Flying with your kids, this winter? Checklist for Air Travel

Flying with your kids, this winter? Checklist for Air Travel

  • Double-check your itinerary before your trip
  • Bring the proper photo Identification. Get passports or check ID expiry dates before your trip
  • Inform your airline of any special needs, including diet restrictions
  • Be aware of any rules or regulations that apply to travelling with children
  • Be aware of any rules or regulations that apply to travelling with pets
  • Be aware of customs regulations if you plan to fly outside of Canada
  • Pack valuables or necessities in your carry-on baggage, not your checked bags.
  • Check with airline for any rules, regulations (including size limitations) or fees that apply to carry-on or checked bags.
  • Put tags on all of your bags to help you quickly find your bags at the baggage claim or if they get lost but be sure to safeguard personal information from wandering eyes.
  • Check in 24 hours before your flight, print boarding passes at home or at self-service kiosk.
  • Arrive at the airport on time: 60 minutes ahead of time for a domestic flight and 90 minutes ahead of time for an international flight.
  • Check flight status – be aware of any delays or changes to your flight schedule

Travelling with Children Checklist

The general rule is to pack light for a flight, that is, unless you are travelling with children! It is not easy for a child to sit quietly for hours at a time. As their parent or guardian, it is up to you to provide them with enough entertainment to make it to the end of flight.

Here are some items you may need or want to bring with you on the plane:

  • A car seat
  • A stroller (check with your airline for related policies)
  • Diapers (enough for the flight and a few extra)
  • Wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Change of clothes
  • Bottles (enough for flight plus 2-3 extra)
  • Powdered formula (in premeasured container)
  • Snacks
  • Sippy cup
  • Bib
  • Fork/spoon
  • Any medications
  • Favourite soft toy
  • New small toys
  • 1-2 favourite books
  • 1-2 new books
  • Movie player and movies
  • Child friendly headphones

Source: Transport Canada

Banff, Alberta recognized as Best of the World destination in 2017

Banff, Alberta recognized as Best of the World destination in 2017

Banff, Alberta has been named to National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Best of the World list which highlights 21 must-see places to visit in 2017. Announced Thursday, Nov. 17, Banff is the only Canadian destination named to the list and is on the magazine’s cover with a photo of the iconic glacial-fed Moraine Lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks within Banff National Park.

The 21 destinations were chosen by Traveler editors. The full list can be found in the December/January 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, available on newsstands starting November 29, and online now at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips-2017/.

“It’s no secret that 2017 marks Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration of cool. But we love Canada for little reasons as much as landmarks and milestones. So our story is about how an outward journey to Banff leads to an inner sense of happiness. The magic comes from person-to-person interactions with big-hearted Canadians, from First Nations community leaders to horse-packing cowboy guides to park rangers to some of the country’s newer citizens, who hail from foreign lands but find a happy home in Canada. We aimed to honor the inclusive feeling of Canada, a warm embrace that brings a human-scale equivalent to those majestic landscapes,” said George Stone, National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief.

“I am thrilled Banff, Alberta has been named to National Geographic Traveler’s Best of the World list,” said Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Alberta Culture and Tourism. “This is a prestigious honour and we could not be more thrilled with the recognition of our province. Alberta is a place of incredible scenery, people and spirit. We wholeheartedly agree that Banff is one of the world’s must see destinations. It is one of many locations in the Rocky Mountains and Alberta that offers visitors a great vacation experience. Congratulations and well done, Banff and Alberta!”

“This is amazing recognition for Banff, Alberta and Canada. The Canadian Rockies are an iconic, breathtaking destination that offers travellers truly spectacular moments,” says Royce Chwin, CEO of Travel Alberta. “We couldn’t be more proud to be part of National Geographic Traveler’s prestigious list, especially heading into Canada’s 150th anniversary.”

“We are excited to share our destination with the world and are proud to be recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a place you need to visit in 2017,” said Leslie Bruce, President and CEO of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. “We hope that visitors will come and enjoy the array of incredible experiences in Banff National Park all year long. Each season brings a unique range of activities and breathtaking scenes.”

“Parks Canada is a leader in natural and cultural tourism and we are all very proud of this recognition. Banff National Park is the birthplace of Canada’s national park system and an exciting four season destination. In 2017, for Canada’s 150th anniversary, admission to all national parks will be free and I encourage all visitors to discover what makes each of Canada’s 46 national parks unique and among some of the best destinations to visit in the world,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

National Geographic Traveler (six issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 16 international editions. The National Geographic Travel Digital Group shares its inspiring and authoritative digital content, such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps with its @NatGeoTravel community of over 20 million. To learn more about each destination visit:  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips-2017/.

About Banff National Park
Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park, founded in 1885, and is renowned for its Rocky Mountain beauty, wildlife and recreational activities. To ensure this is a place where nature flourishes and evolves for all time, Parks Canada strives to protect the region’s wildlife and environment for the enjoyment of future generations. The mountain town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise are revered by skiers, snowboarders, campers, hikers and nature lovers around the world. Authentic Canadian cuisine is met with mountain inspired wellness and accessible adventure, making it an attractive destination all year round. Much like its neighbouring destinations in Canada, Banff and Lake Louise are diverse, accepting, and awe-inspiring in their own right. No matter what season, skill level, or age, Banff National Park is a place that can be enjoyed by all. For more information about Banff and Lake Louise and Banff National Park visit www.banfflakelouise.com and find us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

About Alberta Canada
Located in the heart of Western Canada, bordered by the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the west and prairies to the east, the province of Alberta is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. The picturesque mountain towns of Banff, Lake Louise, Canmoreand Jasper are revered by skiers, snowboarders, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts for their awe-inspiring terrain, jaw dropping vistas and abundant wildlife. From exploring Calgary and Edmonton, lively cities brimming with music, culture and nightlife, to discovering dinosaur fossils in the mysterious Canadian Badlands, visiting Alberta promises to be an experience unlike any other. For more information visit www.travelalberta.com and find us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Cascade Mountain over Banff Avenue in Banff National Park, Alberta. Credit: Paul Zizka

SOURCE Travel Alberta

Zika, global instability causing Canadians to rethink travel plans, buy more insurance

Zika, global instability causing Canadians to rethink travel plans, buy more insurance

Health concerns and global instability are causing Canadians to rethink their travel plans, according to a new survey.

According to the survey released by the Travel Health Insurance Association (THIA), 13% or respondents had altered their travel plans due to civil unrest or violence and 14% had changed plans due to Zika concerns. The survey also noted these reasons are also leading Canadians to buy more travel health insurance.

According to a Conference Board of Canada study, 78% of Canadians bought travel health insurance in 2015, up from 74% in 2014.

Alex Bittner, the former president of the Travel Health Insurance Association said in an email to Postmedia Network that despite the hike, misconceptions still exist when it comes to health insurance coverage.

“A common misconception is that our government will contribute a lot for us if we have an emergency outside of the country,” said Bittner. “This is wrong; our provincial healthcare plans contribute only roughly 6% of the bill. Another misconception is that travel insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. This is also wrong. As long as the traveller is stable (as per policy definitions) then they will be covered even if they have an emergency for an illness that existed before they travelled.”

The survey also highlighted concerns for pregnant travellers. It’s interesting to point out that 90% of respondents to the survey didn’t know that travelling in the last nine-weeks of pregnancy does not cover the person insured and that a pre-term infant is also not covered, only the mother would be, according to THIA.

THIA president Will McAleer says “everyone deserves a carefree vacation” which is why the study’s findings are especially significant in today’s changing global climate.

“Canadians need to know their policies, know their health and know their trip before departing,” said McAleer. “An increase in cancelled trips highlights the importance of understanding one’s policy.”

The THIA has tips and recommendations about travel health insurance and concerns on its website, at thiaonline.com.

Get Your Boarding Pass Ready: Canadian Travel Trends For The Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, tis’ the season for travel planning and vacation booking. To understand when, where and how Canadians will be handling the cold, today KAYAK shared a temperature check on top travel destinations and holiday habits for winter 2016/17.

As the world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK has curated and analyzed Canadian holiday searches that foreshadow national travel trends for the festive season:

  • Canadians are living for more than just the weekend. 1
    • In fact, Canadians are taking an average of 10 vacation days –three days longer than fellow US and UK travelers.
    • A similar pattern to 2015/16, KAYAK anticipates Canadians will be taking this time between December 1, 2016 and January 9, 2017.
  • Bon voyage – International holiday destinations are on Canadians’ radar more than ever before.2
    • With a 50 per cent year-over-year growth in international versus domestic destination interest, Canadians are taking their travels further this winter.
    • Despite Fort Lauderdale taking an early lead as the most popular holiday destination, Canadians have less interest in keeping close to home with a yearly decrease in the number of US and Canadian cities found on Canada’s top winter destination list.
      • Compared to last year at this time, interest in US travel is down by 30 per cent while destinations like London are gaining significant momentum.
  • Canadians say no to coats this holiday! Sun-filled destinations are calling to Canucks like never before.2
    • Canadians are looking to catch more rays with new locations like Cancun and Honolulu making the list of top winter destinations in this holiday travel forecast; while cities like Las Vegas and New York are trailing in traveler traction.

“Last year, Canada proved to be a procrastination nation as KAYAK’s data revealed Canadians were a few weeks behind travelers in the US, France, Denmark and the UK,” said Debby Soo, KAYAK Travel Expert. “We always recommend planning in advance as starting earlier could save Canadians some extra cash – and headaches. Using tools like Price Alert can also help travelers stay within budget this season.”

To further paint predictions for this year’s holiday travel, KAYAK has unveiled city-specific insights into some of Canada’s major hubs2:

  • ALOHA VANCOUVER
    • Over the past three winters, Honolulu has taken the top of Vancouver’s holiday travel list, and is on its way to a four-year sweep, ahead of choice destinations like Hong Kong and Dubai.
  • EDMONTON HEADS TO ‘THE SIX’
    • While Hawaii once topped Edmonton’s holiday destination list, this year Toronto is leading the charge ahead of warm-weather cities like Cancun, LA and Orlando.
  • WINNIPEG LIKES ITS HOT
    • Winnipeg residents are seeking a break from their notoriously cold climate, with hot locations filling each spot on their top travel destination list so far including Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu and LA.
  • CALGARY LEAVES THE COUNTRY
    • Without one Canadian location found on their top destination list yet, Calgarians are seeking international adventure withHawaii as their choice destination for the fourth consecutive year, and with Tokyo finding its way back to its top 10 list.
  • OTTAWA HEADS SOUTH
    • So far it seems Ottawa residents are heading to the Sunshine Coast, with Fort Lauderdale (four years running!), Orlando, Tampaand Miami as their top winter travel destinations.
  • TORONTO SEEKS NEW SCENERY
    • With New Delhi and London (for the third year) topping their most popular destination list so far, Torontonians are seeking far-flung locations, including Hong Kong, Costa Rica and Paris.
  • MONTREAL LONGS FOR LOVE
    • Consistency is key for the belle province! Over the past four years, Paris has been the top choice for Montreal winter (l’hiver) travelers, with Fort Lauderdale consistently coming in at number two, followed by Costa Rica and Honolulu.

In addition to discovering best flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages on KAYAK.com, Canadian travelers can turn to Price Alerts that signal cost drops and KAYAK Explore that helps plan on a budget. For more tips on where, when and how to best travel this winter, visit KAYAK.com.

ABOUT KAYAK
KAYAK is the world’s leading travel search engine. The company’s websites and mobile apps allow people to easily search hundreds of travel sites at once for flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages. KAYAK processes 1.5 billion annual searches for travel information and operates more than 40 international sites in 20 languages. KAYAK is an independently managed subsidiary of The Priceline Group.

1 Methodology: Search dates are from June 1, 2013August 28, 2016 YTD for each corresponding year. All Travel dates: December 1, 2013  – January 9, 2016 for each corresponding year.
2 Methodology: Search dates are March 1, 2016September 1, 2016 with travel dates December 1, 2016January 9, 2017.

SOURCE KAYAK

Airlines cancel hundreds of flights as hurricane hits US

Airlines cancel hundreds of flights as hurricane hits US

Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights for Thursday and again Friday as Hurricane Matthew pelted the Florida coast with high winds and heavy rain.

The Fort Lauderdale airport shut down on Thursday morning, and further north the Orlando airport expected to do the same by nighttime.

Before 2 p.m. Eastern time, flight-tracking service FlightAware.com reported that 1,500 Thursday flights within the U.S. had been scrapped, with the largest numbers at Fort Lauderdale and Miami. American Airlines, which has a major hub in Miami, was the hardest-hit carrier, followed by Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways.

FlightAware said airlines had already cancelled 1,300 more flights scheduled for Friday. Delta Air Lines said cancellations were likely to spread to coastal Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday.

Airlines often cancel flights before storms hit to prevent passengers from being stranded at airports and to keep their planes in position to recover after the bad weather passes.

Many airlines were letting passengers alter their plans and delay travel for a few days without incurring the usual fee for changing a ticket, which can be $200 for domestic flights. Some, including United Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, also said they would waive the fare difference for the new ticket.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday, the last flight out was a Southwest jet to Baltimore, which just beat the 10:30 a.m. curtain.

Orlando International Airport officials tweeted that they expected the airport to close to commercial traffic by 8 p.m. and not reopen until Saturday. As the storm closed in, workers tied down jet bridges, lowered cranes in a construction area, and put away vehicles and other equipment.

While airport closings and flight cancellations made it hard to reach Florida, coastal residents from Florida to South Carolina headed north and inland to escape the Hotels in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported brisk business.

Amtrak suspended passenger rail service through Friday between Miami and New York and the auto train between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. A line that normally runs from New York to Savannah, Georgia, only went as far south as Washington.

Earlier in the week, several airports in the Caribbean closed, forcing airlines to cancel flights there.

Cruise lines rerouted ships this week to avoid the storm, which in some cases will mean more days at sea or skipping some Caribbean ports.

 

Travellers in US change plans ahead of Hurricane Matthew

NEW YORK _ Travellers along the East Coast are preparing for delays and cancellations as Hurricane Matthew heads toward the U.S.

Airlines are preparing to suspend flights from Florida up through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, depending on where the hurricane strikes. Cruise lines are shuffling ship itineraries and many frantic vacationers are looking at insurance policies to see if they are covered.

Most airlines are letting fliers change to a later flight without penalty. In some cases, the passenger would have to cover a difference in fare.

As for hotels, most rooms can be cancelled without penalty up to 24 hours in advance. Car rentals typically don’t have any cancellation penalties

Cruise lines aren’t cancelling sailings but are re-routing many ships to avoid the storm.

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