Best reasons to travel in the fall

shutterstock_115225654Autumn is upon us, but that’s no reason to stop travelling. The fall season is one of the best times to hit the road, and here are a few reasons why.

1. Good weather
Just because the calendar says autumn doesn’t mean the weather automatically turns frosty. This sweater weather means you can bundle up in your favourite scarf or hoodie and enjoy the last few months outside before winter sends us indoors.

2. Festival season 
Many places host fall festivals that often revolve around the harvest, so just think of all the delicious food and wine you could be enjoying.
grape fall harvest

3. Fall colours
Regions like eastern Canada and the Rockies are especially beautiful at this time of year. As the leaves on the trees change colour and create an array of reds, oranges, and yellows, take advantage of nature’s perfect photography backdrop.

4. Crowds are smaller
The lower demand for travel during fall means lines are shorter and you won’t be shoulder to shoulder with other tourists. Children are back to school so the travellers you will meet tend to be couples looking for some peace and quiet. Your boss will also be happy to give you the time off because no one else is travelling.

5. Prices are lower
We saved the best reason for last! Fall is the shoulder season, sitting between the peak summer season and the busy winter season. The slower demand in fall means many airlines, hotels (Sandman included) and attractions charge lower prices in an effort to drum up business.
autumn leaves

See you this autumn!

Do You Steal Shampoo and Soap From Hotels?

hotel shampoo1Written by Travel Junkies

I have a confession to make. You know those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotions and those little single use bars of soaps that you find in hotel rooms? Well, we take them. All of them! We don’t go to the extremes of raiding the maid’s cart, as others may do, but if it is in the room, we take them. Of course, bathrobes, slippers, and towels are off limits, as that is just plain stealing. But those little bottles and soaps, we will clean them out.

While some of you may think “What’s the big deal, we do the same thing,” others may be shocked at our criminal behavior. I read an article awhile ago that called the act of taking those little bottles and soaps criminal and was appalled that anyone would commit such a heinous crime. But we see things a little differently.

hotel soapSome people actually collect those little bottles and soaps, while others take them just to take them. I believe the people that take them just to take them are wannabe kleptomaniacs that don’t want the guilt of stealing more tangible items. So why would we risk hard prison time over the taking of these little bottles of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and soaps? Because we use them! That’s right, we actually use shampoo and soap and they are the perfect size for travel and camping. So instead of having to buy those overpriced trial sized bottles in the store, or buying small empty bottles and dealing with the hassle of having to refill them and spilling the contents all over the place, we just stick with the little hotel bottles and mini bars of soaps.

Now the big moral question regarding the taking of these little hotel shampoos and soaps is if in fact it is truly stealing, or do they want you to take them? I think the answer is they want you to take them. The little bottles and bars of soap are little mini billboards that you will see each time you use them. They are usually branded with the hotels name and logo, and not that of a skin and hair care company. I believe they want you to take them and so each time you see that little bottle you can think, “Wow, I had a great time at Hotel XYZ and I should go back there.”

Travel Junkies are a family of three from Portland, Oregon who sold their house, quit their good jobs, and left Portland November 1, 2012 to travel around-the-world for two years with their daughter.

 

Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever

Pack this, reserve that. Travelling comes with tips and tricks that don’t always save you time or money. That’s all about to change.

Vacation like an expert with Distractify‘s amazing travel tips.

1. Keep loose chargers and cables organized with a glasses case.

Keep%20loose%20chargers%20and%20cables%20organized%20with%20a%20glasses%20case.
2. Use straws to carry travel-size amounts of skin care products.

Use%20straws%20to%20carry%20travel-size%20amounts%20of%20skin%20care%20products.
3. Put a dryer sheet at the bottom of a suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh.

Put%20a%20dryer%20sheet%20at%20the%20bottom%20of%20a%20suitcase%20to%20keep%20your%20clothes%20smelling%20fresh.
4. Use a spring from an old pen to protect chargers from bending and breaking.

Use%20a%20spring%20from%20an%20old%20pen%20to%20protect%20chargers%20from%20bending%20and%20breaking.
5. Skip the long lines for airport bathrooms.
It may seem like common logic, but the first bathroom in the terminal is the most crowded one. Use the next one to skip the long waits and save precious time.
Skip%20the%20long%20lines%20for%20airport%20bathrooms.
6. Use a binder clip to protect the head of shaving razors.

Use%20a%20binder%20clip%20to%20protect%20the%20head%20of%20shaving%20razors.
7. If you forget your wall plug, charge devices through the USB slot on a TV.

If%20you%20forget%20your%20wall%20plug%2C%20charge%20devices%20through%20the%20USB%20slot%20on%20a%20TV.
8. Roll clothes, instead of folding, to save tons of baggage space.

Roll clothes, instead of folding, to save tons of baggage space.
9. If you have clothes that need to be folded, use tissue paper to keep them from wrinkling.

If%20you%20have%20clothes%20that%20need%20to%20be%20folded%2C%20use%20tissue%20paper%20to%20keep%20them%20from%20wrinkling.
10. Use a pill container to keep jewelry organized and untangled.

Use%20a%20pill%20container%20to%20keep%20jewelry%20organized%20and%20untangled.
11. Scan important documents before leaving for your trip.
In the event of theft or misplacement, it comes in really handy to have extra copies of your passport, identification cards and flight itineraries that you can easily access on your smartphone or tablet.
Scan%20important%20documents%20before%20leaving%20for%20your%20trip.
12. Speed Up Going Through Security
When going through security, stuff your small belongings like wallets, keys and phones into your bag before placing it on the conveyor belt. It eliminates the need for separate bins and saves you time.

Speed%20Up%20Going%20Through%20Security%20
13. Tuck your soap and wash cloth together with this easy-to-fold pouch.

Tuck%20your%20soap%20and%20wash%20cloth%20together%20with%20this%20easy-to-fold%20pouch.
14. A shower cap is an easy way to cover the bottoms of shoes.

A%20shower%20cap%20is%20an%20easy%20way%20to%20cover%20the%20bottoms%20of%20shoes.
15. Put smartphones in airplane mode to save battery and charge faster.

Put%20smartphones%20in%20airplane%20mode%20to%20save%20battery%20and%20charge%20faster.
16. Keep your headphones from tangling by winding them around a binder clip.

Keep your headphones from tangling by winding them around a binder clip.
17. Keep hair clips tidy with an empty Tic Tac container.

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18. Sit in the seats near the wing of the plane for the least turbulence.
The seats along the wings of a plane usually have the least amount of bounce when flying because it has more structural support.

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19. Keep your travel-size containers and refill them, instead of buying new each time.

Keep%20your%20travel-size%20containers%20and%20refill%20them%2C%20instead%20of%20buying%20new%20each%20time.
20. To use Google Maps offline, type “OK Maps,” and the visible area will save for future access.

To%20use%20Google%20Maps%20offline%2C%20type%20%u201COK%20Maps%2C%u201D%20and%20the%20visible%20area%20will%20save%20for%20future%20access.
21. Cram the most into your carry on.
Vacuum sealed bags can save you a ridiculous amount of space in your carry on. Makes the need for checking a bag obsolete.

Cram%20the%20most%20into%20your%20carry%20on.

22. Instead of buying water at the airport, bring an empty bottle along and fill it up after passing security.

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23. When reserving airline seats for two people, get the aisle and window.
If no one takes the middle seat you get a full row, and if someone does, just ask to switch so you can sit next to your travel partner.

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24. Wait to buy airline tickets until 3pm on Tuesdays.
Typically this is when the big Airlines reduce their fares.

Wait%20to%20buy%20airline%20tickets%20until%203%20p.m.%20on%20Tuesdays.%20
25. Certain times are better for using the airplane bathroom.
Since most airlines don’t let you stand in line for the restrooms, the best times to use it are right after the plane has leveled off and 15-20 minutes before landing.

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26. Get the Wi-Fi password for many establishments by checking the comments section of FourSquare.

Get%20the%20WiFi%20password%20for%20many%20establishments%20by%20checking%20the%20comments%20section%20of%20FourSquare.
27. Use your GPS when travelling abroad.
If you’re travelling abroad without an international plan, turn on airplane mode and turn off data to use the GPS without connecting to the Internet. Simply load the Google map of the area before heading out the hotel, and you’ve got a fully functional map to navigate the area.

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28. Skip the wait at the baggage claim.
Even if it’s not, marking your bag with a fragile label leads to gentler handling by airport staff. Also they’re often loaded on the top of the other luggage meaning it’s one of the first to come out at the baggage claim.

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29. Remove other tourists from your vacation photos.

Remove%20other%20tourist%20from%20your%20vacation%20photos.
30. Use ATMs instead of airport currency exchanges to save money.
Many ATMs will offer much lower rates than what you can get from the airport currency exchanges.

Use%20ATMs%20instead%20of%20airport%20currency%20exchanges%20to%20save%20money.
31. For bonus points, travel with a power strip and be the airport hero.

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32. As a treat to yourself, send yourself a postcard from each day of your travels. 
It’ll be a nice treat to come home to and make the transition back to reality easier.

As%20a%20treat%20to%20yourself%2C%20send%20yourself%20a%20postcard%20from%20each%20day%20of%20your%20travels

Most importantly… keep travelling!

Written by Distractify, a leading entertainment company in the mobile era. Through an understanding of content creation and social sharing, Distractify publishes some of the most popular content on the Web, exploring culture, lifestyle, human insight, and humor. Since launching in October 2013, Distractify has reached over 200m global readers.

The Maple Leafs turn red and yellow. And we’re not talking about the hockey team.

autumn“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
as I have seen in one autumnal face” – John Donne

Autumn is on the way. The world is starting to organize into a winter sleep. The trees strip off their leaves after a glorious display of colour. The days get shorter as evening descends on us earlier and earlier each day. And every once in a while, there is a hint of snow in the air.

There is no need to be upset about the end of summer. With the return of sweaters and hockey also comes the fall harvest that presents many delicious fruits and vegetables. And since Sandman has many hotels located in Western Canada, resulting in close proximity to farms and tasty produce, we’ve compiled the top 10 reasons to love autumn and the top 10 healthiest fall fruits and vegetables. Enjoy!

Ten reasons to love autumn:

  1. Breathable air – No more being stifled by the heaviness of humidity in the air. Autumn brings that crisp, cool air.
  2. Open windows – curtains blowing, hair whipping, papers flying!
  3. Hockey – It’s time to trash talk your best friends. No matter who you cheer for, everyone can agree they dislike the Leafs. Unless of course you’re from Toronto, and then you dislike everyone else.
  4. Warm blankets –There’s nothing like a soft, warm, fluffy blanket! Who doesn’t want to curl up with a blanket and their favourite book?
  5. Pumpkins – Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin tarts, pumpkin carving…
  6. Hot Apple Cider – Warm and spicy and feel free to add a little nip of something extra, if you’d like.
  7. Halloween – It’s a magical time. Time to dress up in something silly or sit together at night and watch scary movies with the lights off.
  8. Spiced Wine – A lighter wine for the spring and summer is nice, but mulled wine and port in the evening help to take the chill off on those cold autumn nights.
  9. Fall colours – Fall has the most impressive colour palette out of all the seasons. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Eastern Canada during the fall, you really get to experience a true Canadian autumn.
  10. Thanksgiving – The eating holiday of all eating holidays! Turkey, gravy, apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing.

fall-veggies1If you’re still not convinced, maybe the talk of food will help. Even though the days of bright berries, crisp salads, and succulent summer fruit are behind us for another year, there are delicious replacements on the way to help you keep your healthy eating habits.

Autumn is a season of deep green, dark yellow, and brilliant orange, and these colours mean the fruits and vegetables are rich in disease-fighting nutrients. The more colourful the fruit, the better it is for your health.

Here are our top 10 picks for the most delicious and healthy autumn fruits and veggies.

parsnips1. Parsnips. These might look like white carrots, but they have a delicate, sweet flavour. While they don’t contain the same high amounts of vitamin A as carrots, parsnips are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Look for smooth and firm, small to medium sized parsnips for the best quality.

2. Turnips and swedes. A member of the mustard family, turnips – known as swedes in Scotland and Ireland – have a white flesh with a tough outer skin that ranges from yellow to purple, and a more bitter flavour than potatoes. They are a good source of vitamin C and offer 2-3 grams of dietary fibre per serving. Like their cousins, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, these cruciferous vegetables contain the potent phytochemical sulforaphane, which has been shown to protect against cancer, especially breast cancer.

Sweet Potato3. Sweet potatoes. Despite its name, the sweet potato is not related to the potato. Potatoes are classified as tubers, while the sweet potato is a storage root. Good-quality sweet potatoes will be firm, smooth-skinned and tan to light rose colour. They are high in vitamin C and provide three grams of fibre per serving. Sweet potatoes are an ideal choice for people with diabetes, since they are considered a low glycaemic food. This means that the carbohydrate in sweet potatoes is released slowly, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.

4. Pumpkins. These are more than just Halloween decorations. The pumpkin’s bright orange colour is a dead giveaway that it’s loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene, as well as being rich in vitamin C and folate. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protect against heart disease. Even the seeds are packed with nutritional value. In fact, they are only second to peanuts in protein content and a good source of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

winter squash5. Winter squash. While summer squash tends to be tender and moist with edible seeds and rind, winter squash develops hard rinds and the tough seeds and fibrous centre are inedible and must be scooped out. Winter squash is one of the few vegetables that do not lose quality after picking. In fact, during storage, the beta-carotene (vitamin A) content increases, and they contain more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. They are also a good source of heart-healthy nutrients, folate, and fibre.

6. Clementines. These are the baby cousins of the Florida or navel orange and are also known as mandarin oranges. They can be quite difficult to distinguish from tangerines, as they are both bitter orange hybrids, but the main difference is that clementines are often seedless.

7. Apples. Apples contain flavonoids, some of the most potent antioxidants around. Several studies have shown that people who eat a diet that’s rich in flavonoids have a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks as well as several types of cancer.

pears8. Pears. Pears are a high-fibre food, with a medium pear providing four grams of fibre, which is equivalent to one and a half cups of brown rice. Most of the fibre is also of the soluble kind, which can help lower blood cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control.

cranberries9. Cranberries. If you are looking for berries that ripen in the autumn, look no further than cranberries. Not only are they a healthy, low-calorie fruit, they also play a significant role in preventing urinary tract infections and reducing the risk of gum disease, ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. Cranberries contain anthocyanins, the heart-healthy antioxidants, which are also found in tea and red wine, and the compound that gives them their colour. Only about 10% of the commercial crop is sold fresh – mostly in September through to December. The rest can be found as juice, dried, or as cranberry sauce.

figs10. Figs. These often-overlooked fruits are full of flavour and their chewy texture makes them a tasty, nutritious addition to your diet. Figs are high in fibre (5 grams per 1½-ounce serving), which is more dietary fibre per serving than any other common dried or fresh fruit. They are also a good non-dairy source of calcium – the same amount of figs and milk provide equal amounts of calcium.

What are you making for dinner this autumn?

Canada Celebrates Rivers Day: A True Canadian Success Story

 

It may not be a holiday with presents, chocolates or flowers and you certainly won’t find a card for it in the stationary aisle. Yet, it is one of the most important days of the year because it’s about our future.

Children release trout into a river with founder, Mark Angelo, for World Rivers Day

Founded by a BC man’s lifelong passion to preserve and protect the world’s rivers, BC Rivers Day & World Rivers Day are among the most impactful events of the many holidays celebrated annually.

The day is a testament to the history of rivers and it highlights the impact that these natural tributaries have on their surrounding communities and ecosystems. It also raises awareness about the need to educate communities about river preservation because these waterways are the lifeline to a delicate and diverse array of animals, fish and plants – not to mention humans.

The story behind the day is important too, especially to Canadian history because it involves a BC-born environmental pioneer who had a simple love for his water. This man is Mark Angelo, and it was his initiative that got the event noticed. His persistence eventually turned Rivers Day from a local event to a provincial one, and thereafter a national and international event.

Mark Angelo

Based on a proposal that Angelo submitted decades ago, the day officially became recognized by the BC provincial government in 1980 – to be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of every September.

From there, Angelo continued his mission by asking 100 B.C. municipalities to hold specific Rivers Day events. Then in 2004, thanks in part to efforts by the United Nations (who declared 2005 – 2015 the ‘UN Water for Life Decade’), Rivers Day went international.

Fast forward to 2012 and Rivers Day is now celebrated at most major rivers around the world. From participants picking up litter from the Thames River in England and a shoreline cleanup in the Ganges River in India, all the way to Russia, where a group will be out on the rivers identifying illegal dump sites. In Poland and West Africa educational programs will be launched about the value of rivers, and in Canada, the event will make a big splash around the Country, with celebrations and educational seminars in many cities where our hotels are located.

It’s a pretty amazing amount of activity…all started by one BC man with a simple mission and a whole lot of tenacity – the makings of a true Canadian hero.

 

For a list of BC Rivers Day events click: www.orcbc.ca/pro_bcriversday.htm

 

To see Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites in participating Rivers Day locations, click: http://www.sandmanhotels.ca/