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Why You Should Try Ice Skating This Winter

Why You Should Try Ice Skating This Winter

Ice Skating is not only a great form of exercise, but it’s an excellent outlet to spend time with friends and family. If you’re looking for a way to stay active this winter season and get outdoors, here’s why you need to take up ice skating

It’s Fitness for the Entire Family

Staying physically active comes with a host of benefits, some of them are:

  • Helps in weight control;
  • Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • Strengthens bones, muscles and joints, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis;
  • Gives you more energy. 

With activities like ice skating, you can look forward to reaping the above benefits. Also, unlike some workouts that take a more individualistic approach, ice skating is a great way to spend quality time with others. Take your family or grab your friends and get outside and be active.

Gets You Outside in the Winter

Although winter’s cold temperatures tempt many of us to wait the season out indoors, spending time outdoors during winter comes with numerous benefits, such as the following:

  • Fights seasonal depression;
  • Gives you an opportunity to do outdoor exercises you can’t in the summer;
  • Cures cabin fever.

Outdoor ice skating is one of Ontario’s many awesome outdoor activities and should be taken advantage of. 

Comes with Transferable Skills

Ice skating targets and develops small stabilizer muscles that other workouts may miss and works to improve coordination and balance. This can help improve your performance in other areas, like running, skiing or even with yoga workouts. 

Sudbury is home to two open-air skating rinks, Ramsey Lake Skating Path and Queen’s Athletic Field. So, if you’re looking to make the most of the winter season find an ice rink near you and have some fun on the ice.

Do These Travel Items Make It into Your Suitcase?

Do These Travel Items Make It into Your Suitcase?

We all have our personal travel items that must accompany us for our trip to be a success; however, if the following items aren’t on your packing list, it may be time for an update. Here are five items that can make travelling a smoother and more memorable experience.

Headphones

Do you have a good set of headphones? Headphones can serve numerous purposes. From watching in-flight movies to blocking out noise as you try to fall asleep.

Camera

Experiencing a vacation is only half the fun. Being able to take the beautiful scenery and most exciting moments back with you and revisit them for years to come is what counts. Cameras enable you to capture these moments to share with family friends.

Travel Bag Packers

Optimizing the available space in a suitcase is something that many of us struggle with. Packing cubes help separate, sort and fit all your belongings in such a way that everything is easy to access and locate in your luggage. These packing tools come in a variety of sizes and shapes to cater to different suitcases and meet your personal packing needs.

Speakers

For all the music lovers out there, portable speakers can make a great travel accessory. Enjoy your favourite playlist with quality speakers no matter where you are in the world.

Travel Journal

Have you ever journaled on vacation? Travel journals enable you to have a detailed recording of your travel experiences, capturing your thoughts and emotions in specific moments along your adventure. A writing space for your thoughts is also a great way to handle any stress you may have throughout your vacation. Finally, a notebook full of your life experiences can be a valuable pass down to your child or even grandchild.

Honeymoon Room Ideas

Honeymoon room

Congratulations! You have just lived out the happiest, most meaningful day of your life to date—you are officially married. Now you have the pleasure of navigating life with your spouse, and as if things aren’t already amazing, you get to kick off your life together with a honeymoon.

In addition to all the upcoming sightseeing and exploration, we cannot overlook the importance of the honeymoon room. Here are five honeymoon room ideas to keep the romance burning for the duration of your trip.

1. Make Way for Room Service!

Honeymoons are all about relaxing while getting to spend quality time with your spouse. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy your favorite dessert or breakfast in the comfort of your hotel room. And when you come back from a long day of activities, unwinding back in your room feels incomplete without having room service deliver you a bottle of champagne.

2. Don’t forget the amenities!

There are many reasons to love hotels, but amenities have got to be high on the list. There is nothing better than a putting on a nice comfy robe and slippers following time spent in the bathtub. These features can go a long way in enhancing your overall experience.

3. Custom Touches

Keep in mind this isn’t just your spouse; this should be your best friend and very few people know them as well as you. Take your knowledge of your significant other and use it to create a memorable experience for them.

For example, above we touched on how a nice evening bath in the Jacuzzi can be a great way to unwind in the evenings. What if we added some romantic candles to that bath time? Or when your spouse finishes in the bath, they come out to find chocolates on the bed in the shape of a heart. All the room features in the world cannot replace personal thought!

4. Dinner with a View

Meals have always brought people together. Your honeymoon can be a great way for you and your spouse to enjoy time together while tasting some great meals, featuring cuisine from around the world!

5. Couples Massage

This article would not be complete without discussing couples’ massages. Being treated to a relaxing, regenerating spa session can be an awesome addition to your honeymoon experience and make the whole experience more memorable.

Your honeymoon is an exciting moment and you want to set yourself and your spouse up for great memories. Hopefully, these five tips gave some useful insights as to how to make the most of your honeymoon room!

Did You Know That Group Travel Can Be a Money-Saver?

Did You Know That Group Travel Can Be a Money-Saver?

Group travel can be arduous to organize, but it can pay off socially and financially. Besides more time with friends or family, there are various websites available to help you secure better travel pricing in groups. That said, you can acquire aggressive discounts by going directly to the business, as you have more buying leverage in person than over an online form.

Private parties can access more attractive travel packages simply because it takes the onus off the business to sell those spaces. Plus, groups tend to spend more collectively. That said, you’ll need to appoint a group leader to make all bookings on each traveller’s behalf. Most places only award the discount when all bookings come in at once; otherwise, there’s no way to verify the full group participates.

Accommodations

Hotels reserve blocks of ten or more rooms at a special discount. Interestingly, research shows that the value of the discount corresponds with the hotel’s star rating. Commonly, high-end hotels offer more attractive group discounts than cheap lodging establishments.

Airlines

Most major airlines also cater to groups of 10 or more, offering perks like cheaper seating, free upgrades and more. If you visit the airline’s office, there should be a group reservations desk; otherwise, just go online and request a custom quote. Often, the automatic discounts applied through online portals are more conservative than what you can get with a little negotiation.

Meals

Restaurants will rarely give discounts unless you present some type of voucher. Groups typically only save on food when they prepare meals in an assembly line fashion. For example, everyone pitches in for sandwiches or purchases a shareable side for a pot-luck-style meal. At the hotel, you may also be able to bargain for discounts on breakfasts and other buffets.

Long Road Trips and Flights Are Bad for Your Health

A body of research exists on how prolonged periods of inactivity adversely affect our physical and mental health. Most studies focus on the long-term consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle; however, a new report featured in the Washington Post suggests it takes just one idle day to feel the effects.

According to the study, a body’s insulin response plummets after a single day of inactivity. Furthermore, blood circulation slows, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT)—varicose veins and the blood clots. For frequent fliers, the risk heightens because the altitude exacerbates the aforesaid effects.

Thankfully, if you’re stuck in a car or airplane for hours, there are simple strategies for keeping your body active.

Pit Stops

For long drives, schedule ample pit stops along the way—not just for food and bathrooms, but also just to walk around. Although doing so may make the trip longer, you’ll feel refreshed behind the wheel and your body will be less stiff upon your arrival.

Seated Exercises

However you choose to travel, you can also perform simple stretches and exercises from your seat. For example, lift your feet and roll your ankles or bounce them up and down for a few minutes. For the upper body, you can roll your shoulders and neck or rotate your arms.

Exercising in your seat may seem awkward, so we encourage you to get up as much as you can. On airplanes, stand up when the seatbelt sign turns off. You can do larger exercise motions waiting for the bathroom or at the back of the plane too. Trains offer similar space for you to move around.

How a Positive Review Helps Fellow Travellers Make Decisions

How a Positive Review Help Fellow Travellers Make Decisions

Sadly, the urge to write a review usually stems from a bad experience. We feel compelled to speak up and warn others as a wronged customer. When highly satisfied, we just don’t feel that same pull to share our experiences. We’d rather enjoy the moment and then move on with a pleasant memory. To other travellers, though, a good experience is just as important to hear about as a negative one.

Positive Reviews Reinforce a Decision

Writing a bad review can prevent others from going to a place. After all, who wants to sleep in a hotel with bad staff or eat in a restaurant with poor quality food? But let’s consider the reverse: would a good review convince someone to choose one place over another? Maybe.

Travellers have little to go on except brand recognition and the words of others when researching things to do and places to go. Pointing out the good spots that you discover expedites this process. It also proposes a second point-of-view should the institution you review have negative comments in the mix.

How to Frame the Review

The quality of a positive review hinges on its details. Reviews consisting of shallow statements like “good” or “I had a great time” are not substantial enough to educate fellow travellers. If you commit to a review, spend time contextualizing it with meaningful details. Details are what can help travellers relate to your given situation and decide if your positive experience will translate into a similar one for them.

On Word of Mouth, the author recommends starting a conversation through a positive review—that is, encouraging readers to reach out. This is an excellent gesture; there may be other areas of travel you can help with too.

Unfortunately, only some review channels facilitate conversation (or at least unmediated conversation). Travel forums host decent conversation, but the best platform is your own travel blog. Here, you can write in full form and reply to comments.

Travel blogging also adds authority to your opinion. Posting to a forum is often done anonymously, whereas your site contains a bevy of information about you and how to get in touch. Examples might include links to your own social media, email and phone.

How to Keep Your Travel Photos Safe Forever

How to Keep Your Travel Photos Safe Forever

Camera or smartphone, it does not matter. Storing your photos locally, either with internal storage or expandable memory (SD), makes your digital memories vulnerable to theft and data loss. After all, electronics can break and malfunction. Worse, people can steal them from you, leaving you without a means to recover those precious photos.

Where to Backup Your Photos

At the end of each vacation day, go through your photos and select those you wish to protect. While you could simply select them all, you may find filtering a good tactic. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a passel of photos that no one wants to look through.

Now that you’ve got a refined bank of photos to backup, you can choose any of the following methods. Note that most require a data connection for uploading, so log onto your hotel’s Wi-fi or visit a nearby café to complete the backup process.

USB or External Hard Drive

You can download your photos to a laptop and transfer them onto a memory card, USB or hard drive for safe keeping. You may even want to save copies to the laptop itself for easy viewing later.

Cloud Storage

There are myriad cloud storage services available for saving files securely and remotely. For example, here are two popular ones:

  • Google Drive—a free storage account includes 15 gigabytes across the Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos platforms.
  • Dropboxa basic account with Dropbox includes two free gigabytes of space.

The benefit of using either service above is that you can upload directly from your device with free apps. Alternatively, you can also upload to your favourite social media channels. There are no limits on Facebook, for example, but you should adjust your privacy settings if there are photos you’d rather not share publicly (or even with friends and family).

As a final resort, you can email yourself photo attachments. However, this is the most tedious method because email clients have maximum attachment sizes, meaning you will need to send batch messages or shrink your images.

Why Keep Your Hotel Room Number Secret?

Door locks (electronic and deadbolt), cameras and onsite patrol are common hotel security features that protect your privacy. But even with such things, you should exercise caution with whom you interact and the personal details that you disclose while travelling. Specifically, always keep your room number a secret from strangers and unfamiliar colleagues. While the name of the hotel may come up in conversation, no one needs to know your room number. Unless you plan to invite someone up to your room, the number needs to stay private. Check-In Safety If you’re not discrete during check in, then you may accidentally reveal your room number to other guests in the lobby. For example, asking for directions to your room or identifying yourself by room number (i.e. for room service or extra supplies) lets strangers know too much about you. For this reason, always request that the front desk workers keep your number quite—whether this means writing it down on the receipt or using alternate details to pull up the reservation. Friends and Family The only people who should know your exact whereabouts are your friends and family. Educating your emergency contacts on where you are gives them a last known location should something happen as well as a direct line of communication (i.e. hotel room phone). Business Facilities and Common Areas When meeting people in common spaces like lounges, conference facilities and gyms, be careful not to reveal too much information about where you’re staying. While someone may ask your whereabouts in the hotel, you can give approximations like floor number or suite type to satisfy his or her curiosity. If the individual presses further, it may indicate other intentions—more reason to evade the question.

Door locks (electronic and deadbolt), cameras and onsite patrol are common hotel security features that protect your privacy. But even with such things, you should exercise caution with whom you interact and the personal details that you disclose while travelling. Specifically, always keep your room number a secret from strangers and unfamiliar colleagues. While the name of the hotel may come up in conversation, no one needs to know your room number. Unless you plan to invite someone up to your room, the number needs to stay private.

Check-In Safety

If you’re not discrete during check-in, then you may accidentally reveal your room number to other guests in the lobby. For example, asking for directions to your room or identifying yourself by room number (i.e. for room service or extra supplies) lets strangers know too much about you. For this reason, always request that the front desk workers keep your number quiet—whether this means writing it down on the receipt or using alternate details to pull up the reservation.

Friends and Family

The only people who should know your exact whereabouts are your friends and family. Telling your emergency contacts where you are gives them a last known location should something happen as well as a direct line of communication (i.e. hotel room phone).

Business Facilities and Common Areas

When meeting people in common spaces like lounges, conference facilities and gyms, be careful not to reveal too much information about where you’re staying. While someone may ask your whereabouts in the hotel, you can give approximations like floor number or suite type to satisfy his or her curiosity. If the individual presses further, it may indicate other intentions—more reason to evade the question.