Why I Travel

May 08, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

New Zealand changed my life. It was my first adventure all on my own, I was 20 and wasn’t necessarily heading in the right direction, or really in any direction for that matter. Not a shining moment in my life, but one that made me pick myself up, dust myself off and journey on. New Zealand was the beginning of that journey. One that would, unbeknownst to me at the time, change my outlook on life and help me create lasting friendships that are still going strong some 16 years later. Read More >

Family Friendly Travel

April 19, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

So, you want to take your family on a trip, but don’t really want to take them back to Disney World or land or where ever else Mickey Mouse has lent his ears. It’s not that Disney is a bad place, in fact, it’s the happiest place on earth! It’s just those lines and that heat, and maybe you’ve already done it and don’t want to elbow your way through the crowds just so your child can get Minnie’s autograph. Maybe it’s peak season and the thought of pushing your way to find the end of the line of It’s A Small World is making you sweat. There is another way! We’ve canvassed our consultants for their best family-friendly travel options and have come up with the following list to help you start planning your next family adventure. Read More >

Taking the Road Less Travelled

April 10, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Over-tourism is a concept that not many people realize is an epidemic to certain areas. Travel trends are changing – destinations, activities, even how one gets to and from the destination is changing. There is a lot of focus on studying the economic and ecological pros and cons surrounding certain areas, but we all still have so much to learn. What is attractive to adventurers one season (or even a few years), may be a forgotten place in the next season. And with offsetting our carbon footprint being ever-present in at least the backs of our minds, travelling anywhere is a little hard to swallow sometimes. And you may be thinking, why is a travel agency writing about over-tourism? Well, because tourism is our life. Travel is our life. And if the places we love are destroyed by over-tourism, that hurts our business, our love.

To bring home this point, the Philippines just announced that they are closing the popular tourist destination of Boracay for six-months because they are concerned about the sustained environmental damage to the beaches and clear blue water over the last 40 years, according to CNN. Last year alone, the island was visited by over 1.5 million tourists. Boracay is home to about 17,000 people, many of whom rely on these tourists for their livelihood. The island will be closed to tourists on April 26, 2018.

We are not saying that visiting these popular destinations needs to cease and desist, but maybe an exploration of the lesser travelled road will provide you with the quiet solitude you require to rejuvenate your body and soul and let you experience a different place than your fellow travellers.

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This is What a 104 Year Old Pipe Organ Sounds Like

March 21, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Imagine yourself sitting amongst strangers on metal benches, that were surprisingly comfortable, waiting in anticipation for someone to come to the stage that is laid out before you in an open-air pavilion. The architecture that surrounds you is pristine, built in 1914, and looks like someone has taken great care in preserving the history of this beautiful venue. That’s because they have.

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Ten Unconventional Romantic Places You Should Go

February 14, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

mouse figurine holding envelope and heartsAlthough the month of February contains a celebration dedicated to showing how much you love someone, it is not necessarily the only month that one can show this emotion. There are 11 other months in the year that are available to show that special someone how much you care about them. That being said, here is a list of ten destinations, in no particular order, that we think are unconventional romantic locations. Read More >

Our Top Five Places to Watch the Northern Lights

February 08, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Have you ever wondered how those bright dancing lights are created? They are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. In the northern hemisphere, they are called Aurora borealis; in the southern half, Aurora australis.

The colours can appear as green or pink, but have also appeared as shades of red, yellow, green, blue and violet. They can look like patches in the sky, scattered clouds, light streamers, arcs and rippling curtains. But I’m sure we can all agree, that no matter what colour they are and what they look like, they will always be a magical sight. Read More >

Sundogs

February 01, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

This morning Manitobans woke up to a temperature of -25oC (-13oF), with a windchill of -37oC (-35oF). So cold. Not as cold as it can be or has been, but still cold enough that it freezes your face almost the instant you step outside. Your eyelashes freeze together and even though you’re wearing a base layer and lined pants, your thighs feel like they are getting cut up by tiny ice particles. It sure is pretty though. Read More >

Birds of a Feather Stop Over Together

January 22, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

Stopping over in Iceland is a popular way to get a glimpse into what the country has to offer on your way to other destinations such as London or Amsterdam. It allows you to get that one extra stamp in your passport and although it’s not always enough time to explore as much as you want, it still allows you to say, yes! I’ve been to Iceland. But humans aren’t the only ones to use this North Atlantic island as a place to rest their weary feathers.

Even if you’re not a bird brain or a budding ornithologist, Iceland has some spectacular bird life that both live and stop over to eat, rest, and raise their brood. In no particular pecking order, here are some pretty amazing feathered friends you can find while visiting, or stopping over, in Iceland. Read More >

A Year in the Life… Almost (Why Travel Agencies Exist)

January 09, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

I’ve worked at The Great Canadian Travel Group almost a year now. And although that is not a long time, I have definitely learned a few things that I didn’t know before working here. It’s amazing what kinds of information can be soaked up if you just listen and ask questions. There is a lot of information floating around, even when you don’t think it’s important, it may come in handy one day. Like how to make a proper pot of coffee or that when representatives from various travel companies come calling, they generally bring treats like chocolate or cupcakes. Travel consultants like food. Read More >

Day three: Last Day on the Northern Frontier

November 28, 2017 | Andrea Rempel

I woke up at 6:09 according my phone clock. I pack up what belongings I have taken out and head off to the shower. A push of the button gives you 2 minutes of hot water. It’s their way of conserving the water that needs to be brought in (and out) from town.

I got dressed and put on my fuzzy slippers and make my way to the lounge car. Not many people are awake yet, so I find myself a table and a cup of coffee and enjoy the views outside the window. As people trickle in, the volume gets louder and the space becomes full of people. Breakfast of french toast and bacon is served. And coffee. There is always coffee.  Read More >