How to enjoy Ottawa on a budget

Ottawa Canada

Ottawa is Canada’s capital city and because of that we can expect things to be slightly pricier than we would in other cities. However, many people do not want to miss out on this part of Canada when they come to visit. The beautiful Victorian architecture and the stunning Rideau Canal are not to be missed; especially when the latter freezes over in winter! If you are thinking of visiting Ottawa with a strict budget in mind, here are some tips and tricks to help you stay on course financially.

 

How to enjoy Ottawa on a budget

 

Start with Planning

You can save a massive amount of money during your planning and booking stage. The advantage of this is it then gives you more money to play with when you get there. Would you rather stay in a hostel and eat well or would you rather have a nice hotel room but scrape and save on food and activities? These are the sorts of questions you need to be asking yourselves.

One of the best places where you could save a little money is with your flights to Ottawa. You can often save money by splitting up your trip by flying into different cities instead of direct, or you could go for an airline with lower prices but a commitment to delivering a great service. If you would like to know more about the latter, you can check out the link here: https://www.flyporter.com/en-ca/book-flights/where-we-fly/canada/ottawa

 

Get Around Town on the Bus

You should always aim to travel on public transport instead of getting taxis in a new city and Ottawa has made sure that this is easy for you to do. If you want to use a bus to see more of the city, you can buy a DayPass. This allows you unlimited same-day travel on the bus system in the city; perfect if you are going to be going here, there and everywhere.

 

Get a Bike

Ottawa has plenty of cycling trails and bike lanes, making it a very safe city for cyclists. Even if you are not the most confident of cyclists, you are bound to get around with little difficulty. There are plenty of places where you can rent a bike to get about. Whether you want it for just a day or a little longer, you will be able to find the perfect rental for you.

Head out to Petrie island from Rideau Hall for a longer day trip but a beautiful ride. You will hug the Ottawa river all the way down the coast. If you are in the mood for something a little more challenging, head up into Gatineau Park.

 

Ottawa Canada

 

Know Where the Free Attractions Are

Luckily, many of the attractions in Ottawa are either free or have certain times when they are free to the public. For example, Parliament Hill is open for free tours every day. If you are interested in finding out more about the government of Canada, you should definitely swing by here. The tours can change or reschedule due to events happening in the government but there is no reason why you should not be able to have a look around at some point.

Many of the museums in Ottawa are paid admission but they also run certain nights where it is free to enter. On Thursdays between 5 and 8 PM, you can enter the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, and the Canadian War Museum for free. These are just some of the places you can get into if you know where to look.

 

Eat How the Locals Eat

There are plenty of restaurants in Ottawa which cater to tourists but these places may be on the pricier side because of this. Never be afraid to eat how the locals want to eat! One great way to save some money is to book accommodation which is self-catering. This might be out in the suburbs, meaning it would be cheaper anyway, and then it would also have access to a local supermarket or two.

Here you can pick up all the food you could want for much less than what a restaurant might offer. You can even attempt to make some of Canada’s national dishes for yourself this way, in the comfort of your rented accommodation. The DIY attitude can also extend to lunches. Why spend a fortune on lunch in a fancy restaurant when you can just as easily pick up a picnic to have in one of Ottawa’s many beautiful parks? Small changes like this are bound to save you money in the long term; money which you can easily spend on another part of your holiday.

 

Grab Some Yoga on Parliament Hill

Had a flight which has put a crick in your neck? Been travelling for weeks on end and just need a moment to relax? You should check out the yoga on Parliament Hill. This is a free session run on Wednesdays which allows the population of Ottawa to come out and have a stretch. It is not unknown for the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to also pop out with his yoga mat every now and then. I did not know about it at first until I was inside the Parliament building and noticed people practicing yoga below on the grass. So cool, right?

These sessions are completely free and are sponsored by the Canadian brand Lululemon. If you feel the need to let go and stretch out your muscles a little then you should definitely consider stopping by one of these sessions in the sun.

 

Head Over in Winter

The temperatures might drop but Ottawa comes alive in winter. The Rideau Canal completely freezes over and turns into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink at a staggering 7.8km! It could form the perfect way for you to get around the city if you are visiting in winter. Skate rentals are everywhere up and down the length of the canal so you can always grab a pair.

In February, Winterlude comes to Ottawa. This is a special festival which is all about the beauty and majesty of winter. With three weeks of frozen fun, the city might not be the cheapest to visit but you don’t want to miss out. Consider staying in one of the nearby towns and hopping into Ottawa on the local commuter transport so you can enjoy everything Winterlude has to offer without breaking the bank. These are just two of the events on offer in Ottawa over winter, proving it is as fun to visit as it is in summer.

 

Know You Can’t Do Anything

Unless you are in Ottawa for a short-term residency, there is no way you would be able to do everything the city has to offer. Even then, unless you go through one full year you will miss out on either the summer or winter activities this amazing place can provide. We think it is therefore important that you take the time to work out which of the attractions in Ottawa sound the most appealing to you.

You can always return to the city (it certainly isn’t going anywhere) which will allow you to explore more and more each time. Decide what is most important for you to see and make sure that you do that each trip. Ottawa might be a capital city but that doesn’t mean that you have to blow your budget each and every time you visit.

 

 



TIP: Here’s 34 interesting facts about Ottawa I learned there when I visited. Ottawa is full of surprises!

TIP 2: You might know that I was born in Slovakia, in Central Europe. You have no idea how surprised I was to see that Canada and Slovakia are similar in so many ways. What do I mean? Have a read 😉

3 cool things to do in Prague

Prague attractions

One of the most visited European capitals is famous mostly for its Astronomical clock located on the Old Town Hall at Old Town Square. However, the so called Prazsky Orloj (as the Astronomical Clock is called in Czech) is NOT the only attraction in Prague you should visit. If you are paying a visit the capital of Czech republic, make sure to check out my list of other cool things to do in Prague.

 

3 cool things to do in Prague

 

1. Food tour

Cuisine is becoming one of the highlights for many tourists when visiting a new country. You’ve heard of food bloggers taking photos of each meal they see around them and of the meals they personally eat, too, right? Well, there’s a reason for that. Many people consider themselves to be foodies so tasting local meals is something they would prefer over exploring main touristy attractions. I’ve even heard of people who travel around the world just to try a different cuisine.

If you are into local cuisine, one of the best ways to indulge in it would be taking a food tour in Prague with a local. If that’s what you are looking for, then I can recommend you Withlocals website, where they offer not only food tours, but also drink tours (beer or wine). Although I personally don’t drink alcohol, many people praise Czech beer to the sky. If you don’t try it, you won’t know, right? You can always personalize the food or drink tour the way you want it, which is definitely an advantage.

 

food tour in Prague

food tour in Prague

 

2. Lennon wall

 

If you are like me and you appreciate quality street art, then you should know about John Lennon wall in Prague. It used to be just a normal wall until 1980’s when artists started painting John Lennon graffiti and parts of Beatles’ songs on it. Nowadays it’s a very colorful and powerful place which you can visit for free. It’s located just a few minutes from the well-known Charles Bridge.

It’s possible to find the wall in Google maps, so you will definitely be able to find it without problems.

Many people were against the wall during the Communist era and then the wall was painted over in white in 2014 for the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Thanfully, there’s been new graffiti added since then and the wall is now considered to be a Prague’s landmark. It’s a great place to take extraordinary photos.

My photos from there might convince you. I hired a professional photographer in Prague who also took me to the Lennon Wall to take yoga photos.

 

3. Boat trip

I am sure most people would not think of Prague as of a good destination to be seen by boat. But the Vltava river offers you a unique way of getting to know the city from a different perspective. There’s quite a few attractions situated along the river which you can observe from the boat: The Prague castle or the Charles Bridge being the most known out of them. There’s different kinds of tours to choose from, from 50 minutes up to 3 hours. Some of them even come up with lunch or dinner.

 

Prague attractions

Prague attractions

 

More useful tips:

 

Get a massage in Prague

Where to stay in Prague – my stay at Sheraton was lovely

What to see in Prague in winter

5 Fun Ways to Save on Airfare

Traveling can be stressful, especially when you’re flying with kids or a whole family. From finding the best deals to getting to the airport on time, flying doesn’t have to break the bank or wreak havoc. Follow these five fun tips to save on airfare and enjoy a great vacation.

 

5 Fun Ways to Save on Airfare

 

1. Shop Around on Different Sites

Shopping for airfare is a lot like shopping for jeans. It could take a couple of stores and plenty of different styles before you find the one that works. Flyers can get the best deals on airfare by following the same practice. Metasearch engines such as Kayak, Expedia and Orbitz will display the lowest fares every day. Check these engines first, then go to individual airlines’ sites to see if they’re the same or even less.

 

 

2. Be a Little Spontaneous

Flight prices can drastically change in a matter of a day. While some flyers might want to travel on a Sunday, even waiting until Tuesday could yield better results. Try keeping a loose timeline of travel dates that work for the whole family. Shoulder season or off-season flights are cheaper depending on where the flight is going. Check the destination ahead of time to see which times of the year are peak travel times and which are the off-season.

Flying at off-peak days of the week such as Tuesday through Thursday will also cut costs. Tuesday afternoon is one of the best times to find a flight. Set a reminder to look then, and book within minutes if a cheap flight pops up. Many airlines offer a 24-hour cancelation policy, which can help ease some of the anxiety that comes with booking a flight immediately.

 

3. Follow Some Favorite Bloggers

Another fun way to save on airfare is through following different bloggers. Watching blogs and airlines’ sites for deals can lead to steals through social media. Flyers can also set alerts for price drops on metasearch engines and other sites to get notified when a flight falls into their price range. If someone flies frequently, they can also join reward programs with a certain airline such as Southwest, American, United and more.

 

4. Use a Credit Card for Travel Points

It’s hard not to gulp when you’re booking a family vacation abroad and seeing the price for the first time. It’s often even more stressful to put that amount on a credit card. However, some credit cards offer travel miles or other travel rewards with each purchase. Putting flights — or even just a dinner out — on that card can help flyers pay for their next vacation or flight abroad.

 

5. Explore During a Long Layover

A layover isn’t the worst thing in the world. Choosing a flight with a layover gives families and solo travelers a chance to explore a new city or destination away from the final vacation spot. In addition, many airports today have quiet lounge areas and places to sit and grab a cup of coffee, making it the perfect spot for business people to work between flights.

It also pays to book one leg of the trip at a time. Although flexible traveling doesn’t work for everyone, travelers can sometimes find cheaper flights on one airline and connecting flights that are cheaper on another. Check different airports, and look for layovers with cheaper connecting flights before booking one airline the whole way through.

Always Find the Deals

There’s no reason to pay the sticker price on a flight. Be patient, and watch numerous sites to find the best deal. Travelers without kids or a set schedule can also benefit from flexible dates and different flights, including layovers and booking one leg at a time. Through following these five tips, flyers can save on travel and have fun doing it.

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.

 

4 Restaurants to enjoy a ceaseless cuisine carnival in San Juan

Did you know that the biggest party of Puerto Rico is the ‘SanSe’ festival? It takes place every January in Old San Juan. Puerto Rico offers a rich blend of Caribbean spices, culture and cooking secrets. This island is the best place for food lovers, especially those who love to party in style.

The distinct cuisines of San Juan are a delight for your taste buds. From the unofficial king of Puerto Rican cuisine Mofongo to Arroz con Gandules, the national dish of this island, every flavor is something unique.

 

 

4 Famous Restaurants in Puerto Rico

 

Did you know that the local delicacy Pina Colada was invented in the capital city of San Juan? You can have a sip of this delightful drink when you reach your hotel in the comfort of San Juan airport transfers. While you may want to try out some of the restaurants at your hotel, you must plan a visit to the following places to have a memorable evening:

 

1. 1919 Restaurant: The irresistible aromas of this restaurant are a treat by themselves. This elegant restaurant is a part of the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, located close to the sea. Local spices are used to enhance the flavors of each dish. If you’re not staying here, you can book a ride to this wonderful restaurant, which is located to the northwest of San Juan and is a drive of about an hour and a half.

 

2. Marmalade Restaurant: Looking for a platter containing something of everything? Then you need to visit the Marmalade Restaurant. The service here is incredible and the wine selection amazing. The chefs continue to experiment with flavors and they’ve all been a massive success so far. Fusion, Eclectic, Contemporary French, Vegetarian and Vegan are some of the different types of cuisines served here.

 

3. Old San Juan’s La Factoria: Did you know ‘La Factoria’ bar features among the top 50 bars of the world? It is equally famous for its delicious dishes. There are six back rooms, each providing a different ambiance and experience. It has a main cocktail bar, a wine bar, a restaurant and a dance floor. The wine selection is fabulous and the whole place has a relaxed speakeasy feel. Enjoy famous Rican crooners singing for you. While this should be on your itinerary, you could even make this your first visit in Puerto Rico, as it is located close to the airport and you can book any San Juan airport transportation or shuttle to experience this place before heading for your hotel.

 

4. Niche Bistro: This restaurant offers the perfect mix of food, drinks, music and romance. It’s a terrific place if you’d like a fine dining experience. French delicacies have been transformed into Rican delights that are sure to thrill your taste buds.

 

So, if you’re planning a holiday, book your tickets to Puerto Rico and a luxury airport transfer to reach your hotel and you’re all set for the culinary delights the island has to offer.

How to Find Cheap Business Class Flights to Mumbai and Delhi

What makes people look for business class tickets is the extra comfort and ease that they offer. But what happens when exactly the opposite happens? According to News.com.au, Thai Airways has announced plans to install seatbelt airbags in business class cabins on its new 787 Dreamliners. Although the move is good for flyers who may get nervous, it can turn out to be uncomfortable for people who are overweight because it will reduce the space in the seats. It is to avoid such situations that expert spend a lot of time in choosing the best cheap business class flights for their clients.

If you are looking to travel business class, you need to ensure that you book your tickets through an established agency that will help you get value for your money. They will not only help in choosing you the most suitable airline but also ensure that you get your tickets at the best possible rates.

 

Why is it Important to Find the Right Flight?

I am sure nobody wants to walk out off a plane greasy and tired, especially when one has to attend a business meeting or get to work immediately. So, when one is looking for first class flights to India, the need is to reach your destination feeling refreshed and comfortable. And this is where the services available in first class come in very useful. Spacious seats, amenity kits, good food and fine wine make the whole travel experience a relaxing and luxurious one, rather than those cramped seats and plastic cutlery you have to struggle with on economy class.

The next thing is to find the right flight at the right cost. But as we all know, first class or business tickets will cost more than economy class. Does this mean that people wanting comfort will always need to pay very high prices? The answer is No. One can actually find business class tickets at attractive rates by approaching the right agency. Established and experienced agencies can help their customers find the best deals even on Air India flights and flights operated by other renowned airlines.

 

How to Get Cheap Business Class Flight Tickets?

 

You can get cheap tickets by:

  • Planning your trips and making the bookings well in advance, when the demand has yet to rise and rates are reasonable.
  • Using an airline’s loyalty reward program to get the maximum possible discounts.
  • Checking for special offers and discount schemes offered by airlines.

 

Due to their regular association and interaction with various airlines, established agencies are generally the first ones to know about any special discounts or schemes. This first hand information enables them to ensure that their clients get the best possible rates. Another advantage of booking cheap flight tickets through an agency is that they are generally the first ones to know about any change in amenities or luxuries being offered by an airline.

 

TIP: Visiting Mumbai? Check my articles about India and places I visited in Maharashtra state around Mumbai 🙂