*This post is courtesy of Mark Johnston and the UsedEverywhere.com blog. The original can be found here.
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you’ve probably had the same experience that I’ve had: an extended period of airport fast food, in-flight junk food and cramped economy section seating can leave you feeling less than ideal upon reaching your destination. There’s no need to get graphic, but what I’m talking about is how, after a day’s worth of flying, you wind up feeling like a human version of puffed wheat. Your stomach is taught and distended and somehow your feet and ankles have managed to swell to twice their normal size.
It’s this one aspect of flying that made me want to avoid it at all costs, that is until I realized it was my own doing. For every trip that I went on, I used the excitement as an excuse to indulge in the array of junk food, fast food and alcoholic beverages every airport has to offer. As I learned, this is a big mistake but one that is easily corrected. With some proper food choices, adequate hydration and low-level exercise, a person can actually feel pretty good, both during-and-after a grueling day of flying. Here’s how:
1. Food Choices: skip the burgers, fries, apple fritters and caramel mochas in the airport lounge. Instead, agree to the following: your “food vacation” will only begin once you arrive at your destination. Agreeing to this, choose from the various offerings of nuts, fruit (dried or fresh), salads, and sandwiches (healthy ones! not salami on a bagel) available around the airport. Pairing a few of these items will provide more than enough nutrition for all the sitting to be done, plus they offer enough fibre to keep the digestion process moving along. When making these choices, check the labels and grab the items that are low(er) in sodium. This will help prevent the puffiness associated with water retention and decreased circulation.
2. Avoid Alcohol: booze is tasty, refreshing and takes the edge off of travelling, however, alcohol irritates the digestive tract along with the liver. It’s also dehydrating, which only promotes puffy feet and ankles.
3. Drink Water: this might seem obvious, but because airplanes are excruciatingly dry environments, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration messes up the digestive process and promotes the dreaded swollen ankles and feet. I’ve tested this out myself and over the course of a day’s worth of flying, drinking three litres of water had no noticeable effect on how often I needed to use the washroom.
4. Exercise: physical movement goes a long way in promoting digestion, helping regulate fluid build-up and circulating the blood that tends to pool in extremities. Instead of just sitting at the gate, use the waiting period before a flight to walk around the airport. To make this more enjoyable and less of chore, pre-plan to use this time period for productive purposes. For example, don’t buy your books and magazines before your trip. Buy them while you’re waiting for your flight. If you know that your vacation will involve alcohol consumption, make a point of walking around the entire airport liquor store, hunting for new types of spirits and the concoctions you could make. If you’d like to avoid spending unnecessary money, try exploring the airport for the purpose of learning the layout and services. Becoming an “airport expert” may just help you if you’re running late in the future. Lastly, because you’re moving around the airport for the sake of health, take the stairs and the long hallways instead of the escalators and conveyor belts.
While these suggestions might seem to take the fun out of flying, they can make a big difference in how you’ll feel when you arrive at your destination. For me, feeling fresh and ready-to-go when I finally get to, say, Puerto Vallarta, is far more important than supping and sipping on junk food and beer.
Do you have any tips or tricks that improve your air travel experience?
Summer is just around the corner and those vacation days are burning a hole in your pocket – but the thought of forking out your hard-earned dough is daunting. Instead of sitting at home with your feet in the kiddie pool, why not bid on more than $50,000 worth of trips, hotel-stays, tours and a variety of travel-inspired goodies, many available at a fraction of their retail value!
Best Western Premier – Prestige Oceanfront Resort: Pamper yourself with a one night stay in a premier ocean view room at the Best Western Premier – Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke, B.C. Rising above the Pacific, this resort offers breathtaking ocean and mountain views. $230 value. Starting bid only $70.
Il Terrazzo Ristorante: Situated in an old-town courtyard setting and offering a mix of Northern Italian cuisine and local seafood, as well as an internationally-acclaimed wine list, delight in a sumptuous feast at Il Terrazzo Risorante. Consistently voted Victoria’s best Italian restaurant! $100 value. Starting bid only $30.
Hastings House Country House Hotel: Enjoy a seven night getaway at Hastings House Country House Hotel, situated on Salt Spring Island waterfront. Pamper yourself with spa treatments, dine in their renowned dining room and enjoy daily breakfast and afternoon tea. $5,500 value. Starting bid only $1,650.
Oak Bay Marina: Sample the fresh tastes of the West Coast in a spectacular waterfront setting with a $100 gift certificate at the Marina Restaurant. The award-winning Marina Restaurant is a local favourite for delicious seafood, regional cuisine and Sunday Brunch. $100 value. Starting bid only $30.
Visit VictoriaCalling.com and the Victoria Calling tabs on our Facebook page to unlock exclusive travel deals for your next trip to Victoria including great room rates, discounts on flights and $100 CASH MONEY to spend in Victoria when you book a two night stay. (Yes, we actually give you a $100 bill at our Visitor Centre if you book through VictoriaCalling.com) Online, you will also be treated to first-person perspective video tours of quintessential Victoria experiences to get you in the mood for your trip! Plus you can enter to win $1,000 CASH!
If you are in Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle or Vancouver, be sure to check out Victoria Calling phone booths. See the video to watch them in action!
Down at the Visitor Centre, Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown tickets are on sale and the countdown is on to Thursday, February 28 when the event returns for its 41st year!
Locals and inquisitive visitors here for the duration of the event flock to us daily to grab their booklets of wallet-friendly bargains, and to make things easier for those who haven’t attended the event before, here is a quick rundown of what’s what:
When is it?
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3, 2013.
What is it?
Set up through Attractions Victoria, Be A Tourist is for everyone, but reminds locals that the awesome attractions we have around our city are for them as well!
Whether you love it, loathe it or feign indifference, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and with it comes a whole host of delightful and inventive ways to mark the occasion.
You could keep things simple and opt for a romantic meal, but where to go? With its red-brick walls and colourful array of local art, Ferris’ Oyster Bar & Grill is a great place to set the mood. Situated in the heart of downtown on Yates Street, their upstairs bar offers a more select menu with delicious plates to share, an impressive list of entrées and an abundance of locally-sourced oysters to sample. Cozy up on one of their sofas and enjoy!
If it’s a drink you’re after, Clive’s Classic Lounge is the place to go. Serving up vintage and modern day alcoholic delights using freshly squeezed juices and garnishes, they also have wine tasting menus and a lovely selection of bubbles too.
Maybe a spa day to unwind together could be just what you’re looking for? If you want to impress, The Fairmont Empress’ Willow Stream Spa (one of Condé Nast’s Top Resort Spas in Canada) has a selection of spa experiences for two in one of the oldest and grandest locations in Victoria. Whether your choice is a couples’ massage or a fun Ritual for Two, enjoy this pampering treat together.
If you’re feeling panicked about finding a more personal present, Market Square on Johnson Street is where you need to be. With an eclectic selection of stores – from local jewellers to vegan-friendly vendors – you’re sure to find a memorable and unique gift here.
To “say it with flowers,” wander down to Fine Floral Designs in James Bay for beautiful bouquets and fragrant arrangements. Cut roses in eight vibrant shades start at $69 and if you’d like to customize a bouquet, just give them a call ahead of time. Then, head to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub and grab a box of hand-rolled truffles for a sweet treat to complete your romantic gesture.
Not all of us are star-crossed lovers; as singletons there are still options if you fancy a Valentine’s night out. CANOE Brewpub has a singles night with a speed dating round and excellent drink deals.
Hopefully these ideas help to get the romantic sparks flying. Most importantly though, whether you choose to celebrate, indulge or ignore, enjoy!
For those of you who are looking to escape from home and spend your Valentine’s Day (or weekend) at a hotel or B&B, Victoria has the romantic remedy. From the opulent luxury of a five star hotel to the cozy confines of a quaint bed and breakfast, there is no shortage of options available and with most places offering exclusive Valentine’s Day specials, there is no better time to indulge. Sound tempting? Well then, here are some ideas:
The Sexy Sleepover Package at Abigail’s Hotel. Starting from $309, it includes one night’s accommodation, a “Sexy Amenity Kit”, local wine, evening appetizers, breakfast in bed and a red rose
The Empress Your Love Package at The Fairmont Empress. Starting at $399, it features one night’s accommodation in the Fairmont Room, an Empress Room breakfast, handmade chocolates, sparkling wine, couples massage and valet parking
Date Night Packagesat the Magnolia Hotel & Spa. Starting from $239, it includes a one night stay in a superior room, wine, deluxe continental breakfast and – depending on your preference – your choice of a $125 voucher at their pop-up restaurant Fifty Nights or a couples massage
Depending on your mood, the Naughty Packageor the Nice Package at the Inn at Laurel Point. Starting at $249 the Naughty Package features accommodation, a “Tickle Me Intimacy Kit”, breakfast in bed and a late check-out, while the Nice Package starts at $319 and features accommodation, a romantic bath kit, chocolates, sparkling wine, breakfast in bed and a late check-out
Spend a night at Dashwood Manor. With rooms available from $139 and many featuring double Jacuzzi tubs, you can’t go wrong with this charming B&B – recently voted as one of the Top 10 Romantic Inns of 2013 by BedandBreakfast.com
The Dip Me Inn Chocolatepackage available at all of Victoria’s Historic Inns (including Dashwood Manor). This package costs $279 (in addition to a two night stay) and features two dozen handmade chocolates truffles, sparkling wine, lots of roses, a $100 gift certificate to a gourmet restaurant and a 30min carriage ride complete with a glass of bubbly
Although surprises can be hard to plan and even harder to execute thanks to work schedules, chatty friends and unforeseen interruptions, with a little foresight – and some occasional help if need be – they can be pulled-off. The key is not going too overboard. The surprise doesn’t necessarily have to be the entire night; it can just be the specifics. Your significant other can be informed that you’re planning something special; they just don’t have to know exactly what that “special” entails.
Rearrange the furniture: Nothing screams “SURPRISE” like walking into a house you don’t even recognize (and no, we’re not talking about breaking and entering into someone else’s home for the evening). What better way to change up the atmosphere than by rearranging a few pieces of furniture. Perhaps try to achieve an upscale restaurant vibe by moving a couch into a different room and replacing it with a table and two chairs or set-up a romantic picnic with a blanket and a bunch of pillows. Or, for something a little simpler, consider setting-up a make-shift massage table and stocking up on some essential oils.
Lay out the appropriate attire: The night wouldn’t be truly special if you were both dressed in your usual pajamas and sweats, so it’s important to look good. Get yourself gussied up beforehand and lay-out an appropriate outfit for your special someone to don upon their arrival. If you want to go all-out consider buying them something new, but if not, dry cleaning their favourite outfit will do the trick.
Build a custom playlist: No romantic evening is complete without some appropriate background music. Don’t bother with the cheesy Barry White – unless that really is your thing – but instead opt for songs that you both enjoy, preferably ones that are fairly mellow and make sure the playlist is long enough to run throughout the entire evening. You’ll win bonus points if you include songs from special milestones or memories of your time together as well.
This morning we wrapped up our first one and Tracey Merrifield of Vancouver was chosen as the lucky recipient of a one night stay at the trendy Oswego Hotel and a $50 gift certificate to the O Bistro.
The chic boutique Oswego has been earning rave reviews ever since it opened its doors in 2010 and has been recognized by Trip Advisor, Expedia, and the Green Key Eco-Rating Program for its top-notch service, attention to detail and strong environmental stewardship. We’re sure that Tracey will love her time there!
With the pre-Valentine’s Day frenzy beginning very shortly and being located in one of the most romantic cities in Canada, we at Tourism Victoria are particularly passionate about this special day. To celebrate we’re about to kick off a series of posts designed to help you plan out an unforgettable night, or better yet, an unforgettable Valentine’s weekend.
Valentine’s should be about experiencing something truly memorable. After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers have wilted, it will be the memories that remain; and those should be special. Whether that “special” includes surprising your significant other with a lavish weekend getaway, keeping things low-key with an intimate evening at home or simply pampering yourself for one day, our posts will have you inspired. Here’s a little taste of what to expect:
♥ Essential ingredients for a romantic evening
♥ Advice from hotel professionals on how to “romance your room”
♥ Profiles of some of Victoria’s most romantic activities
♥ Ideas for DIY Valentine’s Day gifts
So please, stay tuned for plenty of romantic fodder from Tourism Victoria in the coming weeks and if you have any romantic ideas to share or want information about a certain topic, please comment below, let us know on Facebook or tweet us with the hashtag #VictoriaLoves.
Are you struggling to find the magic of the holiday season you grew up appreciating? Carolers at your doorstep, festive smells, the giving to those you love as well as to those lesser off–it may sound like a scene out of A Christmas Carol to some, but this is a reality in Victoria, B.C. Christmas is here.
As our gift to you,
we have created an interactive advent calendar with 24 doors that you don’t have to wait to open! Each door reveals a unique Victoria Christmas experience with an accompanying deal you can download. Free admissions to Christmas experiences, special deals on transportation or dining–it’s all here. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also put together amazing accommodation rates starting at $79 per night.
Here are a few highlights of our advent calendar for you:
Discover why Victoria, B.C., is the perfect holiday escape. At TourismVictoria.com/Christmas we’ve made it easy for you to get here, easy for you to stay here and easy for you to enjoy the holiday with us.