How to travel more and fly less

August 09, 2022

For those obsessed with travel, the list of must-visit destinations never ends. There’s always a new town to explore, a geographical marvel to see, or a thrilling new activity to test.

For many adventurers though, the one not-so-enticing element of travel is the actual process of getting there… especially when it involves flying. We all know that it is by far the less eco-friendly way of travelling, and on top of that, pandemic times have led to airports chaos (*cough, cough YYZ, we’re looking at you!*), flight cancellations, airlines losing baggage, and general confusion with required documents at check-in. If you’re pining for a trip away from your usual stomping grounds, it is possible to steer clear of airports entirely… or at least ease the pain when you must fly. Here's our round-up of ways to globetrot without gates:

Plan a road trip:

The good old road trip is a classic mode of travel even for the most seasoned traveller. Think about it: you set the pace and schedule, there’s no over-priced snacks and meals, there’s usually incredible scenery from your window, and you travel with more comfort and personal space (i.e. nobody to annoyingly recline their seat into your already-cramped domain). And if you don't have your own ride, why not carpool? Services like Poparide can help you catch a ride with drivers heading the same direction, anywhere in Canada.

When road tripping in Canada, you’re going to want to watch out for wildlife, signage in French, and these other quirks about Canadian roads. Of course, with gas prices rising, trips with less mileage are going to be key. That's better for the environment, too. That just means more time to actually do activities like star-gazing, picnics, or venturing off the beaten path.

Road Trip

Opt for a scenic train ride:

Train rides are arguably the best and most underrated form of travel. Consider the list of pros: there’s no unpredictable traffic on the train tracks, all you have to do is sit back, relax and gaze out the window, and you don’t have to deal with the mayhem of long and winding security lineups or accidentally taking a wrong turn and getting lost. Canada’s Via Rail offers routes in the Rockies, the fishing villages of The Maritimes, rugged territory in northern Ontario, and more.

Take the Train

Go local:

With the unpredicitability of airports these days (and the stress that comes with air travel), the climate crisis and the rising cost of gas fill-ups, day trips and local travel has never been more popular. How often do we dismiss what’s in our own backyard on the premis that it’s easily accessible, and we “can go there any time” (yet never do)? It’s time to appreciate what’s within our grasp.

How would a tourist who has never been to your corner of the world see the local landscapes, businesses and festivals? Seeing your own region through the eyes of a traveller has never been more rewarding. Forget the stress of getting there and simply bask in the small joys: the quirky town cafe, the bustling farmer’s markets, the floral smells, and fall colours.

Photo Op

Choose an active adventure:

We’re in an era where we’ve come to have a better appreciation for both our physical health and open, airy spaces. Body gratitude can look like being thankful for our health, valuling our physical strength, and exercising our ability to move. That sense of appreciation works its way into our travel itineraries when we decide to plan a multi-day trek, kayak trip, or bike ride out of town. With these types of trips, the experience of “getting there” *is* the vacation. So bust out those trekking poles, take your bike into the shop for servicing, or find the tent hidden in that forgotten corner of your basement.

Kayak trip

Make the most of your layover:

Sometimes air travel is just unavoidable. In these instances, ask yourself what you can do to make the experiences less stressful and even enjoyable. For example, travelling light with just a backpack or carry-on bag nixes the stress of lost luggage or long check-in lineups. And breaking up a long travel day with a lengthy layover can allow for time to recharge, catch up on sleep, and experience the sights. This means that you can take in an extra day trip to an area you may not have visited otherwise. Best of all: you won’t have to travel sleep deprived and worn out.

Bonus travel tip: when possible, opt for tiny airports. These little airports—barely larger than a bus station or cafe—will allow travellers to breeze through customs and be in the area’s favourite waterfront brewery or much-adored lunch spot in no time!

Airport Drama

Much about the world has changed since 2020 and travel hasn’t been spared in this global restructuring. Luckily, we’ve moved to a chapter where it’s not a question of *if* we can travel again—it’s more a matter of where, when and by which mode. Regardless of whether you arrive via foot, rental car, train or canoe, the adventures still await.

Safe travels!

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