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Travel: The Ultimate Personal Development Tool

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man sitting on a mountain while traveling
With the explosion of websites, podcasts, and conferences teaching you how to improve your life (this one being no exception), it’s clear many of us want to become a better version of ourselves. We all want to be the person we imagine we could be if given just the right circumstances.

We want to learn more languages.

We want to be less awkward in social situations.

We want to eat better.

We want to read more.

We want to work out more.

We want to travel more.

We want to be more active.

We want to be more independent.

The list goes on and on!!

So often we go through life without really thinking about where we are heading. One day turns into the next and all those things we desire to do and become seem to pile up while we look for the perfect day to start.

Over the last year, I’ve had my ups and downs and have been working hard to make changes to my life. It takes a lot of work to change. Even one or two changes to change your life requires concentrated effort and persistence. But to make a hundred changes? That is biting off more than you can chew. No one has the mental energy or time to do that.

That’s why most new year’s resolutions fail. We create a long list of things to accomplish in the new year but, in the end, most of us give up, overwhelmed by all we want to do.

So when people tell me all the ways they want to improve their lives, my advice to them is to travel for one simple reason:

Travel solves a plethora of self-improvement goals in one fell swoop.

Picture this: You’ve booked a flight to Kiev. You don’t speak Ukrainian or Russian. And, to top it off, you’re going alone. You land in Kiev. Now, you have to navigate signs in a different language, ask people who probably don’t speak your language well for directions (maybe pantomime and point at maps indicating where you want to go), get to your hostel, make friends in the dorm (no one wants to be alone), and get around and sightsee the city during your stay.

By the time you leave, you’ve learned how to communicate even when you don’t speak the language, figured out how to navigate an unknown place, learned to turn strangers into friends, learned how to be independent, and solved a slew of problems that came up as you made your way around a foreign country.

During one trip, you got better at communication, problem solving, languages, social situations, and improved your confidence in your ability to do new things and handle unexpected situations.

Why? Because you had to. You had no other choice.

And you didn’t even know you were doing it.

People always ask me about the moment I realized I “changed.” While there are moments in your life that ripple through the years, for me, there was no single instance that I can point to that turned me from a shy introvert who never traveled to someone able to plop down in any city, find my way, and turn strangers into friends. It was a process that happened slowly over time.

Before I set out on my first trip around the world, I had never really lived outside my state, hadn’t traveled much, had a small group of friends, and had only been in one relationship.

I was a nerdy introvert. While the old parts of me are still there (I’ll still gravitate towards my friends at a party rather than talk to someone I don’t know), it’s become a lot easier for me to talk to new people when there’s no one familiar around. While I still run through all the “what ifs” when I get on a plane to a new destination, when I land I hit the ground running (and wonder why I was ever worried in the first place).

Traveling forced me out of my routine. It helped me become independent, take more risks, be ok with change, get better with people, learn more, and be more versatile.

Travel is not some panacea. The baggage you have comes with you on the road. There is no place far enough away to escape your problems. But what travel does is give you the space to be someone else and improve your life. It allows you to say “What would the new me do?” and then do it – without worrying that someone you know might notice. It puts you into situations that force you to better yourself. It won’t instantly solve your problems — only you can do that — but at least, on the road, you have a clean slate to try.

As the new year approaches and you create your list of resolutions, cross them all off, and just write one down: to travel alone more.

It is the ultimate way to become a better, more confident you.

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Travel

Super Secret Summer Travel Deals

 Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

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The temperatures are rising, your kid’s school is winding down and it’s almost time for your yearly summer vacation, but how can you afford it? Not to worry, we have the super secret deals on all your summer vacation needs. Whether you prefer a beach destination, outdoors adventure or swanky five-star hotels, we got the hook up. Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

Cheapest Destinations

Of all the popular destinations this summer we found the three with the best deals and most enticing perks.

Canada

This is the season to check out Canada and see what this great country has to offer. Not only is Canada beautiful and widely overlooked on vacationer’s travel lists, but this is the country’s 150th anniversary so all of their National Parks are free to visit. Yes, I said FREE. You can check out what these amazing Canadian National Parks have to offer, like the pure unbridled natural beauty of Banff National Park for free.

Canada’s dollar is also worth less than the American dollar, so your money goes a long way up North. On average you will save 20-30% on everything because of the favorable dollar price.

 

Yellowstone

If you want to stay in the states, Yellowstone National Park is a great way to go. See the epic geysers and all the other natural wonders that prehistoric park offer.  Head up to Wyoming and check out the vast 3,500 plus square miles of untouched nature and see some serious wild animals. Expect bears, wolves, elk, bison and antelope, just to name a few.

 

Fort Lauderdale

If fun in the sun is your vacation of choice, Sunny Florida is a great way to catch some rays and swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean. Ft. Lauderdale is a much cheaper destination than its pricey neighbor, Miami. Get the same weather, same powder white sandy beaches and all the beach amenities for half the price of nearby hot spots. You can make day trips to Orlando for Disney or Universal Studios and check out the awesome Everglades National Park too.

 

Best Airline Deals

If you are looking to fly on vacation saving big on flights can help with your overall budget. Check out these airlines that are seriously cutting prices this summer and offering up great deals.

Norwegian

If you are looking for awesome deals check out Norwegian Airlines, who offer the best deals to Europe right now. The Scandinavian company is hooking customers up this summer so check them out if you want to go to Europe.

 

 

WOW

Offering the cheapest deals to Iceland and parts of Europe, WOW Airlines is hurting other airlines with their bottom basement prices. It’s a great time to fly to Europe with these super cheap deals.

 

Side Notes:

 

Avoid Sunday July 9

The busiest travel day this summer will undoubtedly be Sunday July 9th, the Sunday After July 4th. This day will be a nightmare on the roads, in the air and in terminals at airports and train stations all over the U.S. Avoid travel on this day if at all possible.

As always Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest and least busy days to travel so book your flights and trips on these two days.

 

Unlock some serious summer savings and turn the vacation of your dreams into a reality.

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Air Canada Announces the Gift of Travel Campaign

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Air Canada provides travelers with a unique opportunity starting this December. The company’s Gift of Travel initiative is certainly worth looking forward to.

Air Canada announces a new holiday campaign called the Gift of Travel. It’s the company’s new initiative that celebrates different actions done by several heroes in the community who are providing selfless possibilities to fellow Canadians.

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted our freedom to explore the world and travel without increased border restrictions.  Air Canada’s Gift of Travel campaign aims to help procure funds for various organizations in Canada. The initiative also provides avid travelers with easier travel passes, enabling them to reach their dream destinations conveniently.

“Canadians from across the country have shown remarkable resilience, solidarity and generosity in the face of COVID-19 and we were inspired hearing stories of people who dedicated their time and energy to caring for others, making a memorable impact on other people’s lives. We are proud to launch this campaign with our Gift of Travel video featuring heartwarming stories of community heroes and share the gift of travel through a message of hope and optimism from our employees as we all look forward to brighter days ahead,” shares Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources, and Communications Officer at Air Canada. “We are also proud to continue our long-standing effort through the Air Canada Foundation in supporting communities through its inaugural Gift of Travel auction and the annual Aeroplan Matching Campaign,” she adds.

The same Gift of Travel campaign highlights with different inspirational stories about Air Canada personnel as they do community work, providing assistance related to the fight against COVID-19. These stories can be accessed via the company’s social media handles and website.

On 1 December 2020, the company will launch its Gift of Travel auction. The said auction will highlight rare aviation implements including the opportunity to fly or operate an aviation simulator. It will also feature a ride-on plane for kids and even a chance to have dinner with the company’s most celebrated chefs.

All proceeds of the said Gift of Travel auction will be given to various Canadian charitable groups and organizations that work toward better health for the youth and children.

Also, the Gift of Travel campaign will cover the yearly Aeroplan Matching Campaign week celebrations. This will feature the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program, an advocacy to help sick children to get the medical help they need.

Through the Air Canada Foundation, the charitable arm of the company, Air Canada specifically aims to help Canadian children and youth in their medical and health needs. The Foundation also provides financial assistance and in-kind aid to various charitable organizations in Canada.

The company’s Gift of Travel campaign also highlights a Gift of Travel pass that allows convenient travel to one of the six designated locations. This pass will be valid until April 2022 and will provide the bearer with utmost flexibility.

The COVID-19 outbreak has heavily affected Canadian’s capacity to travel wherever and whenever they want. With Air Canada’s Gift of Travel, however, more opportunities to travel—and even to help others—becomes a vivid reality.

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Travel

Best Ways to Save $ on Summer Travel

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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Summer travel season is upon us and if you haven’t started the booking process yet, there’s still time. We travel in the summer because it fits into our schedules with work time off, children’s school vacations and of course the weather is just right. Summer is also most destination’s peak season, meaning savings are rare but with our help, you’ll find them. We searched for the best ways to save big on your summer travel plans without missing out on all the fun. Pack your bags because with our help you’ll be able to afford any dream vacation.

 

Be Flexible

One of the best ways to save is being flexible with your travel plans. Picking the cheapest flights, hotels and attraction tickets can help make ant trip more affordable. Being flexible doesn’t just deal with time; it involves destination, activities and mode of travel. Often times a resort town will have neighboring towns with better deals and cheaper activities and accommodations. Maybe a train or driving is a more affordable mode of transportation. The point is being flexible with your plans and you can save big, meaning you can do and enjoy more on your trip.

 

Tues/Wed

If you don’t already know, Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly so if you are going for a week, try flying in and out on these days. These are generally the slowest travel days so you win twice. You’ll fly for cheaper and the airport and airplane will be less crowded.

 

Book Early

It may be too late to book early for the beginning of summer but you still have time to book trips near the end of summer and still get good deals. The more time in between the time you book and the time you travel equals savings.

 

Price Drops

Most major travel sites will offer price drop guarantees when you book early, so if the price drops, you get refunded the difference. These are free or a few dollars and are definitely worth it.

 

Membership Discounts

We are already paying for memberships like AAA or AARP, so why not take advantage of the incredible savings these organizations offer. Check with your respective organization and inquire about travel deals. You will be surprised by how large these discounts can be.

 

Book Online

Many resorts or airlines offer deals for booking online, so take advantage of these lurking online deals. They are often hard to find so do some snooping and see what kind of savings you can unearth.

 

No Rental Insurance

If you are renting a car, never get the added insurance; you are already covered by both your insurance and the credit card you used to pay. These rental car companies will lie and tell you that you need the added insurance, don’t fall for their trickery.

 

Pack Food

If you want to save big by doing almost nothing, simply pack some snacks. Food on the go is so much more expensive than bringing snacks, so save big by doing very little.

 

Package Deals

Search for package deals where they combine airfare, hotels and other amenities into one price. These are often huge deals and make everything seem so seamless. These sites are everywhere so do your research and find the best ones.

 

Deal Sites

Get daily deals from coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer incredible deals for a fraction of the original price. We find huge savings on theme parks and hotels almost everyday.

 

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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