“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
It’s a new year, which means for many of us, a fresh start. Now that the world is opened up again, Canadians are once again travelling. Will 2023 be the year you finally explore those places on your bucket list?
For most adults, we spend much of our time here on earth working. This isn’t a bad thing – especially if you have a career you are passionate about. That said, everyone gets burned out. This is why many Canadian companies offer workers a minimum of 10 days of paid vacation. Though according to Canadian HR Reporter, 30% of Canadian workers didn’t take their available vacation days in 2021.This article also mentions that many employees bring their work on holiday with them, when they do go.
Paid Time Off (PTO) is an important aspect of your working life. Workers need a healthy work-life balance to maintain productivity and avoid burnout. Offering PTO shows workers they are valued by the company and make organizations attractive to jobseekers.
10 Trips to Plan this Year
Whether you want to stay in North America or go abroad this year, there are plenty of options available to you depending on what you’re looking for in a vacation. We asked the Staff Shop team what their favourite trips have been to provide you with some inspiration. These destinations are in no particular order:
1.A wellness trip to Costa Rica
Staff Shop Founder and CEO, Jennifer Ménard-Shand calls this Central American country a sanctuary and the very definition of paradise. She particularly enjoys Santa Teresa.
“A magical blend of jungle/rainforest meets breathtaking beaches and the warm bath water-like ocean, 30 degree Celsius sun daily (minus rain season), fresh fruit, great coffee, monkeys, waterfalls, sunsets, beach parties, jungle beats music, surfing, yoga/healing retreats, and beautiful, laid back people who are in great shape and at peace.”
2. Explore the arts in New Orleans
If you love music and culture, the beautiful city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is the place for you. Whether you make the trip for Mardi Gras this winter or the jazz festival in the spring,you’re sure to be entertained in this Southern gem. For Staffing Coordinator, Chantal Porter, this resilient city is a must-see.
“It is energetic with so much vibrant live music.”
3. Take the show on the road
For COO Alison Hernández, travel is all about seeking out new and different places. Her favourite way to do this is by car. The good old fashioned cross-country (or cross-border) road trip never goes out of style. Jump in your car, grab some snacks and enjoy the journey. Alison recommends those who cross the border a lot get a Nexus pass to make crossing a breeze.
“I love to throw a dart at the map and just hit the road. Each city has its own personality and culture. A signature food item, a local accent in speaking, and some kind of (usually cheesy) landmark they are famous for.”
4. See the mountains
For Nidhi Soni, Staff Shop’s Accounting Manager, growing up in India gave her an appreciation for the mountains. The Himalayan Range was one of her favourite vacation spots as a child. But for her, any mountain will do as long as there’s fresh air and nature.
“The sight of the pine trees makes me happy.”
5. Take a safari in Tanzania
If you crave adventure and love wild life, the ultimate bucket list trip would be an African safari. Recruitment Assistant Brenna Pembleton opted for a safari through Tanzania. Taking an organized group trip allows you to see more and feel safe while you travel. See elephants in the wild, and depending on the time of year you go, the Great Wildebeest Migration.
“I’m a nature lover and animal enthusiast. Seeing wild indigenous African animals in their natural habitat while they are still there was life-changing.”
6. Explore Asia
Not one, not two, but three of our Staff Shop team members chose Asian destinations as their must-see. For Chief Administrator, Jef Tolentino, Boracay Island in the Philippines was his #1 spot. Account Manager, Kirisa Alexander chose Quảng Nam Province, Vietnam. And Account Manager Hong Nguyen chose Thailand.
“It’s Boracay’s White Beach that I imagine when anyone mentions the word paradise. It is probably one of the most stunning beaches in the world and definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia.” – Jef
“Hội An is a World Heritage Site and ancient port town dating back to the 15th century, and home of The Japanese Bridge which has been maintained since the 17th century, connecting the Chinese quarter and Japanese quarter of the port town. The town has Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and even French aspects based on the different times in its history.” – Kirisa
“I loved Thailand for its architecture; huge options for clothes and cosmetic shopping as well as tasty fruits; lovely beaches with green colour water. The most important reason is it is a very affordable trip for the best quality and various options.” – Hong
7. Enjoy food and adventure in Portugal
For Marketing Coordinator, Laura De Lorenzi, Algarve, Portugal, is her go-to destination. She plans to take her fourth trip to the country this year! For Laura, the Algarve region of Portugal is great for those seeking adventure and is also a foodie’s paradise.
“Overall, Portugal is a very affordable place to travel… You can find amazing food for just a couple of euros and of course, the beauty of the country is free entertainment.”
8. Play in your own backyard in Montreal
To travel, you don’t necessarily need to leave your country. For Client & Employee Care Concierge, Belinda LeMay, she can get the arts, culture and food right in the beautiful city of Montreal.
“Highlights for me are crêpes, poutine or world famous bagels! Whether you are on a budget or want to splurge you’ll have no problem finding a bite to eat in Montreal, which has more restaurants per capita than any other city in North America.”
9. Experience the best of Europe in Vienna
Former expat, and Administrative Support, Susan Beck, knows a thing or two about Europe, having lived in Germany for 16 years. For her, if you want the best of Paris and Germany combined, you’ve got to go to Vienna, Austria.
“And you can’t beat all the varieties of Schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel being the most famous), with Spätzel (a type of fried noodle/dumpling). And for all the chocolate lovers, Sachertorte, a delicious chocolate cake, also originated here.”
10. Leave the snow behind in Los Angeles
If you’re sick of the Canadian winter, seek out some California sunshine in Los Angeles. That’s where Account Manager, Kimberley Reasbeck went to escape the frigid Ottawa weather and she loved it. There’s more to L.A. than just the weather though, there’s plenty to do and see.
“I loved the street shops, and the restaurants. By far my favorite part was the palm trees, the beaches and the rooftop pools! And of course the all famous Hollywood sign!”
There you have it! Ten of Staff Shop’s tried and true vacation destinations. It’s time to start planning where you’re going to escape to this year!
Staff Shop recently ran a contest to create more awareness and increase engagement on our blog and social media platforms among staff. One follow equaled one entry. We are excited to announce the winner here. We’d like to congratulate Helen Ryan! You have won a dinner for two at Real Sports Bar & Grill! Please contact us to claim your prize! A dinner out is the perfect setting to discuss your 2023 travel plans!
As always, for the rest of you – we invite you to join us or hire us! We hope you have a fabulous 2023 and enjoy travelling to places near or far!