Exchanging your money

Exchanging your money

By Renee Conte

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The currency exchange rate tells you how much your Canadian money is worth in the local currency you require for your trip. You can find the official exchange rate of the currency in the country you will be visiting by using the Bank of Canada’s online currency converter.

It pays to know your options when dealing with foreign exchange rates. There are a number of ways to manage your finances when you are abroad that will save you a lot of money in exchange fees.

 

Foreign currency exchange at banks

If you want cash on hand before you leave Canada, you can buy foreign currency from your bank over the phone or online. It can be delivered to your local branch for pickup. Exchange rates at banks are slightly better than exchange rates elsewhere. You can also order currency before you leave on your trip from a number of websites that will ship it to your home or the airport for pickup within a couple of days. Continue reading “Exchanging your money”

Britain’s gardens in April reveal more than they know

Britain’s gardens in April reveal more than they know

Story and photos by Dorothy Dobbie

The Tower of London is surrounded by a park.
The Tower of London is surrounded by a park.

The psyche of the people of Britain, who look nature square in the eye and meet her head-on, both playfully and domineeringly, speaks through her gardens.

A model garden at a Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley.
A model garden at a Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley.

It is late April, a little rainy, the clouds are interspersed with sunshine that falls like a benediction. The gardens are just awakening. Dazzling autumn planted bulbs impose themselves on the muted landscape. They are laid out in great sweeps of bright blue hyacinth, sunny yellow daffodils and lipstick red tulips. Itis clear that they are not native here, but their cheeriness is welcome just the same. Their lives will be short but showy.

We are at the Royal Horticultural Society’s headquarters, a 60-acre garden at Wisley in Surrey, 90 minutes from London. After three days in the city, we are ready for some fresh garden air and some not-so-man-made marvels. The gardens do not disappoint. Unexpected swathes of pink, coral, white and red rhododendrons glow through the mist among the still naked trees and shrubs. A late camellia imitates tall roses. Magnolias push their tulip-shaped buds from leafless branches. Along the water ways, skunk weed grows like low-lying sunshine, beautiful in spite of its unpleasant name (and, up close, odour). The air is chill and damp, but invigorating, and when the sun touches down, it leaves a wash of sweetness in its path. Continue reading “Britain’s gardens in April reveal more than they know”

Nova Scotia Enjoy the epic beauty of the East Coast

Nova Scotia

Enjoy the epic beauty of the East Coast

By Tania Moffat

Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bore rafting tours are unlike any other rafting experience on the planet.
Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bore rafting tours are unlike any other rafting experience on the planet.

 No matter what you call it — Mi’kma’ki (First Nations), Acadia (French), or New Scotland (British) — you are destined to love Nova Scotia. From its deep historical roots, its 27provincial museums and 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites to its rugged seaside beauty and picturesque fishing villages filled with welcoming people, this is a province that everyone should explore at least once in their lifetime. Continue reading “Nova Scotia Enjoy the epic beauty of the East Coast”

How to avoid getting sick on vacation

By Tania Moffat

Nasty bugs can be hiding anywhere, ready to ruin your trip.
Nasty bugs can be hiding anywhere, ready to ruin your trip.

Let’s face it: getting sick on vacation is kind of like an unlucky lottery where the odds are always against you. You can do everything you can to try to avoid it – fold the corner of your ticket, pick your lucky numbers or play a smarter hand, but either way it’s a crap shoot.

Getting sick is an inevitability in life, but it is often easier to get sick while on holidays. Your body is being exposed to new bugs, bacteria, parasites, food and environments. Often times you are passing through high traffic areas such as airports and hotels. You are changing your routines, perhaps staying up later, eating more or differently, having a few drinks and exploring new environments – beaches, water, forests, etc. All of this combined with the stress of travelling, especially if you are crossing several time zones, can take its toll on your body. Continue reading “How to avoid getting sick on vacation”