Tag Archives: traveling



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by Greg Gazin

Save money when travelling

Worried about outrageous phone and data charges, many people turn off their phones when travelling, so that they don’t come home to massive cell phone bills. Rules and regulations are starting to change, and there are now more affordable choices.

Your carrier or service provider may offer special travel add-ons to your current plan. While this would be the most convenient route, it’s not the most economical. Canadian mobile phone and data rates are very expensive compared to other parts of the world. In fact, as a result of a 2016 study by Nordicity Group, CBC reported that Canadians pay much higher rates compared to other G7 countries and Australia. In one example, an entry-level wireless package in Canada was quoted at $41.08 (on average) compared to $17.15 for a comparable package in Germany.

Photo, bigstock.com
Photo, bigstock.com

If you pick up a cheap phone when you’re abroad, you won’t have your apps and contacts with you. A great solution is to purchase a local SIM card and insert it into your own phone. Previously this wasn’t an option for Canadians, as phones sold in Canada were locked with the carrier that you were under contract with. Even if you bought an unlocked phone, it would often be locked with the carrier that it was first used with. This all changed on December 1, 2017 when the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) ruled to update the Canadian Wireless Code of Conduct, giving you the right to have your phone unlocked by your service provider upon your request – at no charge. New phones that were purchased after December 1st are to be unlocked.

The carrier that your phone is locked with, must unlock your phone. If that’s Bell or Rogers, call them and they will do so. Telus can’t help you. If your device was previously lost or stolen, you may be blacklisted. Or, you may have an issue if you have an outstanding balance.

When travelling, you’ll still want to use Wi-Fi whenever you can, but in addition to cheaper calling with an unlocked phone, you’ll be able to leverage lower data rates, which is handy when using maps and apps that require connectivity. You can find local SIM cards just about everywhere, like the airport, electronic shops, gas stations and convenience stores. Often they’ll also work in nearby countries.

If you spend your winters south of the border, companies like Vancouver-based Roam Mobility offers complete Talk+Text+Data monthly plans, which may turn out to be lower than your current bill. You can pick up a SIM card in Canada before you go, including 7-Eleven stores.

Do your homework. Newer smartphones should work globally, but there are always exceptions. A local SIM card, as well as a pay-as-you-go phone, will have a different phone number, so you’ll have to alert family and friends. The advantage is that your number will be local to the country that you’re staying in.

Whether you’re travelling or not, an unlocked phone makes it easier to switch providers, and if you choose to sell it, you’ll have a larger pool of potential buyers if your phone isn’t tethered to a specific carrier.

Greg Gazin (a.k.a The Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg) is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to Canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life.



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Body & Soul: A Healthy Pleasure - Stay fit while travelling

Body & Soul: A Healthy Pleasure

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Body & Soul: A Healthy Pleasure

by Agnes Ramsay

Photo, (top) bigstock.com

Stay fit while travelling

Virtual Reality Technology is very realistic. I was amazed by its capabilities as it looked, and felt, like I was wandering around a beautiful vineyard in France. However, as good as the technology is, it still isn’t anywhere close to the real deal. Even when interacting with business colleagues, nothing, yet, has truly replaced real face time. And while the virtual vineyard looked lovely, I’d prefer to actually experience it, so that all my senses are stimulated.


I’m a big fan of travelling, but it can wreak havoc on your daily fitness routine. If you are traveling for pleasure, try to build your holiday around activities. For the more active, this may include hiking excursions, or simply walking around the cities that you’re visiting. Exploring different cultures is always best on foot. I’m never concerned when my clients go on this type of vacation as they don’t need to make an additional effort to exercise – it’s built into the trip by seeing the sights.

Pack your pedometer of choice and delight in all the steps that you’re taking. Make sure that you pack good walking shoes – heels are never your friend on cobblestone streets. And don’t forget the walking poles.

If you are going south for a much-needed R&R holiday, ensure that walking becomes part of your daily routine. Get up early for a brisk walk on the beach before it gets too hot. Don’t forget to take a bottle of water, and wear a hat and sunblock. Most resorts offer other activities like kayaking, beach volleyball and swimming. And many are so large that simply walking everywhere will give you a daily workout.

Personally, I tend to avoid the gyms when travelling south, because I’d prefer to be outdoors. However, if the heat is a concern, a short gym visit is a great option – you are on holidays, after all.


HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is another possibilty. Dr. Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, has done many studies on HIIT. She’s found that short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by periods of moderate intensity, is remarkably effective – 10 to 15 minutes is enough.

When on business, HIIT training is highly recommended. Time is often at a premium, and you may not be booked into a hotel with a gym. Nor may you be in an area that’s conducive to walking. HIIT training can be done in your room.


  • Two- to three-minute warm up (light jogging on the spot).
  • High intensity activity for 20 seconds, then stepping on the spot for 40 seconds. Repeat circuit four to eight times.
  • Two- to three-minute cool down (stepping on the spot).


  • Jumping jacks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Squat jumps
  • Running man
  • Spider man
  • Burpees
  • Reverse lunges
  • High knee raise

*Check online videos for proper form.

Agnes Ramsay is a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach specializing in Electric Muscle Stimulation Training.



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