Coasting: 5 Must Stop Cities On The California Coast

5 Must Stop Cities on the California Coast
Photo: Rian Castillo/Flickr CC

As road trips go, it’s safe to say that taking a journey along the Pacific Coast Highway on the California coast is one of the best around. Not only do you get to benefit from the glorious California sunshine, but the 1000 kilometres or so that you get to explore is a natural paradise too.

Incredibly scenic, the California coast drive sports some of the most amazing coastal views the USA has to offer. But you’ll also spot smaller villages, forests, and a vineyard or 10 along with way. If you were to take your time, the drive is around ten hours not stop. But if you’re hoping to make a few stops along the way, then here are five that you should think about going with.

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Long-Stay: Your Guide To An Extended Vacation

How to plan for a long-stay trip
Photo: Kirill Zakharov/Unsplash

Going on vacation is one of the most exciting times of year for a lot of people, planning a long-stay trip might be the highlight of a lifetime. The chance to have some time away from work and the other stresses of life is a wonderful one, and most people won’t want to waste it. Of course, though, despite wanting to get the very most out of their time off, most people won’t push their vacation to the limits.

By going somewhere long-term, you get the chance to explore it like never before. To help you out with this sort of adventure, this post explores some of the stages you’ll need to go through to make your long-stay vacation happen.

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2017 Travel Thanks: Five Beautiful British Columbia Trips

Give thanks for pool time in Kelowna. 5 trips in BC to say thanks for
Living it up at the Hotel El Dorado, such a lovely place.

This time of year begins the North American tradition of giving thanks. In Canada we give thanks during Canadian thanksgiving in October, in the USA Thanksgiving takes place in November. Canadian Thanksgiving which usually means road tripping to family, wearing our cutest (but stretchiest) outfit and gorging myself on a minimum of three turkey different dinners (#twosetsofparents) stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie. This year we’re staying home and not making the 23 hour journey by car or flight -to-Europe X3 plane trip home. We’re enjoying the fall weather, hopefully will go mushroom picking (my new obsession) and eat waaaay too much pumpkin pie. 

I thought I’d round up some travel thanks for 2017 so far. I wrote earlier this year about the positive effect of saying ‘thanks daily’ and developing an attitude of gratitude, but to be honest I’ve fallen off the bandwagon lately. So why not start again in a super public way? Here goes, some travel thanks for the last few months.

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Driving with Kiddo: 6 tips for tear-free, toddler-friendly road trips

Scenes like this from the Icefields Parkway - not yours to behold when you're trying to beat the crying clock of your bambino. Photo credit: Walter Lam/Flickr/CC
Scenes like this from the Icefields Parkway – not yours to behold when you’re trying to beat the cry clock of your bambino. Photo credit: Walter Lam/Flickr/CC

As I drove north on the Icefields Parkway, the western spine of Canada (aka the Rocky Mountains), the road trip was a blur. I was racing against time: trying to get to my destination before my then five-month-old woke up hungry and angry after being in a car for WAY TOO LONG on this seemingly NEVERENDING (translation: two days) road trip.

We sped by so many sights – Castle Mountain, Crowfoot Glacier, Mount Chepheren – instead of stopping to bask in the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies like all the other happy-looking families, we didn’t. There was just one panicky thought on repeat in my head: ‘When is this road trip going to end?’

We were on day two of travel across British Columbia and part of Alberta to go see my partner in central Alberta. Here we were on an incredibly beautiful road trip that people from around the world pay big bucks to come and do. Frankly I didn’t enjoy the scenic surroundings because I didn’t pack enough supplies or give myself enough time to get there. We ended up having to stop in David Thompson, kiddo balling his eyes out and mommy very frazzled for a snack, leg stretch and calm down.

Fast forward a year. Many road trips – Tofino, Victoria, Kamloops, Lesser Slave Lake, Calgary, Drumheller – big and small later, we are starting to find our family travel groove. I once interviewed Micheal A. Palmer – an international traveller, family guy and author. He travelled across Canada with his wife and THREE, yes, three kids a few summers ago and had all kinds of wisdom to share. The uptake: plan, stop often, eat healthy. You can read more here.

The summer of 2015 we explored Alberta. After a few slightly stressful trips, I decided to try to start learning from our four-wheel journeys. Whether I’m driving alone with our little dude or we’re on a trip with the whole fam (mama, daddy + tiny tyrant), if I implement the six tips below, it makes for a tear-free trip.  Read more