As the world opens up again, travel looks a lot different than it did before Covid. Gone are the days you can throw things in a bag and run to the airport a couple of hours before your flight. With the ever-changing landscape of travel these days, we’ve put together a few Covid Travel Tips to get you prepared for your next international trip, whenever you are ready to go!
Who are we? We are Keri & Nicola and we LOVE to travel. To say that we are travel enthusiasts would be a gross understatement, we are travel addicts often planning our own travels a least two adventures in advance. Needless to say our day job (co-owners of Finisterra Travel) helps us to fuel our obsession. Not a day goes by where we don’t squeal with excitement over the possibility of exploring a new destination. Our mutual travel obsession, an insatiable curiosity about the world, and passion for sustainable travel are what really bonds us. What are we about? We do our best to tread lightly in the destinations we visit whether we are travelling alone or with a group. Our philosophy is to travel responsibly for the long-term benefit of the local people, the travellers, and for the environment. During our world travels, we’ve experienced the many sides of tourism from the good to the bad to the truly heartbreaking. We are aware that there are many troubling issues around the globe, but one of the most obvious is the disturbing plethora of plastics discarded everywhere. Literally everywhere. From the stunning coastlines of Bali where we snorkelled beside fish gobbling down plastics to charming villages, we hiked through in the Andes where plastic bottles cascade down into the rivers below. It is heartbreaking to witness and heartbreaking to know that those plastics will still be on our planet for hundreds of years to come. Did you know that 50% of… Read More »WORLDLY GIRLIES TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Late July 2020, during a pandemic, Nicola decides to travel overseas…all in the name of love. She travels from Vancouver, Canada, to the Canary Islands, Spain and tells us about her experience flying internationally during COVID 19. These are her travel tips on how to keep safe while flying during a pandemic.
I bobbed in the ocean, sitting on my board, breathing heavy from the paddle out past the break. I already felt like giving up, but my eyes were zeroed in on the horizon, squinting away the sunrise. My brain was on overdrive. This one? …
Travel Blog Entry & Photos by Sherry Ott
Packing. Ugh. Just the thought of it stresses me out which seems odd as I do it so often. I travel about 20ish weeks of the year, essentially living out of a bag for a great part of the year. I can’t say that I have a fool-proof packing agenda, but I have definitely learned a few things along the way. KERI‘S PACKING TIPS FOR ALL TRIPS:If you can carry-on, by all means, do it. It saves you so many potential headaches. I’ve had my checked bag go on many adventures without me (finisterra.ca/walking-across-tuscany-blind). However, if you must check your bag, I cannot stress the importance of packing your carry-on bag with all your essentials. Besides medications, extra contacts/glasses, chargers, etc, I always recommend carrying a change of clothing which is appropriate for the destination (ie/ if you are going on a hiking trip, make sure you are carrying a hiking outfit as well as appropriate shoes, hat, etc) just incase you are without your bag for a few days. KERI NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT…A headlamp, phone portable battery pack, sunglasses, extra contacts/glasses, tiny speaker, downloaded maps on my phone, little black dress, Birks, Steripen for water purification, thermal water bottle, shampoo bars, scarf, little back-pack, waterproof shell, a purse with a cross-body strap… 1. PACKING TIPS FOR VARIED CLIMATES:We always get asked, “How are we supposed to pack for this kind of trip?” For example, our most popular destination, hands-down, is Peru, and for good reason. Peru is a… Read More »PACKING TIPS BY KERI
Nicola and I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Kingdom of Bhutan, a tiny Buddhist country tucked in the heart of the Himalayas, in July of 2017 as guests of a very gracious local host. He created a custom Bhutan adventure just for the two of us. Although both Nicola and I have visited many countries in Asia, Bhutan stood out as truly unique. For starters, it is the only officially buddhist country in the world, there are no traffic lights, its architecture is traditional and cohesive, temples and Dzongs (fortresses) adorn even the most remote regions of the country, it boasts dramatic landscapes, and the people are incredibly friendly. It is also a land where wealth is measured not by traditional economic measures, but rather by a happiness index. How awesome is that? With its stunning scenery, welcoming people and fascinating culture, a visit to Bhutan is guaranteed to increase your Gross Personal Happiness. Bhutan is a fabulous country for hiking ranging from day hikes to multi-day treks. While we were there, we hiked almost everyday, although none of our hikes were terribly difficult. One of the most extraordinary things was that we encountered virtually no other travellers on our hikes, even along some of the more popular trails. We did encounter monks, farmers, students, and so many mellow dogs. Pristine mountain lakes, rice terraces, precariously perched temples, imposing glaciers, and some of the world’s most endangered species await the visitor in the mountainous amphitheatre of the Himalayas.… Read More »BHUTAN TRAVEL INCREASES YOUR HAPPINESS
Want to Trek to See Gorillas? Of course, you do. Contact us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of trekking to see the majestic Mountain Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda. Nicola‘s advice when Gorilla Trekking? “Try not to get sat on by a 550lb Silverback!” It had been an hour and a half of trekking through the jungle of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. It was a beautiful jungle, thick with bamboo shoots and a tall canopy above us, nestled beside the stunning backdrop of several volcanoes. The terrain was getting rougher, the incline getting steeper, and the trail getting muddier from the recent downpour. Our guide was using his machete to hack through the thicker parts of the bush, when suddenly he stopped us. As we approached the clearing, we could see the gorilla trackers who had gone out hours before us to find them. “This is where we will get ready to see the gorillas, they are close. Take out your cameras and leave everything else here. As we started getting organized, someone from the group whispered “I can see them!” and so it began. We quickly dropped our things and made a mad dash toward the gorillas. “Follow me” said the guide, and off we went. Mountain Gorillas are one of the most endangered species in the world. There are only around 850 of them left, and they’re all found deep in the jungle spreading throughout parts of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These fascinating species… Read More »TRACKING THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
AN ADVENTURE TO SOUTHERN INDIA Traveling to Kerala is not for the faint of heart, however, it is absolutely worth it! In September 2016, Keri and I braved the journey to Southern India to attend the Kerala Travel Mart. We were fortunate enough to be invited on a tour beforehand, taking us from Bangalore to Cochin for 10 days. Check out this South India Tour itinerary, HERE. We arrived in Bangalore after 30 hours of travel. We were immediately surprised at how modern it is. As Bangalore is the tech hub of India, the majority of the population is a younger, richer generation. Bangalore also happens to be the beer capital of India, so for our first night, we went to a craft brewery for dinner. We got a flight of beer, which made Keri extremely happy, and the most delicious lamb chops and prawns. After our stay in Bangalore, we headed south towards Mysore, which was previously the capital of Southern India. We visited some sights around the area, including a massive monolithic statue at the top of many stairs, and the Mysore Palace. After our visit to the palace, we went to the market in town. The market was wonderful – we were the only foreigners there, and they had everything from scented oils to jewelry to fruit and veggies. Just outside the market, as we were waiting to head back to the hotel, a group of 10 elephants came down the street. Turns out they were the… Read More »CAPTIVATING KERALA
Tour leading is an amazing way to see the world. For sure. It is not without its challenges however. I’ve had many mind-blowingly incredible experiences with a smattering of terrible ones. When asked about my most difficult tour leading experience, I have the same reaction – I pause, tilt my head to the side and smile as snippets of 75+ countries, countless groups, and a myriad bizarre tour leading moments flash before my eyes. One of my favourite travel tales? Leading a walking tour through Tuscany…blind. Not the kind of “blind” that we use in the industry for doing a tour for the first time, but “blind” as in extremely visually impaired. I had just finished leading a tour in Spain and was on my way to Italy to lead a walking tour through Tuscany. My flights seemed simple enough – Seville to Madrid then Madrid to Rome. Now as much as I like to fancy myself a savvy traveller, I am self-admittedly a terrible packer. I sometimes get a bit lazy when I pack and just toss everything in my checked bag. When I’m on the ball, I pack a carry-on bag with all the essentials such as important documents, guide books, glasses, lipgloss (yes, it’s important), change of clothing, jacket, and extra contact lenses. In this instance I’d been so busy with my group in Spain, that I was not on the ball and therefore didn’t take the extra 5 minutes needed to pack my carry-on well. I… Read More »FUMBLING AROUND TUSCANY
My first backpacking trip to Peru was when I was 20 years old and an idealistic vegetarian on a $20 per day budget. That’s $20 per day for everything – transportation, hostel, sightseeing entrances, and food. Being a vegetarian anywhere is South America is a challenge but particularly when you are on a super tight budget. This all being said, my first introduction to Peruvian cuisine was very lack-luster and involved mostly potatoes (of which there are some 4000 varieties), avocados, quinoa (ancient protein-rich super grain), corn, and runny eggs. Needless to say I did not return home after my first foray to South America and rave about Peruvian cuisine (though I did rave about almost everything else). Oh how times have changed. I am no longer a vegetarian. I do not travel on a $20 per day budget. I have been to Peru at least a dozen times. I love Peruvian cuisine. Over the past decade and a half my love affair with Peruvian cuisine has become very potent but apparently, I am not the only one. Peruvian cuisine has recently received an immense amount of attention in the culinary world and is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Modern day Peruvian cuisine is a melting pot indigenous dishes combined with nearly 500 years of Spanish and more recently African, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian influence. Peruvian cuisine is varied in colour and texture, extremely fresh, and mildly spicy. From the seafood-rich Pacific, to the fertile Andes where potatoes, corn and tomatoes… Read More »TOP 5 PERUVIAN DISHES