How To Increase Your Ability To Concentrate While Travelling For Work

When you’re travelling in Edmonton for business, the commute, either by plane or car, can make you feel jet lagged or tired. To get yourself back on track, and in full concentration, there are a few tips to give you an advantage if you’re travelling for business.

Meditation

Meditation is the conscious practice of focusing the mind on to particular objects, or thoughts to achieve a state of emotional and mental peace. One of the most significant aspects of mediation is that it can be done anywhere, even in your hotel room. With many apps such as Calm and Head Space, it has become more convenient to form a focused mind to help you conquer anything.

Proper Diet

We have previously written an entire article about eating right when you’re on the go and travelling, click here for the top tips to maintain a healthy diet. A human brain consumes about 20% of the total body energy. Eating healthier options also helps you feel more energized and less sluggish to keep your mind and body going.

Exercise

Even if you’re tired, you will find a new found source of energy when you exercise. Whether it’s strength training inside your hotel room or taking an extra stroll around the neighbourhood, exercise is key to improving concentration.

Take Breaks at Regular Intervals

Given that the human attention span is less than a goldfish (3 seconds for humans), it has become increasingly difficult to focus and concentrate on given tasks. It’s even more difficult if you feel uninterested or tired from your travels. It is recommended, in any scenario, to use the Pomodoro technique. This is also a free app you can download, which blocks off times for concentration and buzzes when it’s time to take a break. It even shut off your notifications for the time you are concentrating, which leads us to the next tip.

Avoid Your Phone

On average, we touch our phones 2,426 times a day. With constant notifications such as emails, texts, social media and more, it becomes easy to lose track of time and concentration when we leave our notifications on. Gmail even has a function which allows you to pause your inbox to let you to better concentrate on your work.

Most of these tips should also be incorporated into your everyday life and do not need to be limited only when you are travelling to Edmonton for business. Controlling your mind is one of the most challenging aspects to conquer; however, all these tips help bring you a step closer to improving your concentration and making the most of your business objectives.

How Bad Does The Weather Have To Be To Cancel A Flight

With recent snow storms and weather warnings, it should come as no surprise that flights often do get cancelled due to weather-related issues. Airplanes must meet a rigorous list of requirements for commercial flights which are generally exceeded by the manufactures set out by Transport Canada Civil Aviation regulations.

When it comes to safety, no inconvenience can triumph over it. However, when it comes down to snow, rain or wind, some guidelines are followed to determine if a flight is a go or no go.

Wind Factor

On otherwise clear days, the wind is not typically a factor as to whether or not a flight will be cancelled. Wind is mainly a consideration when it is blowing across the runway and not down. An aircraft can withstand wind that is less than 25 knots blowing across. However, if other factors are introduced, such as rain or snow, then the runway will become more of a concern and the tolerance decreases from the 25-knot crosswind.

Snow Factor

If it is lightly or moderately snowing, then there should be no interruptions to flights. Heavy snow can lead to cancellations even if the plane is de-iced and thawed out and runways are cleared of snow. If there is slush on the runway, accumulated snow or  ½ inch of deep water, then pilots will most likely find it increasingly challenging to propel enough speed to take off or adequately land.

Freezing Rain Factor

Freezing rain is often a weather condition that can cripple flights. According to veteran airline captain, John Nance, “One thing we don’t fly in is freezing rain. If an airport is hit with rain or drizzle when temperatures hover near the freezing point, airport authorities will consider shutting it down, and most definitely the airlines will start cancelling flights.”

As airplanes collect ice quicker than de-icing can occur during such conditions, an airplane can easily lose traction, and the pilot can lose control.

Despite visitors and guests at the Ramada Edmonton Yellowhead Hotel are safe from recent snow weather warnings, which is hitting the east coast, experience with weather-related cancellations is still common. This is especially the case when your arrival or departure destination is experiencing severe weather.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution For 2019 While Travelling: Part 2

In part one of this blog, which can be found by clicking here, we spoke about the importance of keeping New Year’s resolution. The most common resolutions include eating right, exercising, and making time to read one book a month. For individuals who travel often, it may seem more challenging to keep up with the resolutions; however, we have provided some guidance on how to keep up with your resolutions while travelling.

The first resolution, which was eating right while travelling, was covered in the first part of this blog. Next, we’re going to focus on the other two resolutions.

Exercising While Travelling

There are two ways to exercise while you are travelling, one of which is dependent on the weather. Weather permitted, there is nothing that beats the outdoors to either jog or take a stroll. Before arriving at your destination, search for trails and parks near your hotel and set aside some time to explore. If there are no parks around your hotel, then you can choose to walk down city streets, tracking your progress with an app, and get an intimate knowledge of the city while you are at it. Typically, you should be aiming to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

Other forms of exercising, such as building your strength, can include getting into the habit of making it a routine to workout in your hotel room. Leveraging some of the furniture in your hotel room, you can virtually tackle any area of your body. Apps such as 7-minute workout are specifically designed to use indoors and incorporate some furniture in the routine as well.

Exercising is not only good for your physical well being, but also for your mental well being as endorphins are released after 25 minutes of exercise. This also helps to beat jet lag and enjoy your stay more, whether it’s for personal or business reasons. Schedule to wake up about 20 minutes earlier and take this on first thing in the morning. By doing so, you are increasing the likelihood of keeping your resolution.

Reading One Book A Month

One of the most significant aspects of travelling is that it gives you a few moments to be idle. There are many apps you can use to download a book, or use your Amazon Kindle. There is nothing better than a physical book in your hands, so if you have space, pack your book with you. You can read in on the plane while waiting at the airport or even a few minutes before bedtime to help calm your day and get you a better nights sleep.

Travelling is not always easy, but keeping your health top of mind should always be priority and the smallest decisions can add up to make great improvements.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution For 2019 While Travelling: Part 1

According to some surveys, most people give up their new year’s resolution by between the second and third week of January. New Year’s resolutions can be great by providing a feeling of a fresh start. The importance of keeping your resolutions comes from the ability to achieve them. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself can very quickly become demoralizing. 

Some common resolutions people set for New Year’s include eating healthier, exercising more, and reading a book every month. For those individuals who often travel, either in or out of Edmonton, it can become even more challenging to keep these resolutions. It is not impossible, in fact, there is plenty of room to keep up with all of these resolutions and more. Whether you are often flying and spend time in airports or you are spending time in hotels in Edmonton, we can help you keep your resolutions. To begin with, we have previously published a blog on how to reduce stress while travelling in the new year, which is a great place you start. You can click here to read the blog.  

When staying at a hotel, here are some ways you can tackle each healthy resolution

Eating Healthy While Travelling

Travelling can place a lot of constraints on the options that we have to choose from when it comes to our nutrient. However, when it comes to selecting specific foods while travelling, or while you are staying at a hotel, you do have healthier alternatives.

Protein:

Some great choices for protein-rich foods which can also serve as a grab and go solution include plain yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and string cheese. Some unhealthy decisions to stay away from, which may be tempting, includes flavoured yogurt, hot dogs, or fried chicken. Choosing better proteins will also keep you more active and make you feel less sluggish, which is always a better choice, especially while travelling for meetings or vacationing.

Fats:

Fats to stay away from includes chocolate bars, pastries and candy, which has terrible effects on the body. Opt instead to choose healthier options such as hummus, mixed nuts, and guacamole, which help to keep you full for more extended periods while keeping your energy levels up.

Carbs:

Bad carbs can be tough to stay away from, regardless of whether or not you are travelling. It should come as no surprise that carbs such as chocolate bars, chips, and pastries are not good choices. Instead, try to fuel your body with better carbs such as whole grains and both fresh and dried fruit. 

Getting a head start on your head with a power breakfast, filled with healthier choices, will help you maintain more energy throughout the day. When choosing a hotel in Edmonton, it’s best to stay at a hotel that includes a continental breakfast. This gives you more variety to help you stay on track without eliminating convenience. You can also browse through the updated 2019 Canada Food Guide for healthier options to incorporate in your daily meals.

In our next blog, we are going to tackle some of the best tips to keep up with the other two most common resolutions, which includes exercising and reading a book once a month. Be sure to keep an eye out for part two of this blog.

How To Reduce Stress And Increase Your Well-Being In The New Year

The effects of stress are far more harmful to our bodies than most of us might realize. Of course, the mental effects of stress can lead to mental fog, inability to sleep, fatigue and many more emotional symptoms.

Our level of stress directly affects how our body functions, with physical symptoms becoming visible as a result. A variety of studies have shown that almost 90% of health concerns are due to pressure.

Stress can flourish a range of consequences, from tense muscles, to digestive issues, and more. It has become increasingly difficult to mitigate stress in our lives, as people in Edmonton are juggling families, careers, finances, personal development, and much more. Research also shows that when our bodies undergo stress for extended periods of times, the development of depression and anxiety is much more likely.

Our body reacts to stress and hormones in different ways, however, some of the most common symptoms, include:

– Accelerated heart rate
– Tense muscles
– Difficulty breathing
– Reduced blood flow to internal organs
– Weakened immune and digestive system

Not all symptoms are as visible or noticeable as symptoms can slowly progress over time. This leads to deteriorating health, lowered energy, mood alterations, and a dissatisfied sense of well-being.

One of the best ways to naturally combat stress is to take time to nurture our bodies. In fact, when we relax, a new series of hormones get released into our body which helps repair the damage done by stress. These essential hormones affect your body in the following ways:

– Slows down heart rate
– Stabilized blood pressure
– Boosts your immune system
– Slows down brain waves
– Normalizes your digestive system
– Improves your quality of sleep

Some recommendations to keep in mind include remedies for both your physical and mental well-being. As stress is considered a psychological factor, with physical symptoms you need to make some time for yourself. This means to shut off notifications from work, limit social media use to about 30 minutes per day, and get involved in activities that do not include the use of your computer or your phone. Another great way to reduce the symptoms of stress is to explore a hobby, meditate, and ensure you take a full day off by unplugging. Your health habits, such as exercising and the type of food you are consuming, can also contribute to lowering your stress levels and igniting serotonin – a feel-good chemical your brain releases after 25 minutes of exercise.

Every person should make it their New Year’s resolution to lowering their stress and increase their well-being. Whether you are travelling, staying at a hotel, or changing your daily routine, it is essential to incorporate these healthy habits into your lifestyle.

Top Things To Explore At The Edmonton Airport During The Holiday Rush

Friday, December 21st is set to be the busiest travel date of the year for the Edmonton International Airport. More than 25,000-holiday travelers will either be arriving or departing the city for the season. The busiest day for travel is bound to make way for some idle time as you are waiting to be picked up, or have arrived early to the airport to ensure you do not miss your flight. 

The great news is that the Edmonton airport offers a few different ways to keep yourself entertained. In case you do get stranded at the airport, we have set out some of the top activities you can do to pass the time.

Explore the Arts & Culture

The Edmonton airport generally has pockets of areas with professional musicians and choirs to liven up the environment during the holidays. You can take on some live musical entertainment to help pass the time. If you are more of a visual person, you can also check out a number of art displays and costumes inspired by different areas of Canada. Perhaps one of the most beautiful ways to de-stress at the airport is the living wall which is on display. The Living Wall is a vertical interior garden, which serves as a symbol to Edmonton Airport’s commitment to sustainable design. Artist Mike Weinmaster designed the Living Wall based on his inspiration from Alberta’s high altitude cloud formation.

Activities For The Kids

The airport also has some children friendly zones to help keep them entertained. There are two play areas that you can explore at the airport, located at Gate 66 and Gate 80. These areas also offer free WiFi, so you can access A to Z storybooks, along with Christmas storybooks to maintain the festive spirit.

Last Minute Shopping

If you need to do any last minute shopping, the airport can be a great way to find unique gifts. With over 60 shops and restaurants, time can go by fairly quickly between shopping for gifts or sitting down to have a meal. You can also throw in an early Christmas present for yourself and start off the holiday season relaxed with a massage. Don’t forget to check out the new Premium Outlets if you are able to make it over as well.

No matter how busy it can get, try to find ways to enjoy each step of the journey.

When Is The Cheapest (and Most Expensive) Time To Book Your Holiday Flights

Travelling during the holidays can quickly add up with additional expenses and increased prices. Many of the reports generated by companies such as Cheap Flights and Skyscanner focus on price trends during the holidays. Using search trend tools to help you analyze the price trends of flights in Canada can be beneficial. It should come as no surprise that the most expensive time to fly during the year is December. The average price increase for flights during December is approximately 24% more expensive, due to higher demand. To satisfy curiosity, the cheapest time to fly out of Canada throughout the year is May and September, both being 4% cheaper than the average price. After December, March would be the next most expensive time to fly with an increase of 8% on flight prices compared to the average.

The best time to book a flight, during any time of the year, is six weeks before your departure date. On average, you are saving more than 9% of the average price when you book six weeks in advance. Surprisingly, booking sooner can actually result in paying a higher rate than the average price. For instance, a study by Skyscanner shows that booking a flight 24 weeks in advance resulted in an airfare price to be 7% more expensive than the average price and booking 12 weeks in advance resulted in prices being 4% higher than the average. The most significant price hike when booking a flight jumps to 22% more than the average price when a flight is scheduled within six days of departure. Even booking at least one week in advance yields a lower rate by more than 7%.

In addition to timelines, booking flights on days with fewer travelers also helps with lowering the cost of flights. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are considered the lowest days for traffic at airports, in contrast to Fridays and Saturdays, being the busiest days of the week. If possible, try to book your flights to be scheduled during these days of the week. The most expensive date to travel in 2018 is estimated to be December 22nd, where prices are expected to increase by 40%. Even if you have no choice but to fly on this date, if you are travelling to spend time with loved ones, then it surely is well worth the price.

Travelers looking to fly to Edmonton for the 2018 holiday season should also consider booking their hotel rooms in advance, while bookings are still available. If you are looking for a vacancy, click here to view more booking details.

Wishing everyone safe and happy holiday travel, regardless of the distance you’re travelling.

The Must Have Apps For Every Traveler

Regardless of your destination, travelling can be very stressful. Whether you’re travelling by plane or taking a road trip, there are some apps to take advantage of to make your trip a little more efficient.

According to Think With Google’s insights on traveler behavior, smartphones are the new concierge for travelers, and in recent years, almost 85% of travelers rely on their smartphones to shape their trip. Whether travelers are looking to book flights, hotels, or restaurants in the area, they are turning to their phones more than any other resource.

There seems to be an app for every niche of travelling. We’re going to go through some of the top apps that can make your travelling experience a little better.

For the Frequent Flyer – TripCase

If your work travels have made you a pro at travelling, then the TripCase app would be great for you. TripCase is like a personal assistant for your travel details, meetings and schedules. This can help you stay organized and plan out your entire trip while syncing with your travel details with your calendar.

For the Organized Traveler – TripIt

Despite best efforts to book your trip well beforehand, it’s easy to get your confirmation emails buried in your inbox. To keep the vital information about your details, such as confirmations, itineraries and more all in one spot, then the TripIt app can be a lifesaver.

For the Explorer – Triposo

Not every travel requires you to visit the tourist attractions. Some travelers enjoy the authentic experience of a day or a night out in a city and explore the area like a local. Triposo is the local tour guide every explorer needs to find places to see, eat and experience. One of the best perks of the Triposo app is that it can still help you navigate around while offline.

For the Road Tripper – GasBuddy

Canada is a beautiful country and taking a road trip can be the perfect way to explore the beautiful sights. GasBuddy is a great app to help you save money by locating gas stations near you and alerts you of price hikes. GasBuddy works in Canada and U.S. only, so if you’re travelling to Edmonton, or passing through, you can utilize this app to find the best prices.

With a lot of apps to explore and utilize, it’s never been easier to have a better travelling experience.

The Top Culprits That Cause Jet Lag

Jet lag can be one of the most unpleasant aspects of travelling. Adjusting to a new time zone is not easy; however, there are remedies you can use to help your body cope from long-haul flights.

The best way to beat jet lag is to understand what causes it to begin with. Our bodies are programmed to expect a routine on a daily basis, such as eating and sleeping. This routine is also known as circadian rhythm.  When we fly to areas with different time zones, we are essentially shuffling our circadian rhythm, which can lead to fatigue, indigestion, loss or appetite and issues concentrating. Unfortunately, there is no specific time frame as to when our bodies will recover from jet lag, primarily since the adjustment period is highly dependent on your age, stress level and stage of health. Travellers use the expression ‘west is best, east is a beast’. Essentially, it is harder for your body to adjust to shorter days, than longer ones.

Here are some tips you can use to help you prevent jet lag for your next travel adventure.

1. Relax Before You Travel
A rigid routine before your long flight will make it more difficult for your body to adjust to different time zones, especially if you’re in for a long trip. Start your holiday refreshed rather than being fatigued.

2. Travel In The Mornings 
If possible, when choosing your flight, opt to choose a flight that arrives during the day. This will make it easier to stay awake and keep your body on a regular schedule.

3. Stay Away From Caffeine and Alcohol 
Artificial stimulants, such as coffee and soda will affect your ability to sleep and increase the recovery time from jet lag. The effects of alcohol at high altitudes will lead to dehydration and fatigue, making it challenging to overcome jet lag.

4. Avoid Sleeping Pills 
Sleeping pills can leave you feeling hazy when you land and do not contribute much toward recovery from jet lag. If you are looking to sleep on the plane, it’s best to do so naturally.

The better your daily routine is, the easier it will be to reduce jet lag and feel refreshed. For example, independently of flights, eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep on a regular basis boosts your body’s state of health. These factors will also contribute to better adjusting to different time zones. If you’re looking to stay awake during a flight, don’t forget your fully charged in-flight entertainment to pass the time.

Happy travels!

How To Pack Like a Pro When Travelling

November 7, 2018 By Travel Comments Off

One of the most considerable stress about travelling is packing for your trip. Ranging from items to pack to finding space in your suitcase, there are a few tips you can try to relieve the stress and enjoy your journey.
The first place to start is the organization. Whether or not you are a frequent traveller, you can still benefit from staying organized, while thanking yourself later, too. The first place to start is to make a list of items you need and this will largely depend on the purpose of your travel.

For example, other than the basics, a business trip will require a completely different list of ‘must haves’ than a vacation traveller would. You can break down your list by destination (i.e. temperature changes between the two locations) into a few different categories.

This would include:

  • Clothing (and shoes!)
  • Toiletries
  • Medication/Safety
  • Entertainment (including chargers)
  • Importance (passport, wallet, money etc.)

Space is often one of the most significant issues when it comes to packing, which is not surprising, as many have admitted to packing more than they would need. So, how do your packing habits compare to the average travellers?
According to survey conduction by the Huffington Post, here are some common habits for travellers:

  • 70% of traveller fold their clothes rather than rolling
  • 77% plan their clothes or outfits in advance
  • 75% pack 2-3 pairs of shoes
  • 45% pack 1 pair of underwear for each day, plus a spare
  • 58% never weight their luggage
  • 69% stay under the limit for checked bags


So, how do pack like a pro? Here are our top tips:

  1. Packing cubes: These are one of the best ways to save space and to organize your suitcase by grouping your items. This especially helps when you are looking for a particular item and don’t want to dump out your bag to find it when you finally arrive at your hotel. 
  2. Keep Items In Sequence: Pack your suitcase in the sequence of events that they will be used. For example, you will want to have your passport, pen and personal items close to you at all times. Once you have checked in, your next preparation would be your in-flight needs. This could mean have charger handy, a neck pillow, headphones or an iPad. You can organize this within your carry on or an additional bag (or purse) if you have one. 
  3. Separate Dirty Clothes: Add an extra packing cube or separate bag to keep in dirty clothes and don’t mix it with your fresh clothes. A good idea is to add some potpourri to your laundry bag, and suitcase, to eliminate any odour. You may also want to take a Tide to Go with you to feel prepared for any accidents. 
  4. Fill Dead Space: You have a lot more space than you might think. Dead areas such as corners, inside your shoes and more, can be very useful. Ensure that you are packing correctly by utilizing space rather than wasting it.

It’s common (like me) to overthink many scenarios and want to be prepared for by packing extra items, especially clothes. However, when your packing in your cubes, try to pack outfit and not options. This will help eliminate excess space and stress so you can enjoy your trip, whether your destination is in Edmonton, or anywhere else in the world.