Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, a striking landscape dominated by huge saguaro cactus. | Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

Phoenix has a natural side that is worth exploring

The most surprising part of Phoenix, Arizona, is the easy access to nature and outdoor activities, even though it is one of the larger cities in the United States. Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert, a striking landscape dominated by huge saguaro cactus. The best place to get oriented is at the Desert Botanical Garden […] Read more

Aeroplan has made changes recently, and while some are good for consumers, others aren’t.  |  Getty Images

How to receive the best value from your Aeroplan miles

If you’re confused over what is happening with Aeroplan, you’re not alone. Aeroplan started out as Air Canada’s frequent flyer program. Then Air Canada sold it, bought it back again early in 2019, but announced that it will roll out a new program to replace Aeroplan in June 2020. They made a few changes in […] Read more

Tourists in South Africa don’t need to join guided tours to enjoy wildlife safaris. They can simply drive on their own to see an impressive array of animals, including lions, giraffes and elephants. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Independent travel in South Africa is worth the road trip

Earlier this year, we took our sixth trip to South Africa. Over the past decade or so, we’ve visited parts of all nine provinces and most major national parks, plus many minor parks. We’re often asked why we keep going back and how we travel, so we thought it’s time to discuss what it’s like […] Read more

Thunder Bay’s port and grain terminals give the city a rich agricultural history. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Thunder Bay rich in history and natural attractions

Thunder Bay has long been an important Canadian transportation hub. In recent times it has been best known as the western-most port on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, where grain and other products are loaded onto ships bound for export markets. However, this strategic location for transportation dates back to the early days of […] Read more

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens aren’t what many people might expect to find during a visit to Lethbridge.  |  Robin and Arlene Karpan Photo

Garden provides a Japanese experience on the Prairies

The grounds are dominated by a classical Japanese pavilion, home to events such as the ancient tea ceremony. Pagodas, a bell tower, and trees pruned to exacting standards surround a pond. Visitors learn about the time-honoured symbolism from hosts and hostesses in traditional dress. It’s as if we’ve wandered into an historic site in Japan, […] Read more

The meandering Qu'Appelle River, Saskatchewan. | Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

Sask.’s Qu’Appelle Valley makes for the ultimate road trip

Did you know that you can travel a third of the way across Saskatchewan while staying in the scenic Qu’Appelle Valley? Despite this being one of the Prairie’s most stunning landscapes, travellers tend to see only bits and pieces, since most highways simply cross the valley, such as Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon, which […] Read more

There’s nothing drab about Dawson City.  |  Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Dawson City still known as Canada’s icon of the North

Dawson City is a fundamental part of the Canadian psyche. Just think of the North and this icon of the Klondike Gold Rush springs to mind. In the late 1800s, it seemed that the entire world was stampeding to the Yukon, where fortunes were both made and lost. Almost overnight, Dawson City became the largest […] Read more

Cost-savings is a big advantage, but not entirely knowing what you’re getting into can be a major disadvantage when renting an Airbnb.  |  Getty Images

Exploring the pros and cons of staying at an Airbnb

A lot has changed in the world of travel recently, but one of the most significant phenomenon in the past decade has been the emergence of Airbnb. Starting with an idea in 2007, it has become bigger than the five largest hotel chains combined. The odd name originated with two young cash-strapped roommates in San […] Read more

A boat trip through the Sumidero Canyon was the highlight of the authors’ recent visit to Chiapas.  |  Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

Southern Mexico reveals history and natural beauty

We gazed up at vertical cliff faces almost a kilometre high as our boat zigzagged through narrow passages between canyon walls. We stopped to see caves and strange rock formations, or to get closer looks at birds or spider monkeys playing in the trees. Most impressive was the Christmas Tree Waterfall. Wispy streams of water […] Read more

Crowds of visitors fill the main entrance to Angkor Wat. |  Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Angkor Wat lives up to its reputation

For the last two years, Angkor Wat was chosen as the World’s Top Landmark in Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards. This ancient city in northwestern Cambodia has risen from near obscurity during the bad old days of wars and political turmoil in the late 20th century to become one of the most popular tourist destinations […] Read more