highly organized traveller: Austin House

Packing for a family can be chaotic, and staying organized will be a top priority. The most efficient way to pack for your family is to use neat travel accessories like those offered by Austin House. Products such as insulated medical travel bags, folding backpacks and duffle bags and travel organizer sets make packing and travelling with children hassle-free.

The millennial packer: Roots 73 and David Jones
The millennial backpacker is all about staying on trend while using a great quality product. Roots73 and David Jones fashion backpacks do just this by providing a chic style. The mini backpacks, a part of the 2017 David Jones collection offer fashionable backpacks for the on trend millennial while Roots 73 2017 collection, provides stylish options for millennials while still promoting comfort. Back packs come in different colours, sizes and designs perfect to use as your ‘everyday bag’.

The bleisure traveller : Nextech

Ideal for both computer and overnight essentials Nextech offers a handsome collection of briefs for today’s business and frequent travellers –created by the makers of Travelpro. The tech-ready collection of briefs from Nextech is the ideal collection for the executive that demands it all: durability, convenience, versatility and a fashionable look that makes a bold statement.

The outgoing traveller: Swiss Gear
Swiss Gear seeks to reflect the true spirit of the active, dynamic individual who also appreciates design with function, Swiss Gear wheeled suitcases are available in many handsome collections such as Altitude Lite II, Neo Life II, Ballenburg and more.

Get Best Flight Prices this Summer

Thinking about your summer travel plans? I just discovered the website that has all sorts of info about when to buy airline tickets. Generally, they advise 4-5 months in advance for the best fares. Most expensive time just about everywhere? The Christmas/New Year’s season. But there was some other useful information as well. I’m looking to depart from Toronto for some summer adventures, but they cover tons of other cities as well. Here’s what I found out:

From Toronto to Vancouver:
For summer travel, airfares are at their highest from mid-July through mid-August. Aim to buy: Mid-to-late February. (Good news for procrastinators: flights for the third week in July look to break with this pattern. You may find betters deals for the week by shopping in mid-April.)
Last-minute deals: There is a lull before the summer season kicks off, so look for a bargain when the calendar flips to spring.
When to fly: The second week of June
When to buy: The third week of March
Added tip: Get booking now for spring skiing. Early January is the prime deal time for flights in the first week of April.
To New York:
You don’t have to plan too far in advance to stretch your summer with a late-season trip to New York.
When to fly: The second and third week of September
When to buy: The first half of June
To Paris:
Autumn is a bargain window for a visit to Paris.
When to fly: The last week of September
When to buy: Between late May and early June
As for summer travel, the last week of July and the first week of August are pricey times to visit Paris and require advance planning. Aim to buy: February. The last week of June and the first week of July are better for late shoppers. Aim to buy: Mid-June.
Check Cheap Flights for best flight price info also available to Varadero, Cuba, Las Vegas, Beijing, Bangkok and morw.

Tips to Book Flights Smarter!

I came across this article in Money Sense magazine, Booking Mistakes to Avoid …some great advice and ways to save on costly blunders. Good stuff!

Great tips from a fellow travel writer!

Michele Sponagle has some very creative ideas to get you out of all sorts of binds while travelling. Hair shampoo for stain removal…shower caps for wrapping dirty boots…body lotion for shoe shining. Good stuff!!

Newsletter Profile: UN Women in the Pacific

Prior to leaving for Vietnam, I did some e-volunteering for UN Women in the Pacific Islands. Here is a profile of me they recently featured in their newsletter…UNV - Newsletter Fiji Final_Page_01UNV - Newsletter Fiji Final_Page_03UNV - Newsletter Fiji Final_Page_04

Lucy Izon’s Twitter Tips

Toronto's Lucy Izon shared a wealth of Twitter information in Sarasota.

Toronto’s Lucy Izon shared a wealth of Twitter information in Sarasota.

Lucy Izon, whose CanadaCool website is the coolest, is a Twitter goddess and a few of us at the SATW Canadian Chapter meeting in Sarasota were privileged to have her share some of her immense knowledge. Of course, we had to get up at the crack of dawn to fit the sessions into our busy schedule, but it was well worth it!
Here’s a bit of the info I gleaned…
Favorite features:
• Lists
• Settings for sending to FB, embedding code for WP. Public tweets is the default setting making your tweets visible to all. Protected tweets go only to your approved twitter followers.
• DM
Twitter Terms
# Hashtags – is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. It categorizes messages
@ is used to call out user names in tweets. When a username is preceded by @ it becomes a link to a twitter profile. It’s also used in replies and mentions.
DM (or direct message) – scroll down under the little man symbol and you’ll see “message.” This message is private between sender and recipient. You can only DM someone who follows you.
Discover – tab to find top tweets, activity, find friends etc.
Favorite – when you favorite a tweet, or click yellow star next to the message. Mostly for your own files and to let the tweeter know you liked it.
FF – #FF stands for Follow Friday – suggestions of who you should follow on Fridays..Hummm.
Home – a real-time list of tweets from those you follow. It appears on your twitter home page.
Listed – To be included in another twitter user’s list. Listed numbers and details appear in the stats section of your profile.
Lists – Curated groups of other twitter users used to tie specific people into a group on your twitter account.
MT – modified tweet, placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message with modifications.
Promoted Tweets – tweets that businesses pay to promote at the top of search results on twitter.
Retweet – to forward another user’s tweet to all of your followers. Certain tweets can’t be retweeted
RT – abbreviation of retweet, placed before retweeted text when users manually retweet a message.
Screenshot – image captured on your computer or phone displaying your screen’s output.
Timeline – real-time list of tweets on twitter.
Trends – a subject algorithmically determined to be one of the most popular on twitter at the moment.
URL – Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a web address that points to a unique page on the Internet.
URL Shortener – Used to turn long URLs into shorter ones. Twitter has one, plus there are others online.
Username – Twitter handle, unique and contains less than 15 characters. Identifies you for replies and mentions.
Verification – Where a user’s account is stamped to show that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s tweets.
• Make tweets personal (coming from a person not a PR robot)
• Monitor what others are doing as you develop your strategy
• Look at the followers of the people you are following
• Desktop Working Sheet
• Leave free space so others can RT you easily
• Post helpful tweets and links
• Make followers smile (animals stories are good for this)
• Google News Alerts can help fill demand for constant quality content
• Gauge when to tweet – depending on geography of followers
• You will hit a wall at 2,000 (remove people who haven’t followed back)
• Follow Friday #FF
• When starting a message with @namehere, if you put a period in front of the @, all your followers can see the message. Without the period, only the person named will see it.
1. Click the blue Compose New Tweet button
2. Click or tap on the camera icon.
3. Select the image file you want to upload. If you’re tweeting with a smartphone, you will also have the option to take a photo.
4. Once a photo is selected, you will see a thumbnail image (or file name) appear as an attachment. Your tweet’s character count will update to include the URL for your photo.
5. Type your message and select Tweet to post message and photo.

Thanks Lucy ! You are the coolest!