Friday St. Patrick’s Day Means More Time To Get Away

Friday St. Patrick’s Day Means More Time To Get Away

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St Patrick’s Day, and you don’t need to book a flight to Ireland either. There are plenty of North American cities within easy reach that celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, and, with March 17 falling on a Friday (and during March Break week for many Canadians), there’s no better time to go for the green. Whether you like a non-stop pub crawl, parades with floats, marching bands and step dancing, or wacky local customs – like the greening of fountains and rivers –this year’s Friday St. Patrick’s Day gives you a great opportunity to get in the fun of a destination celebration. To help you get your plans off the ground, the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the champions of simple travel search, have compared the fares and found 17 Affordable Last-Minute St. Patrick’s Day Getaways for Canadians with a line-up of green-clad fun from Montreal to Miami and Victoria to Halifax.

Below are details on just a few of the budget-friendly spots found with plenty of St. Patrick’s Day fun on tap, along with the average round-trip airfare for flights departing March 15-17:

  • Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. – $338 (CAD) – Whether you make Boston your sole stop for St. Paddy’s Day weekend or combine it with a side trip to nearby Providence, R.I., the main event is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston on Sunday, March 19. Weekend celebrations also include American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys’ concert at the House of Blues on March 16 and walking Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail.
  • Kelowna, British Columbia$453 (CAD)St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect holiday to hop on Kelowna’s craft beer scene. Swig adventurous flavour profiles at Kettle River Brewing, raise a glass of IPA at BNA Brewing Co., sample German-style lagers with the city’s new kid on the block Boundary Brewing, knock back Lebowski Lager from Freddy’s Brew Pub and salute the godfather of Kelowna’s craft scene, Tree Brewing Co. at their Tree Brewing Beer Institute. Don green garb and head downtown to partake in festive parties at Carlos O’Bryan’s, O’Flannigans, Fernando’s Pub and Doc Willoughby’s Public House.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. – $488 (CAD)Indianapolis, Ind., is so festive even the Central Canal is dyed green. But choosing just one event will be a challenge. Celebrate all things Irish in Indy starting with the fifth annual Blarney Bash at 11:00 a.m. on March 17. The massive block party features live music, tasty treats and drink vendors lining the boardwalk. Or head over to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11:30 a.m. There’s a block party there, as well, with entertainment, food and a beer garden from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More live music, Irish food and fun waits at the 20th annual Indianapolis Downtown Irish Fest beginning at noon on March 17. Cap off the celebration at the sixth annual St. Pats Bar Crawl on March 18.
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia – $498 (CAD) – To get your St. Patrick’s Day foodie fix in Halifax, join the best craic in town and indulge in Irish breakfast all day at Durty Nelly’s. On the 17th, enjoy dinner and performances by the Nova Scotia Irish Dancers and traditional music at the Festival of St. Patrick Dinner and dance the night away at the Saint Paddy’s Dance in Dartmouth. Drink for a cause at the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Party at Jenny’s Place, which supports the Northern Lights Lantern Festival.
  • Fort Myers, Florida, U.S. – $538 (CAD) – Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a laid-back beach vibe in Fort Myers, Fla. The annual downtown block party on Friday, March 17, offers music, food and drink from 4-10 p.m. Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub hosts one of the area’s most popular parties on Friday, March 17, with bagpipers, Irish dancers, corned beef and cabbage and plenty o’ beer. Prep for all this eating and drinking with Gold Coast Runners St. Patrick’s Day 5K Fun Run on Thursday, March 16. See if you can win the Who’s the Greenest contest by wearing the most green gear and dance to live Irish music post-race.

From 5K beer runs to film festivals and fancy balls, there’s no shortage of St. Patrick’s Day events that are worth the journey. To see our full list of picks for fun-filled St. Paddy’s destinations that won’t bust your travel budget, check out Cheapflights.ca’s 17 Affordable Last-Minute St. Patricks Day Getaways for Canadians at www.cheapflights.ca/news/affordable-last-minute-st-patricks-day-getaways.

About Cheapflights.ca, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating more than C$4 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from more than 120 travel businesses – for whom it has driven more than C$80 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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SOURCE Cheapflights.ca

5 Things All Travel Insiders Do Before Boarding the Plane

5 Things All Travel Insiders Do Before Boarding the Plane

By Kelsey Clark | MYDOMAINE

Traveling can be a stressful process. Between packing, getting through security, and soaring through the skies at a casual 35,000 feet, air travel can wreak havoc on both your body and your mind. To ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, Travel + Leisure created a pre-boarding checklist for the intrepid traveler. Don’t board the plane until you’ve checked the following five items off of your list. 

1. Get fast-tracked. As any experienced jet-setter knows, TSA PreCheck is well-worth the $85 (for five years, no less). As Travel + Leisure points out, it will expedite you through over 130 domestic airports, saving you countless hours in the process.

2. Buy some peace of mind: Don’t let a flight delay or cancellation ruin your vacation; Berkshire Hathaway’s AirCare insurance will actually reimburse you for a flight delay of more than two hours, if you miss a connecting flight because of a delay, or if an airline loses your bag for more than 12 hours.

3. Sign up for text alerts: Flight-tracking service FlightStats will hook you up with text and email alerts for your upcoming flight. Never arrive two hours early for a delayed flight again.

4. Make sure your carry-on is really a carry-on. With expanding zipper compartments and soft fabric, you can fit almost anything into a carry-on. Unfortunately, your carry-on may not fit into the overhead bin. Double check the size limits for carry-ons and avoid the hassle of checking a bag last-minute.

5. Do your research. Frantically roaming around an airport in search of your gate is anxiety-inducing; skip the sweat with the GateGuru app. It will help you navigate airport terminals at more than 200 airports around the world.

Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Press Release:

The Sunwing Travel Group is pleased to have been included within Forbes’ ranking of Canada’s 300 Best Employers. Considered to be one of the world’s leading sources of reliable business news and financial information, the global media company collaborated with online statistics provider Statista to survey over 8000 Canadian employees—81% full timers—working for companies with at least 500 people to rate their willingness to recommend their own companies on a scale of 1-10. Those who took part in the survey were consulted anonymously through several online access panels.

The news was welcomed by Stephen Hunter, President and CEO of Sunwing Travel Group, who commented. “We believe investing in our employees is vital and are extremely pleased to be included in this list. The Sunwing Travel Group has grown and expanded dramatically over the years and we attribute this growth and success to the passion and dedication of our team.”

North America’s largest vertically-integrated travel business, the Sunwing Travel Group employs almost 17,000 people internationally and has been included on the PROFIT 500 list for the last 12 years consecutively. The company’s headquarters in Toronto were recently extended and refurbished. Employees benefit from free parking, a subsidized staff restaurant and coffee house, together with a lunchroom to enable them to make their own meals if they prefer.

Employees also receive an attractive benefits package which includes medical and dental, and they can opt to join an RRSP matching program.  A new user-friendly HR portal was also recently implemented to provide employees access to their payroll, benefits, and many other features anywhere and anytime. Employees can take advantage of preferential rates on a number of services from insurance to gym memberships. In particular, Sunwing is the only airline to reward employees with confirmed flight passes for travelling to and from any of Sunwing’s destinations domestically and internationally. Staff members also receive discounted rates at certain hotels and resorts, as well as selected excursions. Friends and family members of Sunwing employees also benefit from travel promotions.

To learn about career opportunities, visit www.sunwingtravelgroup.com

About Sunwing Travel Group

The largest integrated travel business in North America, Sunwing Travel Group is comprised of Sunwing Vacations, the leading leisure tour operator in Canada; Sunwing Airlines, Canada’s premier leisure airline; Signature Vacations, one of Canada’s leading tour operators for all inclusive package vacations and Vacation Express, a growing tour operator in the United States together with the Group’s own travel retail businesses SellOffVacations.com and Luxe Destination Weddings. Blue Diamond Resorts is the Sunwing Travel Group’s own hotel management company, an innovative organization that operates popular resort brands like Royalton Luxury Resorts, CHIC by Royalton, Grand Lido, Memories, and Starfish, across the Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico; while NexusTours provides destination management services to individuals, agencies, tour groups, corporate businesses and tour operators.

SOURCE Sunwing Travel Group

Here are 7 ways we can make travel safer:

Here are 7 ways we can make travel safer:

A new report, Digital Borders, looks to a future in which eligibility to travel is based on the individual rather than the legacy system of a country of origin.

  1. More intelligence and data sharing. Secure, routine intelligence and data sharing between sovereign national governments and international security organisations on travellers is vital. While significant efforts have been undertaken to improve regular and timely information sharing, additional cooperation and collaboration among these groups is needed.
  2. Provide advance passenger information. The global aviation system and the efforts of all governments to strengthen aviation security are critical to enabling the movement of people across borders. At the same time, sovereign nations are dependent on each other to provide a common secure aviation environment, which is undeniably connected to each nation’s individual economic security. We thus need to drive forward the UN Security Council Resolution 2309 (2016) which urges nations to require airlines to provide advance passenger information to the appropriate national authorities.
  3. Make the traveller part of the solution. It’s time for governments to reconsider the role of the traveller. People on the move should be able to own their digital biometric profile and have the ability to push this secure data in advance to make their journey easier. Traveller participation will enable the wider use of pre-clearance and will make international border crossings more efficient.
  4. Utilise enhanced harmonised biometric standards. International organisations have established harmonised and routine sharing of traveller data, including biometrics for identity verification and travel eligibility, which have improved security and facilitated international travel and commerce between partner countries. To take this forward, national governments need to implement the international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and assist emerging economies in implementing those standards.
  5. Expand multilateral agreements. Based on the success of bilateral agreements to date, and on the current state of international security, governments should aim to expand established agreements multilaterally. These expanded agreements should incorporate the harmonised requirements for traveller data.
  6. Aim for a single application and a single fee. Many nations currently collect country-specific applications, with varying information requirements and separate application fees for travel security programmes. For multi-national implementation, there should be a single application to electronic travel systems with harmonised security requirements and a single cost-based fee with appropriate revenue sharing between participating governments.
  7. Move to a digital process. Over time, the entire process of border management used by most travellers should be a wholly automated, electronic platform, built on verified biometric data. Evidence is clear that e-visas do not undermine security; they facilitate border crossings for many travellers, reduce paperwork and allow public safety officials to direct more attention and resources to threat identification.

This article was republished courtesy of World Economic Forum.

Booking an obscenely cheap vacation package? It might be too good to be true

Read more

Self-made millionaire: Millennials, don’t travel-yet

CNBC Make it.

There are many benefits of traveling: getting recharged, inspired, bonding and connecting with others, and having a new respect for life back at home.

I want my daughters to experience new places and new people. Traveling is an education that can’t be bought at home.

When it comes to millennials and travel, however, I have a few words of caution.

When I was younger, I was not clear on why or what I was learning while I was at college, so I left my university with a piece of paper, debt, no clue about my future and very few skills. Many millennials today find themselves in a similar position. That is why so many young people are wandering without direction.

When you don’t know what you should be doing, it’s easy to put life on hold and backpack abroad staying in hostels and eating ramen.

What I want to do is inspire millennials to work hard now so they can travel the world in style later.

If you’re going to waste time at a job you hate trading hours for dollars, not trying to learn and grow, then you might as well go and waste a few months traveling around southeast Asia. Either way, you’re not building your future.

Young travelers party on a beach in the Indian resort of Goa.

Ami Vitale | Getty Images

The reason many millennials want to travel is because they have no purpose at home. They believe time off is going to allow themselves to somehow “find” that thing they know is missing in their life. But travel, while there are some benefits to it, does not guarantee you will find your purpose.

I took too much time off early in my entrepreneurial career and it almost derailed me.

I had traded in the obsession I thought I was chasing for hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, playing softball and weekend barbecues. But how much introspection does one really need before it’s time to get to work?

“I SUGGEST THAT MILLENNIALS PAY THE PRICE TODAY SO THEY CAN PAY ANY PRICE TOMORROW.”-Grant Cardone, self-made millionaire

It’s not all about the hustle. You must have skills. When you educate for skills it will result in money, and you can use skills every day to bring more value to the marketplace.

If you are a millennial and need to take time off, then take enough time off to fulfill your desire for time off. Just realize, your life will probably be no better at the end of it, and your financial situation will probably be even worse off than it already is.

If you focus on finding your purpose, if you end up getting fulfilled by what you do, you may find your desire for time off goes away.

We live in a society where it seems people have an entitled form of laziness to assume that we work five days and take the weekend off. Why is that? Forget about travel: Should a millennial who is working 40 hours a week making $32,000 a year even be sitting around all weekend taking it easy?

The acceptance of the idea that eight hours invested in your job is enough regardless of your financial position is a misunderstanding of epic proportions.

Twenty-seven-year-old Garston Tremblay, a developer, enjoys a bowl of cereal at his desk while at work at Rally Software Development.

Cyrus McCrimmon | Getty Images

I suggest that millennials pay the price today so they can pay any price tomorrow.

I can travel the world in my own plane today because I put in the hard work and became serious about my career when I was 25. Get obsessed with your purpose, and you’ll find that your travel plans can wait.

Comfort is the enemy of abundance. Don’t let travel get in the way of your freedom.

Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and sales training expert.

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