1-EI (1)Did you know in the 2006 Canadian Census an incredible 4.7 million Canadians said that they were of Scottish origin. At the time, the entire population of Scotland was just under 5.2 million. Wow…….there is a reason so many Canadians enjoy travelling to Scotland, or have it on their must see list!

Throw in the popularity of Outlander, and here is a country that is on many travellers’ list. If you are planning a trip to Scotland, here are a couple of important points to remember…..

Peak tourist season runs from mid-May through mid-September. City museums stay open year-round, but some tourist sites such as castles and historic houses close from November to Easter. You can get some excellent deals in spring and fall; weather can be pleasant and crowds are not as intense.

The Scottish climate is extreme; there is often a combination of all four seasons in a 24-hour period. Winter nights are very long, as are summer days. Summer temperatures can linger in the 60s, sometimes the 70s or 80s, with dry spells lasting a week or two. Winter sees lots of rain, snow depending on latitude, and icy, sharp winds. Spring and fall are on the cool side; again, expect rain.

Scotland is a country of beautiful scenery, and to really appreciate that scenery, ideally car rental is best. Barring that there are tours of all sorts, from those arranged by the locals which are small and personal, to those wishing to stick to a strict budget.

If you drive, remember that you are on the opposite side of the road- but no worries- a day should be about the time it will take to adjust. Roads can be extremely narrow- but you can get to places you would not otherwise see in a tour- plus your time is your own.

As well, consider getting a Britrail pass and exploring that way…….perhaps not quite the same freedom, but still a good way to see the country.

If travelling to Scotland is on your list, send me an email or give me a call- 226-927-4061.  I can research and book your trip to give you a most memorable experience!


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The Galapagos Trip

Whether the Galapagos has been on your list for a long time or a short time, young or old, this is a destination for everyone. The Galapagos Islands has something for everyone- wildlife (turtles, rays, seals, penguins to name just a few), birds (the boobies- blue footed boobies, red footed boobies, nazca boobies, frigatebirds, pelicans)- again just to name a few), sun and sea for snorkelling and diving, and even places to hike- despite the heat.

Who Would Enjoy This Destination?

On my recent trip, I saw families with children as young as 6, teenagers on school trips, elderly out of shape travellers, young travellers in their 20’s and 30’s, and of course lots of travellers like me who look for active vacations with lots of variety.

My Galapagos Trip

After much thought, I chose to go with G Adventures, about whom a client had raved about on a past trip……although she did not go on the same itinerary, I had travelled with G Adventures before and knew that that their reputation for service, variety, and the ability to give a top notch experience to their clients.  They did not disappoint. My client and I chose the Yolita and the following itinerary– one which is fairly unusual- many bays we did not see a single boat nearby. The ship itself had 8 cabins for 16 passengers- and a wonderful crew with a chef that performed wonders in a small kitchen.  The guide as well was extremely knowledgeable and experienced as a level 3 naturalist.

Exploring the Galapagos on just One of the G Adventures Itineraries- this was mine!

This was a trip for those that can hike for an hour and a half in the heat, snorkel for at least an hour, and do both of these activities at least once if not twice a day……believe me, at certain times of the year, it can be hot…….like in February and March!

Hiking in the Mid-Day Heat

Other Options

Not looking for a trip quite this active?  Consider travelling with Celebrity on their small ship cruises.  Although you will still have zodiac or panga landings, the level of activity is less.  Check out this link for more information on their itinerary.

On the other hand, don’t have the money for an upgraded Yolita tour?  Consider travelling on one of the classic G Adventure tours, or even on an Intrepid tour- they even have a tour which island hops (boating from island to island but sleeping on land- of course this entails only three islands as most are uninhabited with strict rules).

One of the less expensive options…….

Want to travel with your family?  G Adventures also offers something just for you…….and the kids will never forget this experience.  (Believe me, Disney World will pale in comparison in the long term!).

The Family Itinerary

All this to say that this was a top notch destination for me- the Galapagos Trip has now displaced South Africa has my number two destination…….the first- the Antarctica…….from 2015.  Hmmm- sea and sun there as well- but no warmth- but definitely similar!

For more information on this or any other destination, please do not hesitate to contact me…….

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