Quick Tip #13: Lengthy Stopover? Stow and go to lighten your load

YorkA stopover in a neat city en route to your final destination can be both a blessing and a pain in the butt, depending on how and who you’re traveling with. On the one hand, enjoying a pretzel in Frankfurt, taking a ride on the Singapore flyer, or visiting the Souk Market in Dubai before making a connection sounds pretty tempting. On the other hand, whether you’re traveling solo or with a large group, the last thing you want to do is lug around heavy carry-ons so you can snap a shot of the Eiffel Tower when you only have 6 hours to go until your next flight.

Solution? Try to find out whether or not the airport or train station is equipped with storage lockers or a left luggage service that allows you to pay a reasonable fee to stow away excess baggage while you trot around playing tourist. While some airports have discontinued the service due to security reasons, most connect to a railway station that offers lockers you can rent for either a flat fee or by the hour. Stop by the information desk upon arrival or navigate the airport website before take off. This allows you to plan accordingly and be ready for any adventure that might come your way. Happy Travels!

Quick Tip #2: Be Spontaneous! Don’t Plan Too Far Ahead

One of the amazing things about travel is the ability to follow your feet and jump in the direction of all that inspires. Whether you’re joining in with friends you’ve met at the hostel or making a last minute decision to extend your stay in a country of particular interest, it’s important to keep a flexible schedule in order to get the most out of any travel experience.

If it’s your first time traveling solo-overseas, it can be tempting to book everything beforehand: from flights to hotel to transport on the ground, it’s comforting to know that everything is taken care of prior to take-off. Keep in mind that this will seriously limit your ability to move around once you touch down (take the advice of someone who watched a pre-booked flight to Vietnam take off from Bangkok because of a romantic encounter that re-routed her in favour of Cambodia). While last minute travel plans and cancellations happen to the best of backpackers and elite travelers alike, it’s best to keep your options open in order to get the most out of your time abroad.

 

 

VIA Rail: In or Out?

Passengers aboard a VIA Rail train bound for Ottawa from Toronto say they have been stuck in Smiths Falls since 4 p.m. without clear explanations from staff as to when they’ll get going.
Photo Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Founded in 1977 and supported largely by Canada’s Prime Minister at the time, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the VIA Rail was introduced to Canada as the “more human way to travel”. Now, I’m all for preserving tradition and national pride but having become a frequent user of the VIA Rail, it has come to my attention that many processes that may have served us well at one point have become less relevant as time goes on. After returning to Toronto after my last trip with Canada’s national (passenger) railway, I found myself wondering whether the VIA Rail in Canada is on its way in… or its way out?

Continue reading “VIA Rail: In or Out?”