GO WITH A PRO
YOU GIVE PLENTY OF LEGROOM TO YOUR 36% BUDGET OF YOU SAY YOU’LL SPEND MORE THAN $5,000 ON YOUR NEXT TRIP OUTSIDE CANADA
Victoria and Vancouver Island were winners for snowbirds who are not keen on heading south of the border. The Maritimes along with Newfoundland and Labrador also scored high.
Seventy-four per cent of you expect their vacation outside Canada to be more than one week, with many of you listing one month to three months as optional. It’s no wonder then, after Europe, far-flung international destinations such as New Zealand and Australia came up quite often. Ireland, the U.K. and Mexico were also popular for respondents.
There’s just no keeping some of you down. Here’s one intrepid traveller’s experience: “It is the European trip that we were scheduled to take last May, then in September and now rescheduled to May 2021. When we postponed, we scheduled a road trip to P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, hoping the borders would reopen by mid-September. But they did not, so we travelled by car within our home province of Ontario.”
And then there are those of you who choose to practise patience – 29 per cent said they do not expect to be able to travel until spring or summer. As one of you explained, “If it becomes possible to travel safely (vaccine, etc.), I would like to again visit family in Europe and resume being a snowbird. Until that time, I shall stay within my travel bubble to keep myself and others as safe as possible.”
And for some of you, travel is an absolute no-go: “I will only think about travel when COVID-19 is under some control.” Follow our daily COVID-19 updates at everythingzoomer. com/pandemic.
1. THE ROMANCE OF THE OPEN ROAD
Each province and territory has its epic drive, and most of us have heard of the Seato-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, the Icefields Parkway in Alberta and the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. But according to Destination Canada, the not-so-travelled but equally beautiful routes include the Dempster Highway in the Yukon (A), the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan (B) and the Interlake Region in Manitoba (C).
Clearly, COVID-19 is retooling how we travel as RV vacations are becoming more popular as a way to explore the country and avoid crowds. According to the RV Business Association, North American wholesale orders for new RVs in 2021 is up approximately 20 per cent, or just over 500,000 vehicles, from 2020’s approximately 425,000.
Likeacruisebutinyourownbubble on land, a mobile home allows you to visit many destinations and only unpack once. Roughing it takes a luxe turn, points out Klaus Gretzmacher, VP of tourism at CanaDream RV. “You can still sleep under the stars – simply pop open the skylights – but without pitching a tent.”
Considering an RV vacation? Destination Canada advises to make sure you’re aware of your destination’s pandemic protocols and, most importantly, be patient. Many places, including restaurants and attractions, have limited hours, revised entrance rules and practices. And while the risk of disease transmission is low in the open air, maintain physical distancing whether you’re hiking or shopping. Last but certainly not least, don’t rush. Because it’s all about how you want to spend your time.
Here are a few more tips from Gretzmacher.
Don’t stress Never driven an RV before? Companies such as CanaDream will set you up with the right vehicle for your party size and driving ability and walk you through every detail before you go. ( cana dream.com) Research campsites along your route using trip planners Go RVing Canada ( gorving.ca), the Canadian Camping and RV Council
( ccrvc.ca) and the CanaDream Club app all cover the country extensively with vetted suggestions and itineraries, as does the Canadian Automobile Association.
For more tips on RV travel in Canada, go to caen-keepexploring. canada.travel/canada-nice#canada map. And if you’re looking for armchair travel inspiration, go to everthingzoomer.com/roadtrips for our collection of stories.
Blame it on Schitt’s Creek, but the roadside motel is on the rise. This throwback has a lot going for it – nostalgia for the good old days when the family piled into the station wagon, mid-century modern appeal and parking lots that are big enough to accommodate cars and RVs. And in almost all cases, there’s little need to be in indoor public spaces, meaning minimal contact, as motel rooms typically open directly outdoors. In Ontario’s Prince Edward County, the womenowned The June Motel, and Drake
Motor Inn (an outpost of The Drake Hotel, above), have been booked solid, prompting The June to open a second location in the province’s cottage country’s Sauble Beach. Juniper Hotel in Banff and
Hotel Zed in Kelowna both feature that vintage vibe and play up some of the most gorgeous views in the province.
#ZOOMERTRAVELS INSPIRATION 2. THE RICHNESS OF OUR INDIGENOUS CULTURE
Satisfy your passion for supporting local by trying an Indigenous brew or bottle, like one from the brandnew Red Tape Brewery. A familyrun Indigenous-owned brewery and tap room created by Sarabeth and Sean Holden in Toronto’s east end, Red Tape features smallbatch brews – That Was Easy Pale Ale launched the shop – and a “brew for you” ethos that creates bespoke custom brews to celebrate the milestones in life. When the couple’s son was born, for example, the Holdens whipped up a Celebration Saison bottled Champagne-style. That’s a cork worth popping. redtapebrewery.com
In the West, Nk’Mip Cellars is North America’s first Indigenous owned and operated winery. The grapes are nurtured into awardwinning wines at vineyards on the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve lands – 32,000 acres in B.C.’s south
Okanagan (registered under the Indian Act as a reserve in 1877). The band’s guiding principles of innovation while maintaining the connection to and respect for nature produces VQA wines, from Winemaker’s Series to the premium Qwan Qwmt reserve. Order online or do yourself one better and, when you can, visit the home of Nk’Mip and experience the heritage while taking in the Osoyoos semi-desert landscape, surrounded by lakes and mountains. nkmip cellars.com
For a deeper experience, immerse yourself in the hospitality of the First Nations from South Indian Lake (O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation) at Big Sand Lake Lodge, the only lodge located on an ancient glacier esker, deep within the subarctic wilderness of Manitoba, more than 500 miles north of Winnipeg. Here, fishing enthusiasts can cast a line in some of Canada’s most prized fishing waters. Take the Canadian Trophy Grand Slam challenge and try to land all four sport fish in a single visit: northern pike, lake
OF RESPONDENTS AGREED they need to consult with a travel agent to get the best information. And when actually booking, 26 per cent of you will use a travel agent.
It may be worth your while as most agents do not charge their clients service fees. They earn those through booking with travel companies.
And when stress reduction is key, they’re a good choice. Take this example: “Having to return from Portugal last April, our travel agent looked after finding our return tickets, while our friends were frantic trying to find their own return tickets. We will always use a travel agent.”