The Best Ontario Road Trips This Summer

The Best Ontario Road Trips This Summer

Start your engines!  The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) is launching its spring/summer campaign with a new magazine, Ontario’s Best Road Trips, featuring hundreds of vacation ideas to help travellers plan their perfect Ontario summer adventure.

The 2016 campaign centres on a classic family experience – the road trip.  Whether it’s is a leisurely ride along an amazing coastline, lying on a soft sandy beach, or taking a grand tour, the Ontario’s Best Road Trips magazine offers an Ontario adventure for everyone.

Travellers can simply pack their bags and set out to enjoy one of the eight itineraries featured in the magazine, part of the 16 Ontario road trip ‘Suggested Itineraries’ on, or they can create their own unique signature getaway using the website’s Trip Planner tool. Travellers have the option of customizing their trip to include selected attractions, accommodations, events and packages, and personal points of interest. To make the journey even more memorable, travellers can listen to a summer playlist crowd-sourced from OTMPC fans’ favourite road trip music!

Tourism Week is taking place May 29 to June 4, and marks the kick-off of the 2016 summer tourism season in Ontario. Ontarians are invited to visit an Ontario Travel Information Centre (OTIC), speak to a travel information counsellor, and learn about the myriad of things to do and places to see in Ontario. Special regional events leading up to and during Tourism Week will showcase local tourism products, attractions and festivals, and are taking place at OTICs in Toronto at Union Station on May 27, St. Catharines on May 31,Windsor on June 1, Barrie on June 2, and Sault Ste. Marie on June 3.  Throughout the week, all 11 OTICs will be hosting Open Houses.


“With summer just around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to get out and discover our province by hitting the road. I hope theOntario’s Best Road Trips magazine inspires families to plan a vacation right here at home and experience all the natural beauty and exciting destinations that are right here in our own backyard.”

–       Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) is delighted to promote our Best Ontario Road Trips as the 2016 summer season begins. This year’s promotional campaign invites families, couples and friends to take one or more of 16 suggested road trips to experience the many adventures offered across the province. OTMPC is pleased to continue our partnerships with Ontariotourism operators – from the north to the southwest, in eastern Ontario and everywhere in between – to promote the best vacations inOntario.”

–       Ronald Holgerson, President and CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

“The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is proud to support the OTMPC’s 2016 spring/summer campaign, Ontario’s Best Road Trips. Ontario boasts an extensive array of tourism products, and this season’s initiative gives tourism operators a great opportunity to showcase what makes our province a destination of choice.”

–       Beth Potter, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario


  • Tourism is an important economic driver. 2012 figures indicate that tourism supported over 359,400 jobs and generated $28 billionfor Ontario’s economy.
  • There are 13 Ontario Regional Tourism Organizations across Ontario that support tourism product development and marketing ofOntario’s tourism industry.
  • Visitors are encouraged to share their Ontario tourism experience using #DiscoverON.
  • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation is an agency of the Government of Ontario with a vision to position Ontario as a preferred global destination.


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SOURCE Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

New study suggests: These are the colours bedbugs are most drawn to

New study suggests: These are the colours bedbugs are most drawn to

Excerpted article written

Sleeping in red or black bedsheets? You may want to redecorate: a quirky new study suggests bedbugs are most drawn to these colours while they tend to avoid green and yellow.

Bedbugs are tiny biting, bloodsucking insects that multiply quickly and travel easily. It’s possible for anyone to end up with an infestation of bedbugs, regardless of income or type of dwelling, health officials warn.

They created small tent-like dwellings and placed them in Petri dishes. Then they placed the bloodsuckers into the dish and gave them 10 minutes to choose a spot.

They ran a series of experiments: bedbugs were tested at various life stages, different sexes, in groups and individually. They even compared hungry and well-fed insects.

“It was speculated that a bedbug would go to any harborage in an attempt to hide. However, these colour experiments show that bedbugs do not hide in just any harborage. Rather, they will select a harborage based on its colour when moving in the light,” lead author, Dr. Corraine McNeill, explained in a statement.

Their guess was that the insects would gravitate towards the colour red, because it’s the same shade as blood, which they feed on. They were spot on, but their reasoning changed.

“After doing the study, we think they preferred red colours is because bedbugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bedbugs,” McNeill explained.

They avoided yellow and green, too. The scientists say it may be because these colours resemble brightly lit areas.

These are important findings, especially to those who are developing bedbug traps, the researchers say.

Pairing red with things like pheromones and carbon dioxide – which also attract bedbugs – could be a food tactic, they suggest.

But don’t rule out red and black from your wardrobe just yet.

“I think that would be stretching the results a little too much … I don’t know how far I would go to say don’t get a red suitcase or red sheets, but the research hasn’t been done yet, so we can’t really rule that out completely,” McNeill said.

It’s the first study to consider bedbugs’ colour preferences – and it almost didn’t happen. The researchers initially joked that bedbugs don’t see or use colour.

Yet preliminary tests suggested otherwise: each time, the bedbugs – hungry, full, male, female, old, young – were specifically going to certain colours over others.

“From there, we took the idea and ran with it,” McNeill said.

The full findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Read the study.

Weird Reasons Planes Turn Around Mid-Flight

Weird Reasons Planes Turn Around Mid-Flight

Excerpted article written by 

Turning a plane around mid-flight is a rare occurrence and is often due to some sort of pressing mechanical issue. But on occasion an unforeseeable, non-technological event happens that forces the plane to make an unexpected U-turn. That’s exactly what happened Thursday night when a plane going from New York to Tennessee had to make an emergency landing in West Virginia—because a bird hit the windshield.

Airport spokesman Mike Plante said the pilot alerted air traffic controllers they were going to make an emergency landing at 4:50 p.m., after a bird struck the plane and cracked the windshield.

It’s not the only flight to have been forced to turn around because of encounters with birds. Earlier this week a plane lost an engine because of a bird strike, causing the Washington, D.C.-bound flight to return to Key West International Airport. Flight FR3445 to Palma de Mallorca in Spain returned to Manchester Airport after the plane collided with a bird shortly after takeoff. An American flight returned mid-journey to JFK Airport after the pilot hit a flock of geese after takeoff. And in 2010 a Beirut flight had to turn around when a bird got caught in the plane’s fan blades. Luckily, no one was injured in these cases, and the planes made it safely to the ground.

These freak events aren’t the only bizarre things to happen to or on a plane that force it to turn around. Over the years there’s been tales stories of airborne incidents that have caused mid-air detours. From odd smells and foreign creatures taking over the cabin to a mystery illness and an impromptu passenger performing Whitney Houston, these are some of the weirdest reasons planes have had to turn around.

Travel and Leisure 

Summer Travel Hacker Guide Gives Travelers the Scoop on the When and Where to Travel This Summer

KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine, has launched the summer edition of its 2016 Travel Hacker Guide.  Curated by KAYAK’s team of data scientists and travel experts who looked within the site’s one billion annual searches to identify insights on when to book and how much it will cost to get to summer’s most popular destinations, the guide was designed to make travel planning easier.

The guide features the Top 10 Trending Summer Destinations and Top 10 Trending European Destinations to give travelers the scoop on destinations that have received the greatest increase in interest year over year. The guide also features the Top 10 Winter in Summer Destinations for those looking for more moderate temperatures and Top 10 Summer Friday Destinations which highlights popular summer weekend spots.

For each destination in the guide, travelers will find median airfare costs, median hotel rates and when to book guidance along with average temperature, average rainfall and a Hacker Tip.

Travelers should look to data to beat the exchange 

KAYAK’s 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide may also help ease concern among users regarding the weakened Canadian dollar, which has dropped by almost 20% on average over the past year1. Travelers can use the guide to book strategically when median airfare and/or hotel rates are lowest to offset the exchange.

“We know travelers are looking for ways to make their dollars stretch and the data presented in the Travel Hacker Guide can help take away some of the guesswork in the planning process,” said David Solomito, North America Brand Director, KAYAK. “Our goal is to help travelers anticipate hotel and flight costs and to give them some ideas on where to go so they can make the travel decisions that are right for them.”

The guide also reveals the following insights about summer travel:

  • The low loonie may be driving increased interest in Canadian cities – Calgary, Montreal and Toronto all landed on the list of trending summer destination. Calgary – in its second guide appearance is even hotter in 2016, jumping three spots to #4 this year.
  • As the games approach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil lays claim to hottest international destination, with a 127% increase in flight searches versus the previous summer.
  • European adventure is on – but with a difference. For seaside fun, look no further: nine out of ten featured European destinations are port cities.
  • With Summer Fridays ahead, a quick sojourn south of the border lets travelers pack maximum fun into one weekend. For long weekend getaways, US East Coast destinations are especially popular: four cities up and down the coast from Atlantic City, NJ toKey West, FL are featured.

In addition to the Travel Hacker Guide, KAYAK offers a range of tools for budget-conscious travelers:

  • Set up Price Alerts and KAYAK will email or text you with an update if flight or hotel prices change so you never miss a deal.
  • Check out KAYAK Explore, it allows you to see all the places you can fly within a certain budget range.
  • Select the +/- 3-day Flex Search option on KAYAK when searching for flights. It shows you if leaving 3 days before or after your arrival and departure dates will help you save.

The inaugural version of the Travel Hacker Guide was launched in February of 2015. Travelers can explore the summer edition of the guide by visiting and search flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages by

For full methodology on the Travel Hacker Guide, visit

KAYAK is the world’s leading travel search engine. KAYAK searches other travel sites and shows travelers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages.  The company’s website and apps also offer tools to help travelers plan and manage their trip, including price alerts, price forecasts and free itinerary management.  Each year, KAYAK processes more than one billion searches for travel information and has local sites in more than 30 countries and 20 languages. KAYAK is an independently managed subsidiary of The Priceline Group.

1 20% based on Bank of Canada comparing Canadian Dollar vs. American Dollar high (1.1763 CAD / 0.8501 USD) and low (1.4661 CAD / 0.6821 USD) between April 2015 and April 2016. Rate history accessed at


How to avoid breaking the bank on your March Break getaway

How to avoid breaking the bank on your March Break getaway

Canadian staycations, European adventures and some American destinations round out the list of March Break vacations this year.

Even with the low Canadian dollar there are still many great places to visit. No matter where your holiday plans may take you, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) recommends the following cost-saving travel tips:

  • Use an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent to help keep you on budget.
  • Prepay in Canadian dollars for accommodations, car rentals, attraction tickets and city tours.
  • Set a daily budget for incidentals to help keep the cost down.

“If you are thinking about staying close to home this year, it is the perfect time to discover your own country and explore everything from the great outdoors to big cities with old world charm,” said Silvana Aceto, Media Relations Consultant, CAA SCO.

Popular Canadian March Break destinations:

  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Lake Louise, Alberta
  • Muskoka, Ontario
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Quebec City, Quebec

If travellers have their heart set on a stateside vacation, there are some special offers for Canadians including resort discounts and a free night stay for those heading south of the border to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Scottsdale, Arizona.

For those looking for a little more bang for their buck, European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain offer a wide array of attractions, culture, entertainment and nightlife without having to break the bank.

Meanwhile, for expert travel advice and all your travel gear, visit a CAA Store near you.

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and member savings for our 2 million members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Travel Checklist: What Canadians Never Leave Home Without

Travel Checklist: What Canadians Never Leave Home Without

Canadians look forward to their annual vacations, many returning to the same destinations year after year, while others plan for exciting new adventures. Regardless of the type of trip planned, there are some common items travellers always remember to bring with them on vacation. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey, the top item travellers would never leave home without is their passport (75 per cent), followed by electronics (53 per cent) and their medication (49 per cent).Alarmingly, more than half of travellers (55 per cent) would leave home without their travel insurance.

As travellers get older, they are more likely to bring travel insurance when leaving home; whereas only 26 per cent of young adults (age 18 – 34) list travel insurance as one of the items they’d definitely pack when travelling. Instead, young travellers are more likely to remember to bring items such as their electronic devices (69 per cent) and medication (38 per cent).

“This time of the year Canadians across the country are planning for that much-needed break from Canada’s weather,” explains Anita Mukherjee, head of Travel, RBC Insurance. “When deciding what to pack, it’s not surprising that our passport tops the list of items travellers would never leave home without. However, what’s alarming is that Canadians are more focused on their electronic devices, such as a cell phone and laptop, than travel insurance.”

What kind of travellers are Canadians?
Nearly half of Canadians like to play-it-by-ear while on vacation. The rest represent a wide variety of styles:

  • Play-it-by-Ear Pilgrims‘ (44 per cent) plan on where they’re going, but after that they see where the journey takes them.
  • ‘Timid Trekkers’ (18 per cent) don’t stray far from their comfort zone while on vacation.
  • ‘Scheduled Sightseers’ (13 per cent) plan every minute of vacation so it fits within a tightly-packed schedule.
  • ‘Armchair Adventurers’ (13 per cent) are happy to sit back and relax, and leave the adventures to others.
  • ‘Risk-Taking Rovers’ (11 per cent) fear being bored, so they seek adventure at every turn.

Cautious Canadians come prepared; ‘Armchair Adventurers’ sit it out
Leaving home without travel insurance is dependent on the type of traveller that you are. ‘Scheduled Sightseers’ (50 per cent) are most likely to never leave home without travel insurance, just ahead of ‘Timid Trekkers’ (49 per cent), ‘Play-it-by-Ear Pilgrims’ (47 per cent) and ‘Risk-Taking Rovers’ (42 per cent). ‘Armchair Adventurers’ (32 per cent) are least likely to pack travel insurance before leaving home.

Be prepared: Don’t be stuck in a sticky situation
Four in ten (43 per cent) Canadian travellers have experienced at least one unwanted travelling scenario while on vacation, with 16 per cent finding themselves in the lost luggage office and 15 per cent having to make a stop at a local hospital or doctor’s office.

“The results show that no matter what kind of traveller you are, certain situations cannot be avoided,” adds Mukherjee. “It’s often difficult to plan for unexpected circumstances while on vacation. Travel insurance is there to protect you against emergencies or unforeseen events; so it’s important for Canadians to realize the value in having travel insurance and purchase appropriate coverage before leaving home.”

RBC Insurance offers the following tips for Canadian travellers to consider:

  • Keep a photocopy of your passport, insurance policy and all other important documents in a safe place that is separate from the originals.
  • Provide family and friends with a copy of your itinerary. It will help reduce their worries and provide assistance if you get lost or delayed. You should also leave a contact number so they can get a hold of you in case of emergency.
  • Purchase travel insurance and ensure you understand what your policy does and does not cover.
  • Label luggage by putting your name and contact information on the inside and outside of the bag.

About the RBC Insurance Poll
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between December 15 and 20, 2015, on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 Canadians who claim they have traveled outside their home province within the last two years from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian travellers who fit this sample universe been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance®, through its operating entities, provides a wide range of travel, life, health, home, auto, wealth and reinsurance products and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance has more than four million clients globally. We are one of the largest Canadian bank-owned group of insurance companies, and among the fastest growing insurance organizations in the country. RBC Insurance employs more than 3,000 employees, and is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

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