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 www.ontariotravel.net, 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.

QUOTES

“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

QUICK FACTS

  • 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.

LEARN MORE

If you do not wish to receive electronic messages regarding OTMPC news, please e-mail otmpc.news@ontario.ca indicating “unsubscribe”.

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 www.KAYAK.com/summertravelhacker and search flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages by visitingwww.ca.KAYAK.com.

For full methodology on the Travel Hacker Guide, visit www.KAYAK.com/summertravelhacker.

ABOUT KAYAK
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 http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/10-year-lookup/

SOURCE KAYAK

March Break 2016: How to avoid an airport meltdown

March Break 2016: How to avoid an airport meltdown

By Eric Foss and Manmeet Ahluwalia, CBC News

It’s been a long, cold winter in many parts of Canada, and as spring approaches, many lucky Canadians have made plans to escape to warmer climates.

March Break, which for many Canadians starts next week, is one of the busiest times of year for Canadian airports, and while frequent fliers have a pretty good sense of the do’s and don’ts of travel, many Canadian vacationers aren’t aware of the rules and new services available at international airports across the country.

March Break is one of the busiest times of year for Canadian airports. (Eric Foss/CBC)

Arriving at the airport with the wrong travel documents or items that are not approved for airline travel can quickly change a dream vacation into a stressful and frustrating experience.

So before you imagine yourself walking barefoot on a sandy beach, you might want to reacquaint yourself with some useful airport travel tips and Canadian Customs rules.

1. Before you arrive at the airport

Consider using your airline’s online check-in, which opens 24 hours before your departure. Online check-in will secure where you’re sitting – you may even have a better choice of seat if you haven’t already reserved one. As well, you can avoid long check-in lines the following day at the airport.

Screenshot your boarding pass and save it as a photo. That way, you have an image of your boarding information on your smartphone in case wi-fi is spotty or too costly to access.

Also, check to make sure your flight is still departing at the scheduled time, especially on days when the weather is in question.

If you share custody of your children and the other parent is not coming along, or if you’re travelling with children that aren’t yours, it’s recommended you carry a consent letter to provide authorization to show Canada Customs when you re-enter the country.

2. Arriving at the airport

Make sure you arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight — at least two hours before a domestic flight and three if you are going international.

Know what choices you have for parking. The closer to the airport, the more expensive it can be. If you decide to leave your car at the airport, make sure you find the right location for the duration of your trip. Public transportation is often cheaper and more reliable.

Familiarize yourself with the airport’s facilities. Toronto’s Pearson International, for example, has many restaurants, a gym facility and places of worship. Modern airports have changed dramatically in the last decade, offering many different services.

Make sure check-in bags are under weight and within size allowances. Overweight bags will incur additional charges, or you will be required to reduce the weight on site. If you decide to carry your luggage onto the plane, make sure those bags are within the airline’s baggage allowance for size and weight — every airline is different.

If you haven’t checked in online or require boarding passes, consider using the self check-in kiosks. Located near the airlines’ check-in counters, these are great time savers allowing you to view your itinerary, select seats and print boarding passes.

3. Going through security

Make sure any sharp objects — including files and scissors — are in your checked bags. See the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority site for the latest on what is allowed through security.

Be prepared to remove your shoes, belt, watch and anything that has a substantial metal content. Bins are provided to keep loose items together.

Located near the airlines’ check-in counters, self check-in kiosks are great time savers that allow travellers to view their itinerary, select seats and print boarding passes. (Eric Foss/CBC)

If you’re carrying a laptop, remove it from its case or bag and place that in a separate bin.

Keep your ID and boarding pass available to show security screeners.

Jewelry and valuable items should be removed before entering security.

4. Before you board

It’s not a bad idea to eat something before you fly. Many airlines charge for food items and the selection may not be to your liking.

5. Boarding your aircraft

Most airlines will start boarding a flight at least 30 minutes before takeoff, even earlier with some of the larger aircraft.

Delays in boarding affect all passengers and can result in a missed travel slot for the aircraft. Make sure you board when the flight is announced and listen for your row. Families with small children, as well as people with disabilities, get prioritized boarding on most flights. 

6. Finding your bags

Once you have disembarked from your plane, follow the signs to Baggage Claim. When you arrive, check the monitors to find the carousel that corresponds to your flight number.

Have your bags, entry documents and ID ready for inspection if you are coming off an international flight. Be prepared to show items that you purchased to customs officers if asked.

7. Canada Customs

A passport is the preferable piece of identification for entry into Canada. Other acceptable identification includes an enhanced driver’s license, a birth certificate with accompanying photo ID (such as a regular driver’s license), a permanent resident card, a citizenship card or a certificate of Indian status.

Souvenirs can be a fun way to remember your trip abroad, but certain goods are prohibited from entering Canada, including some food, plant and animal products. Be aware of what goods are prohibited from entering Canada by consulting the I Declare brochure.

Whether you are leaving or returning to Canada, you must declare if you are carrying more than $10,000 Cdn.

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

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