Booking a trip? You're likely to scan various hotel offerings and then check Airbnb. The short-term rental company has flipped the hospitality industry on its head, providing an accessible option to rent a room, home, or apartment from a local, anywhere in the world, at a range of price points - from $50 to more than $1,000 per night.
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Canadians are used to dealing with fluctuations in currency. But the loonie has been down - way down - for well over a year. And retailers that were hedging exchange risks are now looking for more permanent solutions, whether that's raising prices, cutting staff, or finding supply chain efficiencies.
I once wheeled a cheap piece of luggage up and down the cobblestone streets of Paris. A wheel popped off, then a hole appeared from dragging the bag. I spent precious vacation hours looking for Krazy glue (a term that doesn't translate easily into French) to fix it. Take it from me: properly engineered luggage is worth the investment if you're a frequent traveler.
Many travel booking Websites offer mobile apps, which is helpful when you need to make changes to your itinerary en route. There are apps to help you plan and pack, apps that provide sightseeing tips and recommendations, and apps that help you consolidate your itinerary. Many have a free version and a paid "pro" version with added functionality. Here's a sampling of a few of my favourites:
With increasing competition in the hotel industry from a range of boutique and budget options, to people renting out their homes or even their couches, hotels have had to up their game. Loyalty programs that offer extensive perks beyond room upgrades are a way to keep guests coming back.
Smart coffee shops are sweetening their java offerings with everything from mobile payments to loyalty programs and cool offers on social media, making it easier (and more fun) to pick up your morning skinny vanilla latte.