It’s hard to believe that summer is already half over – didn’t it just get here after all those months of cold weather and snow? While it goes by quickly, we hope you’re enjoying every moment.
Mailey Rogers Group always enjoys hearing about the trips our clients have taken – many of you lead very exciting lives! In that spirit, we’ve decided to share a few our own travel goals, tips and stories. Read on, and please let us know what local and international adventures you’ve been on lately by commenting on Facebook or Twitter.
I recently returned from a trip to Italy with my husband. We stayed out of the big cities for this trip and stayed in Northern Italy; Piedmont, Italian Riviera and the Dolomites. It was perfect to be able to spend about five days in each area instead of having to pack up every other day and head to a new spot.
My husband convinced me it would be fun to rent a Vespa for one day, so we cruised some of the windy roads along the coast – he was right, it was really fun. Also, e-bikes are awesome! It was very hot and the e-bikes allowed us to cycle through wine country without suffering from heat exhaustion.
The wine was so good – there are no words. My favorite winery was Rizieri – a small family-owned vineyard. We stayed at the B&B on site and really enjoyed getting to know the family.
Aside from Italy, one of the best trips I’ve ever been on was a week-long canoe trip in Temagami, in Northern Ontario in the summer of 2014 – beautiful isolation, simplicity, adventure and a true escape. I’ve never returned from a holiday so restored. My best travel tip: whenever possible, I avoid checking luggage. I’m a pretty simple traveler, so less is more and I hate having to pay and wait for my luggage.
My dream destination would be anywhere in Italy that I could take a fabulous cooking course. My favourite trip to date was to Lyon, France – there were the most amazing restaurants and foodie experiences. (Yes, there is a theme here)
This year, I’ve been to Winnipeg for a large family reunion – always a fun time. Later this summer, I’ll be taking my son to UBC, where he’s beginning his studies. Once he’s settled, my husband and I are off to Spain on our own!
My best travel tip: If you are travelling with your iPad, you can save maps for use when you aren’t in Wi-Fi range. Just take a screenshot. Open up the map that you need, hold your Home Button (round button on the face of your device) and the On/Off button (on the side of your device) down at the same time. You will hear a click and then that screen will be saved in your photos and you can access the map when you need it. Also, do not forget that when you are using Wi-Fi on the road it is most likely not secure…even your hotel’s password protected Wi-Fi is probably not secure, so do not do any shopping or banking online.
Recently, I traveled to Chicago with girlfriends for a weekend – what a great city! Later this summer, I’m heading to Los Angeles, California and then driving out to Malibu for a “wine safari” to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding.
My most memorable travel experience was backpacking through Europe in my early 20s – a great learning experience as a “young” person. Everyone should do it at some point….it gives you such a different perspective on life, and exposure to other wonderful cultures.
We did a family poll recently on favorite holidays, and the winner was our 2012 safari in Botswana. Our travels within Botswana included visits to four different camps. We started in a very basic camp in the Kalahari Desert where we were taken to a location and asked to sit quietly on the sand. Soon a family of meerkats emerged from their underground home and sniffed us and indeed climbed up on our shoulders and head! On a night time drive at this camp we had a rare sighting of an aardvark.
We subsequently visited three other camps flying in small planes from camp to camp. The planes would always make a low pass over each camp’s primitive runway before landing to scare any animals from the area. These camps were located on the Okavango flood plain and had lush vegetation. One of our favorite safari drives had us watch a one hour standoff between a leopard and a family of warthogs. The mother warthog would slightly emerge from her den, sniff danger and retreat. The warthog lived another day after the leopard finally gave up!
Each of the camps we stayed in was small. We had communal dinners where we would meet ten to twelve interesting travelers from all over the world. We ended our adventure at Victoria Falls.
After a holiday, our family enjoys sharing and discussing our individual trip highlights. “What was your favourite activity or dinner?” is an example of how we start these lively conversations. So, in my contribution to this week’s travel blog I will use the same format:
Q. What was your favourite BC trip?
A. Haida Gwaii, including a Morseby Explorers four night zodiac tour to see the beauty of Gwaii Haanas. It was great to see our Mailey Rogers Group clients Suzanne Starr and Alvin Hamm at Rose Harbour. Thanks for this group photo on the zodiac, Suzanne!
Q. What was your most memorable European family holiday?
A. Il Boro, Italy. We stayed in this villa for two weeks on a three generation holiday. Simplifying the stay to just this one Tuscan medieval village was smart when travelling with seniors and children. We used the villa as a hub, and enjoyed day trips to Arrezo, Cortona, Florence and even an overnight to Venice. Consider this strategy to simplify your travels.
Q. What was your favourite South American family holiday?
A. The Galapagos Islands…especially the island of Isabella. There is such an abundance of wildlife you have to be careful where you walk so you don’t trip on a seal, iguana, penguin or blue footed boobie rookery! Travelling to the Galapagos was easy and it was unnecessary to use a tour operator….just ask us for our list of great properties, and activities. Snorkelling with the manta rays in the open ocean will always top the list of our family eco experiences.
Q. What was your favourite Asian holiday?
A. Anilao, Philippines. If you are a scuba diver the underwater beauty of this region is simply magical. Many thanks to Perfecto and Rita Quicho for hosting our recent stay in this little bit of paradise. Air Philippines now has direct flights to Manila, but we enjoyed our four night stopover in Hong Kong.
Q. What was your favourite African experience?
A. Hot air ballooning over the Serengeti in Tanzania, and trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park, Rwanda.
What’s your dream destination or best travel tip? Tell us in the comments! We’ve love to hear your adventures, or help you plan one of your own.