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Travel Accessories.

Culinary Vacations for Lovers of Food and Wine

Tools to help make your travel planning that much easier!

Departure Lounge.

Weather Reports
Passport Information
Canadian Embassies
Travel Reports & Advisories
Currency Conversion
Time Zones
Health Information for Travellers
Electric Power Around the World
Country Calling Codes
Track Your Flight
Packing List (Acrobat PDF file)

Tourist Boards.

Italian Government Tourist Board
French Tourist Office
Tourist Office of Spain

Moroccan National Tourist Office

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Travel Tips.

Don't fly by the seat of your pants on your next airline trip - take some advice from our list of helpful Travel Tips.
Booking Your Flight
Before You Leave
On Board
On Location
Tipping in a Foreign Country
What Foods/Plants You Can Bring Back into Canada

Booking Your Flight.
• To beat jet lag, book an overnight flight or one that arrives in the evening when travelling east so you can either catch your sleep on the flight or as soon as you arrive at your destination. Flying west usually causes less jet lag than flying east. This is because eastbound travel crunches the day to less than 24 hours, so at bedtime you are not tired and then it's hard to get up in the morning.
• When making flight reservation, remember to request for special meals if you have any food restrictions.

Before You Leave.

Copy That - it's recommended to make 2 copies of important documents – passport, visas, credit cards, itinerary & plan tickets – take one on the road (to keep somewhere safe) and leave one at home.

• Get a good night's sleep before a trip.
• Eat light rather than heavy meals the day of a trip.
• Go to bed earlier than normal if heading eastbound, and later if traveling west.
• Hydrotherapy. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine beginning two days before your flight. This will help you acclimate to the air pressure on board and help reduce jetlag after you arrive.
• Create a master list of passport numbers with issue and expiration dates, along with birthdates. This way, you won’t be looking through your valuable documents when filling out forms.
• Be sure your immunizations are current.
• Delay your trip if you are not well.
• Reserve a seat by the wing if you are prone to air sickness.
• Wear loose, comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes that have been worn previously.

• Refer to your packing list to ensure that you haven’t forgotten a thing!
• Be sure to bring enough things in your carry-on to manage for a couple of days, just in case. Keep critical items, like travel documents, medication, prescriptions, contact lenses, glasses, money and valuables close to you by putting them in your carry-on luggage. Don’t pack them in checked luggage; otherwise they might end up vacationing in another country without you. Other items which you may want to consider taking in your carry-on are: Bottled water, Spritzer, Local currency of your arrival destination, Carbohydrate snacks, Socks and slippers, Sweater, Inflatable neck pillow, Ear plugs/Eye-mask, Toothbrush/Toothpaste

On Board.
Jet-lag affects us in many ways and is caused by a complex combination of circumstances and varies with each individual, but results mainly from the internal body clock being out of phase with the daily schedule at the travel destination.
Some precautions to take include:

• If you are prone to motion sickness, take an anti sickness pill before the flight. The pill won't help much, if you have it after you have started feeling sick!
• To help re-set your biological cycles, set your watch to the local time at your arrival destination when you first board your flight.
• Sleep on board if your flight lands in the morning and avoid sleeping on board if your flight lands in the evening.
• Aircraft cabin relative humidity is usually less than 20%, which is fairly dry. Although these low levels may be a source of mild discomfort (dry skin and eyes), there is little risk to your health.
• Minimize discomfort from dryness by limiting consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks when in-flight, as they cause dehydration. Tank up instead on aqua-pura and drink plenty of water.
• Wear glasses instead of contact lenses.
• Apply a skin moisturizer.
• Bring eye drops because "cabin eye" can be dry.
• Eat lightly, stick to a bland diet, bring along carbohydrate snacks.
• Do not place anything under the seat in front of you so you can stretch and exercise your legs.
• To prevent the swelling of feet caused by low air pressure on board and lack of circulation from sitting for long periods without moving, try to keep your blood circulating properly by walking in the aisle on an average of once every 60 - 90 minutes and wear slippers or a larger size travel shoes.
• Never board a plane hungry and always have a snack or two at the ready.
• Carry on a book or two – or go high-tech and bring your own portable music.
• Wear layers of loose fitting comfortable clothing – such as a shirt, a pullover, and a jacket. This gives you needed flexibility, since you never know what the temperature in the terminal or plane will be.
• If you want to stretch out, ask for the window seat next to an emergency exit. The way planes are designed, you should get plenty of legroom.
• To alleviate ear pressure on a flight (especially during takeoff and landing) chew gum or suck on bite-size candy. Yawning or swallowing may produce the same results.
• Bring disposable earplugs on board; they’ll help muffle on-board sounds.
• Relax and enjoy your flight.

On Location.
• Ensure that your watch is adjusted according to your destination's time clock and attempt to adhere to your arrival schedule - the sooner, the better.
• When you land, try taking a hot, candlelit bath.
• When you first arrive, schedule important activities at a time when you are likely to have maximum energy, (i.e., in the evenings, after jetting east, or in the mornings, after jetting west).
• To help speed up acclimatization, spend some time outdoors every day during daylight hours. Even being in a room with windows helps to enlighten our body clocks.
• Along with the adoption of the local bedtime to help you quickly adjust to the new time zone, try doing what the locals: their food preference, meal times and recreational activities.

Tipping in a Foreign Country.
Tips, propina, gratuity, pourboire, gratifikation. For as many different words as there are for gratuity there are as many different customs throughout the world. When you're abroad, tipping can be a perplexing experience: In some countries it's expected, in others it's an insult--and the rules are constantly changing, but tipping etiquette is becoming more mainstream.
Here’s a quick guideline by country:

France - the tip is included in your bill in a restaurant, but not at a bar. Service charges are generally applied to bills; customary to add 5 percent extra.
Italy - tipping is customary, about 10 percent, even when a service charge is already included.
Spain - offer a 10 to 15 percent tip even when service charges have been added.

Your return to Canada …back to reality and your kitchen.
What foods, plants etc you can bring back.


Other Useful Resources 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Culinary Tours – Italy, France, Spain by Gourmet Safari