Since so many people ask how we manage to work for ourselves, travel on our own time and  make extra money on the side, we figured it was about time to show others what type of “side gigs” we have to make enough money so we can do all the things that we enjoy.

“If you know us, you would know that we love to try new ways to make some extra money on the side… You might say we’re addicted to the side hustle”

No matter what those “Online Gurus” tell you, there is no “quick and easy” way to make money!

Earning money on the side doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult though. As long as you’re willing to try different side hustles, roll up your sleeves and work hard… you’ll be on the road to success in no time.

Typically though, the larger the effort, the larger the reward and we’ll parse out how much of each you can expect.

7 Ways That We Make Some Extra Income Every Month

Please note, we don’t yet use all of these methods, but know from other people that they do work… and some of the below sign-up links contain referral links.

uber app on phone

1. Drive For Uber/UberEats

What is Uber?

Uber is a “taxi service” that you can order right from your own phone, the fare is directly charged to your account and no money is exchanged physically from the customer and driver.

Uber Eats has the same concept as Uber, but Uber Eats is for food delivery instead of human delivery.

What Uber does best is give the “worker” the ability to make money on their own time.

The best part about Uber is that you can turn it on or off whenever you want. You’re in complete control of your time and hours.

You can actually work Uber and Uber Eats from the same app called “Uber driver” (signup to be an Uber and/or UberEats driver).

Why Drive for Uber?

Uber and UberEats are great ways to make a little extra money on the side.

While, some even make Uber a full-time gig, we see it as a better income supplement added to a full-time salary.

They make it so easy: you just turn on the app when you’re ready to work and wait for your first call. We have so much on the go at all times, that we love the convenience and freedom of being able to work anytime we want.

Some people find time management and being responsible for their own hours difficult… so just know that it takes a bit of discipline in order to set time aside to work.

How Much Money Can You Make With Uber?

It’s possible to make $14-$28/hr (CAD) with Uber Eats – depending on area and time of the day.

The more you work Uber the better you’ll know what time, what days and where the best places are to do Uber or UberEats in your area.

The last time we drove for Uber Eats was in early 2018 and in 5 weeks we worked 31 hours and we averaged $22/hour (CAD).

For us in general, hourly rates while delivering for UberEats would fluctuate daily between $15/hr and $30/hr with Uber Eats, and by the end of the week we would average about $19/hr.

Learn more about our experience: Making Extra Income With Uber And Uber Eats

Driving Uber rideshare you can average a higher hourly rate but you will most likely use more gas, your car usually needs to be newer and you need to get a safety test done on your vehicle every year.

There are drivers out there who work every day, long hours and don’t go home until they make $200 or $250 per day, but that’s a lot of driving and miles on the vehicle.

In the end, it depends on either how often and long you want to work or how much you are looking to make before turning off the app.

The best way to find out if you’ll enjoy Uber as a way to make extra money, is to just get out there and start driving!

Uber’s Effort To Reward Ratio

Little Effort, Minimum-Medium Reward

We list these Uber as little effort and minimum to medium reward because there really are no obligations and you make your own schedule.

While you do have to take into account your vehicle expenses and gas, we quickly learned the areas to work in order to maximize our overall hourly rate.

One of our fathers still delivers UberEats and finds it a great supplement to his retirement pension, expenses aside.

TIP: Make sure you’ve filed all the appropriate paperwork for any government tax accounts and that you put aside some money for taxes just in case. For us, it was a medium-level reward as there was still usually a max hourly rate we could reach on any given day, though sometimes that max rate was pretty darn good.

bananas in grocery store- shopping to make extra money on the side

2. Shop for  Instacart

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is an app that allows you to shop from your phone and have the groceries delivered to your door at your own time and convenience.

If you enjoy grocery shopping, Instacart might be the right gig for you.

All you have to do is download the app, sign up, wait for a prepaid credit card to be sent to you and start shopping.

It kind of reminds us of that old game show Supermarket Sweep.

Why Shop For Instacart?

The only reason we’d recommend shopping for Instacart would be if you really enjoy grocery shopping…

For us, working for Instacart was stressful and frustrating.

Take a look at our experience using Instacart to make some extra money.

Even though we didn’t have a good experience, we do know others who enjoy shopping for Instacart (shop for Instacart).

You should do your own research and ask others questions, to see if Instacart would be a good way for you to make some extra money. 

How Much Money Can You Make With Instacart?

Instacart often offers an hourly rate when they start in a new city and we jumped on board when they started in Toronto in the beginning of 2018.

They offered $14 dollars an hour Canadian and we both booked as may hours as possible (Learn more about our Instacart experience and why we don’t do it anymore). It was good while it lasted.

After the hourly guarantee stopped it wasn’t worth it for us to shop for Instacart, we had other side hustles that made more money using up the time we would have been shopping.

$12 to $17 per batch ($20/hour if working the whole time)

We have a friend who has been using Instacart as a full-time job since the beginning of 2018 and she really enjoys shopping. She says that you can make $12-$17 per order (sometimes more sometimes less) and if you’re working consistently probably around $20/hr (CAD), she also says that she’s not always busy so the hourly rate will drop from time to time.

She just recently started working for Cornershop and says she’s averaging more per hour than Instacart. Cornershop is new to Toronto so we will see how it looks in the future.

(Note: Other grocery delivery companies, like Cornershop, have started to pop up in major city centres and may provide an alternative to Instacart if you find it’s not for you).

Instacart’s Effort To Reward Ratio

Medium Effort, Minimum Reward

We listed Instacart as medium effort minimum reward, because the commitment to a shift as well as to stay on shift, even if there isn’t work, is a little too much to ask for.

You can’t leave the area or commit to anything else just in case you get a call or “batch”. Also the pay is minimal, if you’re not shopping or delivering, you’re not making money.

Some areas also have unrealistic boundaries causing you to lose a lot of time driving to pick up groceries from the different stores in the area and deliver them. 

In high-density areas, you might be able to make some good money but there are other issues that delivering groceries in a big city create, like parking and traffic.

make money with etsy

3. Sell Your Crafts On Etsy

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is an e-commerce website that has a focus on handmade, vintage or craft items. It allows “merchants to open up a store to sell items where a buyer pays for that item and the merchant ships the item to that buyer.”

Why Sell On Etsy?

If you have a craft idea or access to craft products, want to work from home and think others would want or need these items, you most definitely can make money on Etsy.

Not only are you able to enjoy a creative outlet, you can also supplement your income while you do it!

How Much Money Can You Make On Etsy?

The Amount of money you can make on Etsy can be unlimited but the amount of cash does equal how hot your item is, how much competition, and how much work you’re willing to put into the business.

We’ve heard from people who struggle to make money on Etsy and others who make enough money to quit their jobs… in some cases, making enough to allow their spouses to quit their jobs too.

What we’ve noticed is this: those lucky enough to be able to make Etsy a full-time job, hustle hard for a while before they even hit their first financial goals.

Etsy’s Effort To Reward Ratio

Little-large effort, little to large reward

We say little to large effort and reward because this is a platform on which you really have control over how much you make. 

You choose what to make, how much of each item you can produce and how much you want to sell it for.

Your biggest limitation would be sourcing and costs of supplies and how much time you make to work on it.

Since it’s all handcrafted and handmade items, the term “little effort” is probably not a very accurate description and Etsy (along with most things) is probably closer to an “effort-in equals reward-out” kind of scenario just like every other side hustle out there.

amazon smile and logo - making money with amazon

4. Sell On Amazon

What Is Amazon?

Amazon does a lot more than sell products. They are into cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

The side hustle we’re going to concentrate on is the E-commerce part of their business.

Amazon has over 600 million products, over 2.5 million active sellers, and 197 million people around the globe visiting the site monthly.

The market is huge and that’s what makes Amazon a great way to make some extra money or even make a “full-time” salary.

Why Sell On Amazon?

Sign up to be an Amazon Seller

Selling on Amazon can be very lucrative and the effort put in defiantly equals the reward out.

There are several different ways to sell a product on Amazon.

  • You could have your own product and product line and possibly want to use Amazon to reach more people (this is called having your own private label or “PL” for short).
  • You could work for a company or even represent multiple companies on Amazon by helping them sell their products on the Amazon marketplace (this is called wholesale).
  • Or you can do what we do at the moment and buy products for cheaper than they sell on Amazon and resell them on Amazon for a profit (this is called “Retail Arbitrage” if going into stores physically and “Online Arbitrage” if you search online and order products that way).

How Much Money Can You Make On Amazon?

Just like every other side hustle on this list, you get out of Amazon what you put in.

Some struggle to make money and others make millions of dollars per year.

We make an extra $300 to $5000 dollars per month, the amount of money we make each month varies with the effort and initial investment we put into the business and also depends on the time of the year.

Fourth quarter (September-December) is always the best time to sell on Amazon. It’s the time of the year everyone is thinking of buying Christmas gifts and it’s the time of year every seller loves.

We may sell the most in the 4th quarter, but we try to source products to sell all year-round.

Amazon’s Effort To Reward Ratio

Large effort, large potential reward

Do your homework. Period.

No matter what you hear, we would say Amazon is a real hustle as there is a large initial effort. 

Learning how to use Amazon Seller central, managing finances and figuring out what products sell are only three of the many learning curves that are involved in selling on Amazon.

We’ve learned that effort and time in equals success and profit out. We put in 4 to about 20 hours a month into our Amazon business, but are probably capable of increasing the time we put in.

We’ve heard cases about others who put in 10-12 hours a day for the first 5 or 6 months before they made enough money to quit their full time jobs, but of course that’s not a guarantee for everyone who decides to make the plunge into the Amazon Sellers world.

airbnb app with phone and room - learn to make money on aribnb

5. Rent Your Extra Room On Airbnb

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is a site that allows anyone to rent out their extra room, apartment, guest house or even entire house to others.

Airbnb has also added a section called “Airbnb Experiences” where others can offer activities like city tours, photoshoots, food tours, cooking classes and so much more.

Why rent your room on Airbnb?

If you’re looking to make some extra money and have an extra room, house or apartment, Airbnb might be a great way for you to supplement your income.

Unlike hotels, if you are renting out a space in your own house or apartment, you might need to be a little bit of a people person, as you’ll usually need to interact with the guests at some point, even if it is just through a messaging app.

We haven’t rented our place out yet on Airbnb but we’ve rented many places all around the world and met some of the most amazing people, who we can happily call friends.

We’ve also rented places before where we never met the owner face to face, which possible too.

Thinking that Airbnb is for you? Then rent a place on Airbnb here and see if it would be something you could make some extra money every single month.

How Much Money Can You Make On Airbnb?

The amount of money you can make on Airbnb all depends on the space you have to rent out and how many days a month you choose to do so. The location, size of space, if private or shared and even if it has something special about the airbnb rental will affect the value of the rental. 

Our advice to figuring out how much you can make on-airbnb is to take a look at the Airbnb calculator to see what you could make per month. 

Airbnb Calculator it will give you an estimate on the amount of money you can make on a monthly basis, but if you want more info join some Airbnb Facebook groups and ask questions.

Note: If you live in a condo or apartment, you’ll want to make sure you check to make sure the property doesn’t have any rules against renting out through Airbnb or similar services.

Airbnb’s Effort To Reward Ratio

Medium effort – small to high reward

We have Airbnb as a medium effort with a small to high reward because the amount of money you can make will really depend on location (the demand for it) and how many days a month you make the rental available. 

You’ll have to factor in the time and effort that you’ll need to put in while running your Airbnb like:

  1. The time it takes to clean the rooms/houses
  2. The time it takes to meet the guests and assist guest with what ever need they.
  3. The expenses to initially prep the space and replenish any consumables.

It’s a big thing to offer extras in the room, like water, snacks, bicycles and other things with the rental… so factor those things into your finances because they will affect how much money you can end up making and may even hurt your bottom line.

make money with ebay, side hustle for extra money6. Sell On eBay

What is eBay?

eBay is an auction and shopping based peer-to-peer e-commerce website where anyone can sell almost anything.

People can put up almost anything on eBay, as long as doesn’t violate the eBay terms and conditions (e.g. bodily fluids are not allowed).

eBay allows you to put an item up in a few different formats:

  1. An auction listing – multiple people can bid on an item during a time period specified by the seller. Usually this is used for more desirable and rare items. The highest bid at the end of the time frame is the winner.
  2. A straight sale listing – a set price is given and a buyer chooses to click to buy or can also make an offer if they’d like to negotiate before buying
  3. A combo of both – a “buy it now” price is provided on an auction item. A buyer can click “Buy it now” to purchase that product immediately at the listed price otherwise, bidding continues until the time period runs out with the highest bidder being the winner.

Why sell on eBay?

You might have some extra stuff laying around the house, or be a business owner that needs some extra eyeballs on your product. What we do is re-sell items that we find other places.

Some products we find sell better on eBay, these items might be more desirable by the shoppers on eBay rather than the shoppers on Amazon or Facebook Marketplace (see below for more on Facebook Marketplace).

The only way to learn what sells best on eBay is to do your research by looking at recent sales on eBay… but remember, if it sold in the past, it dosen’t mean the item will sell for that price again.

Pro Tip: With experience, You’ll eventually know what will sell and what won’t sell on eBay.

How Much Money Can You Make On eBay?

We feel like a broken record, but the amount of money you make on eBay will depend of how much work you put into it.

The thing about eBay is you have to take pictures of the product yourself and write a description every time, which can take a substantial amount of time…especially if your item doesn’t sell.

Once you find products that sell well on eBay you have the possibility to make consistent money as long as you keep putting items up for sale.

Just try eBay out to see if it’s for you!

If you’re looking for advice on how to make more money using ebay or advice on a specific kind of product, join an eBay Facebook group and start asking questions.

eBay’s Effort To Reward Ratio

medium-Large effort, small to the large potential reward

eBay is a tough place to make a living but can be a great way to supplement your income with a few extra hundred dollars a month. It does take more than a little effort but depending on what products you sell, the price you can sell them at and whether you factor in shipping to the sale.

You just need to keep posting items and don’t stop until you make a sale and learn what sells. Then, go out and find more to sell!

how to make extra money with facebook marketplace

7. Sell On Facebook Marketplace

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace is a platform within the site or app where Facebook users can locally buy and sell almost any item (as long as it goes along with Marketplace rules and guidelines).

There are tons of people buying and selling items every day, and it is a great place to get rid of items you weren’t able to sell elsewhere or just have laying around the house.

Why sell on the Facebook Marketplace?

We use Marketplace once in awhile to get rid of things that we have laying around the house that we don’t use anymore and that have a higher value than we would get out of them at a yard sale.

Others use it to flip things they find at garage sales, auctions, thrift stores and almost anywhere they can find a deal.

If you’re going to use Facebook Marketplace for business purposes, make sure you follow the guidelines that your government issues for taxes.

How much Money can you make on Facebook Marketplace?

Again if you use Facebook Marketplace as a business, please understand the local tax rules just like any other business.

You can make as much as you want on Facebook Marketplace, but the amount of profit will be determined by where you live, density of the population and interest level of the products you’re selling.

It really depends on how desirable your item is.

To really find out how much you can make on Marketplace, check out what items are listed in your immediate area as well as prices and then jump right in and start selling. It’ll become obvious quickly which kinds of items will sell and which are likely move slowly.

Facebook Marketplace’s effort to reward ratio

small to large effort – small to large reward

There’s no real answer to this, the amount of extra money you’ll make will depend on the amount of effort you put into sourcing products and listing them on Marketplace. 

Some factors that will determine how much extra money you can make are:

1. size/population of the area you’re selling in.

2. Time it takes to photograph and post items and respond to inquiries.

3. Gas money (if delivery is needed).

4. Shipping costs.

More ways to make extra money than you can shake a stick at

As you can see there are lots of ways to make extra money on the side, while you’re doing the everyday things you’d already be doing to save money – like couponing and cashback while shopping and taking online surveys.

While we also incorporate some of those into our life, we consider them more life hacks and money-saving opportunities, rather than side hustles or money-making opportunities.

Now, with this list, you can hopefully find one (or more) side-hustles that suits you, so you can make some extra money on the side.

Learn about some of our money-saving tips and tricks we use to save and stash some extra cash away!

 

Read more

By Kacey Mya of Drifter Collective

If you’re a traveler in desperate need of a last-minute getaway, you don’t have to compromise by paying sky-high prices. In fact, there are plenty of great deals and savings only available to those who are willing to be flexible and purchase deals a day or two before departure. So if you want to save when planning your next last-minute trip, follow the tips below.

1. Compare Ticket Prices

Don’t purchase the first flight itinerary you come across. Do your research and look across multiple platforms. In some cases, buying two one-way flights offers a better discount than one round-trip ticket. If you’re traveling internationally, you must book your return flight before you depart. When you arrive at the airport, they will typically want proof of your return in the form of a receipt or itinerary.

2. Use Your Points

If you have a credit card, look at which rewards are available to you. Many cards offer points for each purchase you make, which can later go towards travel purchases like airfare or a hotel room. Some cards even offer money back, such as one to two percent of every purchase returned in cash. You can then use this extra money to pay for expenses like taxi fare or meals.

3. Save With Bundles

You can easily find savings when you look at travel packages which bundle the flight, hotel and even a rental car. If your vacation is a spontaneous one, many bundles can be booked just 24 hours ahead of time. If you want to plan your whole vacation in one swift move, look for a travel bundle that also includes fun activities in your destination city.

packed luggage strategically

4. Travel Mid-Week

It’s known advice that to get the best airfare deals, you should travel during the middle of the week. The cheapest days of the week to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with weekdays typically being more affordable than weekends. Avoid Friday evenings and Monday mornings, where an excess of business travelers tends to jack up the rates.

5. Use an Agent

Sometimes planning a last-minute vacation can be a hassle, especially when you want to save money. One great option is to consult an expert — a travel agent, in other words. Since agents are paid by the airlines and hotels they choose, you pay no fee for using their services. Agents are also an excellent resource for figuring out how to make the most of your time and money once at your destination.

6. Try Alternative Lodging

Going to a hotel website and booking the first room you find will often mean paying exorbitant and unnecessary prices. In the age of apartment and room-sharing, there are plenty of online sites where you can find unique local accommodations for a fraction of the cost. Or, if you’re into the adventure of traveling, try staying at a hostel. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing a bunk bed, many offer private rooms for a few extra dollars.

7. Find Last-Minute Deals

Last-minute deal sites and apps are a great way to find hotel specials you can’t get anywhere else. Many of these sites negotiate directly with hotels to fill empty rooms and get you a better deal. If you don’t mind taking some additional risk, you can save more money by booking a mystery deal, where your accommodations aren’t revealed until after you’ve confirmed the booking.

dimlit hotel room

8. Practice Hotel Hopping

Having a base camp during your travels, like a hotel room, is a great way to stay relaxed and comfortable on your trip. But if you don’t mind a tad less stability, you can save money by practicing hotel hopping: switching hotels from one night to the next. When you wait to book a room until the day of, many rentals offer steep reductions in the price. Using more than one hotel during your travels is an easy and effective way to save cash.

9. Pack Bags Strategically

Gone are the days when you could bring jam-packed bags to the airport without having to worry about exorbitant fees. Now, the best way to save cash is to only bring a carry-on, which is free on most airlines. Keep in mind that some brands, especially budget chains like Frontier and Spirit, charge a fee for carry-on baggage, which increases the longer you wait to purchase a baggage pass. This fee can range anywhere from $30 to $65.

10. Consider Ride Sharing

While it can be nice to have a cab to yourself, you can easily save money by looking at ride-sharing options. Some of the most common are app programs like Uber and Lyft, where you can order a ride directly from your phone. If you’re at the airport or a hotel, many offer free or cheap shuttles to popular destinations. If you aren’t afraid of public transportation, the local bus or train can also provide great savings.

Prepping for Your Last-Second Trip

Just because you’re planning a last-minute trip doesn’t mean you can’t find exclusive savings. There are plenty of deals available to travelers who wait until the last minute. From flights to hotel rooms, you can plan your ideal trip without breaking the bank.


Kacey Mya Profile Picture

                                            ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter & Pinterest.


By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

Even if you’re the kind of person to take a last minute trip, vacations always take at least a little planning. You have to think ahead about what you want for meals, where you can get the food you like and what are the best places to stay. There’s also always time spent looking into what you can do around your vacation spot. This part of vacationing can feel monotonous, but it’s also exciting.

You get to plan a trip that’s going to blow your mind, so make sure you plan it the right way. Depending on where you’re going, your planning process is going to look slightly different. Trips to Europe in particular can be challenging for North Americans, because there are so many different countries and cultures to immerse yourself into.

If You’re Traveling to Europe, Here Are 8 Tips That Will Help You Make the Most of Your Trip

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Read on for some great tips that will help you make the most of your trip. You’ll never feel like you’ve missed anything, so you can just enjoy your vacation. Lose yourself in an incredible vacation to Europe and you’ll soon be planning your return trip in the near future.

lovelock in Germany

1. Don’t Try to See It All

When people visit popular US destinations like theme parks or large cities, there’s often an attempt to see everything in one trip. While that may be possible with a tight schedule, there’s no way anyone can see everything Europe has to offer. Don’t waste time stressing about timing flights or hotel bookings.

Instead, make a list of what you want to see first. Try to visit the top five places, if they’re in the same general location. You’ll eventually work your way down your Europe sightseeing bucket list with future trips, so don’t sweat it if you only stay in one area for your first go around.

2. Investigate Your Travel Options

Europe has a lot to offer visitors, but the destinations aren’t nearly as spread out as vacation spots in the US. You don’t need to get expensive flights to every city, which is why you should investigate your travel options. See if you can use things like tour buses or trains to save money. You can ride in style with the major tourist buses or try to blend in with the locals with trains or ride sharing apps. Know the options that are available in the places you want to visit before you get there so traveling is a breeze.

3. Take a Cruise

The phrase “backpacking through Europe” is a cliche for tourists to use as their framing device for a Europe vacation, but it’s not the only way you can travel the world. Check out your cruise options, since there are so many that will take you through the best places in Europe. You can get your food, board and entertainment wrapped up in one package, in addition to not having to pay for parking when you get to your destinations.

Deck on Viking River Cruise
Take a look at why you’re too young for a Viking River Cruise

4. Book Hostels to Save Cash

Americans are used to booking a hotel room whenever they travel, but Europe has other lodging options that might be more affordable for your budget. Hostels have existed long before room sharing apps. They were meant to house students and workers as they traveled, but tourists are now welcomed too. They’ll make you feel more like a local and not charge you typical hotel fees.

5. Travel During Off Seasons

Like any other popular vacation spot, Europe has its peak and low seasons that you should be aware of. If you travel there during the peak tourist season, you’ll find long lines and sold out spots that will be crushing not to visit after flying all the way out there. The low season is typically from November to March, so you’ll have a much better chance of encountering lower tourist volumes if you plan your vacation for the fall, winter or early spring seasons.

6. Research Upcoming Festivals

Picture the town where you live and the little festivals it probably has throughout the year. Now picture those festivals magnified for all of Europe to come visit. European festivals are one of the biggest tourist attractions that Europe has to offer. You should especially consider going to a music festival, since those tend to be the most popular. They’re a great opportunity to listen to the latest music and have a great time jamming out.

Budapest Chain Bridge

7. Pack One Fancy Outfit

The goal on a big trip to Europe is to pack light. Recycle outfits whenever you can, but it’s also smart to pack at least one fancy outfit as a backup plan. You may want to try a local restaurant that’s requires nicer clothes than jeans and a t-shirt, and you don’t want to miss out on an experience just because of what you didn’t pack. Have something business casual on hand for last minute wardrobe changes you may need to see a fancier venue or location.

8. Save as Much as Possible

You may be planning your trip down to the last minute, and that’s great if it’s what you prefer. There are still some unknowns you may be facing though, so it’s wise to save as much as possible before your trip begins. Tipping will be different in different countries for your dining experiences, and travel rates for buses and trains may not be the same.

There’s also an important factor to keep in mind. You don’t want to pay to travel to Europe and not enjoy every minute. Don’t waste time by ordering room service or eating in the hotel restaurants. Go out and see the cities you visit, eat at local restaurants and discover new experiences. You’ll get a better time from your trip if you have the freedom to go out for meals and other little things that you may have stayed home for on other trips.

Even if you put off your trip for a couple months to save, it’ll be worth it when you get there. You’ll have the ability to travel farther and see more. While you save, consider things like where you want to go and if a cruise could get you to those places. Looking at your trip differently than you would when traveling to an American city will transform your trip planning and give you a fantastic vacation.


Kacey Mya Profile Picture

                                            ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter & Pinterest.


By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

One of the best ways to experience travel is by indulging in the local cuisine.

In Portland, Maine, there are many dishes crafted with fresh, local food that every visitor must try. Here are the top 10 dishes that Portlanders love — and visitors will, too:

1. Pancakes With Maple Syrup

The most important meal of the day needs to be delicious and satisfy hearty appetites. Pairing buttery pancakes with fresh fruit and local syrup to make breakfast is classic. For Portlanders, the pancakes are great, but they aren’t necessarily the highlight. It’s the maple syrup — which is produced all over Maine — that makes the meal.

People from Maine love their maple syrup so much, they have a day called Maine Maple Sunday each year in March to celebrate the official state sweetener.

2. Potato Donuts

Typical donuts are made with yeast, salt, butter, sugar, buttermilk and flour — but then there are potato donuts. This Portland staple has those same ingredients as well, but there are also mashed potatoes thrown in, making them heartier than your typical glazed or iced breakfast treat.

People in Portland love that they can eat their savory spuds in a sweet way. The Holy Donut, made potato donuts a staple when they opened in 2011 and started cranking out 40 dozen a week — all made from scratch — before growing to 100 dozen and more. Now, they make over two million donuts a year.

3. Poutine Fries

Poutine is also popular among Portland potato enthusiasts, especially when it originated just next door. Originally from Canada, poutine is made with thick-cut french fries, locally sourced cheese curds and homemade gravy. The dish is typically offered as an appetizer or side and is gone within minutes.

4. Hot Dogs

Carnival and fair food have a place on the Portlander’s plate as well.

Jazzing up a hot dog is something Portland takes pride in, especially when creative renditions become popular. Made with local beef, restaurants like Blue Rooster Co. and El Corazon are crafting franks featuring flavors like kimchi, peanuts, beans and guacamole. Adding a bit more to the hot dog seems to give it a better spot on the menu.

5. Crab Salad

Crab salad is a customizable dish, which can be offered as an appetizer or main meal. Crabbers catch and harvest their crabs off Portland’s own shores, so the crab is always fresh. Top a bed of fresh greens with it or use it to dress up your pasta salad for some northern Atlantic flair.

6. Clambake

A traditional clambake you might find in New England is done over a fire-pit in the sand — but it can also be done without. It’s made of mussels, clams, lobster and any other kind of seafood you like, along with corn, potatoes, onions and other veggies. It’s completely customizable, so it’ll likely vary a bit depending on where it’s being served, but it’s perfect for those who want to indulge in a variety of seafood. Plus, it feeds multiple people at one time, so it’s ideal for sharing at parties and special occasions.

7. Haddock Chowder

Haddock and fish chowder is another delicacy Portlanders love. The dish was created by Helen and Larry Mugnai when they opened Helen’s Restaurant in 1950, and it’s been called a New England classic ever since.

8. Lobster Grilled Cheese

It wouldn’t be the best bites of Portland, Maine without mentioning lobster.

Lobster finds itself in many seafood dishes, but none are like the lobster grilled cheese. Seared between two thick slices of bread with melted butter and cheese, lobster grilled cheese is a classic made for Portlanders of all ages.

9. Lobster Pie

Besides adding lobster to their grilled cheese, Portlanders have found ways to incorporate lobster into other dishes, too.

Combining all the warm, comforting aspects of pot pie with Portland lobster, lobster pot pies are popping up on the food scene and delighting taste buds. It’s like chicken pot pie, but it uses lobster tails and crab combined with the chicken broth and fresh vegetables instead.

10. Lobster Rolls

Offered at many restaurants and food stands, lobster rolls are one of the best dishes when it comes to traditional Portland fare. Blanketed with butter that highlights the fresh catch and seeps into the soft bun, a lobster roll is something every Portland visitor should experience. It’s one of the must-eat items when you visit Maine.

The Way to Portland’s Heart

Any of the dishes above are bound to turn visitors into happy travelers. When stomachs are satisfied, so are hearts — and they’ll want to come back.


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                                            ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter & Pinterest.


By Leila Dorari

The island nation of Japan might not seem as the ideal winter getaway but you’d be surprised to find out what it has to offer to prospective skiers and snowboarders. Of course, you don’t have to be a professional to ski in Japan, nor do you have to know how to ski at all, as there is always time to learn during Japan’s ski season while enjoying off-piste activities. After all, if you are traveling to The “Land of the Rising Sun”, there are many other things you can experience from food to architecture to culture.

The Best Skiing and Snowboarding Spots in Japan

While you can explore all Japan has to offer anywhere in the country, you’ll find most of Japan’s ski resorts are located on the north island of Hokkaido and on the main island of Honshu.

Niseko

Niseko is the winter pearl of Hokkaido and it’s famous around the world for its rich snow deposits in winter, as it can fall up to 17 meters of snow per season. This is especially alluring for tourists who prefer to stay in luxurious condominiums and apartments, as well as in five-star hotels that Niseko is known for. Besides the well-marked slopes, the area has a vibrant nightlife with a lot of nightclubs and restaurants that serve the local and national cuisine. This does not mean that families do not come here as well, as kids will plenty of things to do too and since it gets so many international visitors, you won’t have to worry about the language barrier as everyone speaks English well!

ski hill in japan with a view of mount Fuji

Tomamu

When it comes to family winter holidays, no place is better on Hokkaido Island than Tomamu. Located a 3 hours drive from the airport in Sapporo, the local capital, it has ease of access for guests flying in. The area welcomes all families with off-the-slope activities tailored for each member of the family from small children, who can learn their first ski moves here, all the way to adults who can turn semi-pro on Tomamau’s slopes. The accommodations available are more than solid and offers more relaxation as the whole place is a lot quieter than Niseko.

The Hakuba Valley

When it comes to the main island of Honshu, the hotspot for Japan’s ski season and winter sports is by far the Hacuba Valley. It is large in size and boasts 11 resorts which all have picturesque slopes. Much like Niseko, the nightlife is vibrant here and especially welcome are English-speaking skiers who at times feel like they never left home in linguistic terms. The staff is friendly and they will assist you with any problem you might have, proving that the Japanese people really are as hospitable as people say they are. The ski tracks are maintained regularly and ski lifts operate flawlessly, so you will not spend much time waiting in lines. Both beginners and seasoned skiers will find the trails interesting because there are both long and steep runs.

snowboarding down a Japanese mountain

Myoko Kogen

This area probably gets the most annual snowfall than any other place in Japan, making it perfect for snow sports. Myoko Kogen is easily accessible by the bullet train from Tokyo, just a two hour ride, so it is accessible to foreigners flying into the country’s capital. The main village of Akakura Onsen is where most of the accommodation facilities are located and from there you can access any of the four major resorts that are connected to one another through ski lifts. The best feature is that one ski pass is valid at all four locations! For those who are thinking of skiing in Japan on a budget, Myoko Kogen is perfect because most of its hotels are mid-range in terms of prices.

Appi Kogen

The last ski area in Japan on the list might not be as famous as the other four but it is slowly becoming a favorite among Western guests. This is because its snow is powdery, making it ideal not only for skiing and snowboarding but for simply playing in the snow or long walks through the forest. Located in the Tohoku prefecture, this area offers a lot of side activities, such as traditional restaurants and hot springs to relax in. Large hotels, like the Appi Grand Hotel include all of these amenities in the price, so you will have a variety of activities to choose from. A day trip to Morioka city, the cultural hub of the region, is highly recommended as you can experience Japan as it once was.

The winter tourism in Japan is quite developed and when you consider this destination’s other benefits such as culture and transport, it makes Japan the perfect place for a ski holiday. Tanoshinde [enjoy] as the Japanese would say!

About The Author

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She is passionate about exploring different places across the globe and believes that first you need to get lost before you can get found. In her free time you can usually find her hiking with her furry four-legged friend.

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Whether you live around Toronto or are just visiting, you know there is so much to do and see right in the city, but sometimes it’s nice to take a bit of a detour and explore outside the main core, especially when you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a couple’s staycation.

Ontario has so much to offer for couple’s looking for an escape together with many places that provide an intimate and relaxing atmosphere. We sometimes like to feel like we’ve travelled somewhere far away to have some time together without actually having to do so and so and we absolutely love to find hotels and other styles of accommodation that offer that experience whether we find it contained within the property or by exploring destination surrounding it. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite of those romantic places you can find within driving distance of Toronto.

5 Romantic Getaways Within Driving Distance From Toronto

Here are 5 of the best romantic hotel destinations that we believe heave some amazing things to offer for couples looking for a getaway close to Toronto. Whether it’s a hotel or a resort, an outdoor adventure experience or a bed and breakfast, these 5 destinations offer something different for every type of couple!

romantic getaway at riverbend inn Niagara-on-the-lake
View over Riverbend Inn Vineyard

Riverbend Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake

We’ve already written a full review of Riverbend Inn, the room and property, and liked it so much we just had to include it on this list. About an hour and a half drive from the downtown core of Toronto, Riverbend Inn is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque area full of wineries, small town charm and gorgeous landscapes.

The Inn itself is situated on a vineyard which lends itself to some pretty romantic views no matter the season. We absolutely loved the historic inn and the beautiful decor of our room with a cozy fireplace for the winter, creating an even more romantic atmosphere.

Though you wouldn’t need to leave very often, as they have a restaurant and just walking around the grounds is a pleasant activity, the area boasts tons of activities year-round including wine festivals and local markets. It’s also close in proximity to Niagara Falls if you’re planning a longer stay and want to see one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world.

No matter how long you stay or what you choose to do while there, Riverbend Inn is one of our top romantic getaway choices for couple’s looking to get some time together away from crowds and spend some time focused on each other.

Romantic Getaway at Long Point Eco Adventure
Glamping Cabins at Long Point Eco Adventure

Long Point Eco Adventure, Norfolk County

Though it’ll take you almost 2 hours to get to Long Point Eco Adventure from downtown Toronto, it is well worth the drive if you’re looking for a unique couple’s getaway that offers both romance and outdoor activity.

Their accommodations range from more rustic cabins to total glamping and no matter which one you choose, the intimate nature of the cabins and suites, as well as the quiet, peaceful surroundings of the area, make it a romantic escape.

We loved that there were lots of things to do as well and found ourselves having tons of fun axe-throwing and even challenging ourselves with their zip-lining course. They’ve also got a cool nighttime zip-lining experience (though we did ours during the day) and offer boat tours, mountain biking, kayaking, apiary and fishing tours and so much more straight through the main reception building.

Whether you want to get out and meet a few people as you go on the tours and participate in the activities, walk the property and sit by the nighttime campfire or stick to spending time with just each other, you’ll find you’ll be able to spend your time together however you please – especially with a vineyard and restaurant right across the street. The Burning Kiln has winery tours and some great wines, as well as one phenomenal restaurant where you can switch your food options up and go for a romantic meal.

It’s a pretty great place overall to spend time with the one you love and have some fun while you’re at it!

Burlington Ontario Waterfront Hotel Burlington
View From Waterfront Hotel Burlington

Waterfront Hotel Burlington, Burlington

Less than an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto, you’ll find Burlington, a suburb that has boomed with it’s own activity and city life. We’ve lived near Burlington for so long but it was only recently that we actually managed to take a weekend to stay there and explore. When we did, we stayed at the Waterfront Hotel Burlington and we found that the hotel, and the surrounding area, has much to offer any type of traveller but it is also a fantastic destination for a romantic getaway.

The Waterfront Hotel Burlington is located exactly as its name suggests: along the waterfront in downtown Burlington. The Waterfront Trail is perfect for a romantic stroll and there is usually a lot of activity downtown any time of the year, but especially in the summertime.

The rooms are spacious, clean and stylish and the hotel also has a pool, hot tub, fitness centre and restaurant so your time within the hotel is comfortable and amenity-full. We loved that complimentary breakfast is included and it is a short walk from amazing restaurants if you do decide to venture out for a meal. If you do choose to find an alternate breakfast spot or an after-breakfast coffee and doughnut, we’d highly recommend The Sunshine Doughnut Co. within walking distance.

Nearby, you’ll find the Art Gallery of Burlington, various festivals, a food tour with Burlington Food Tours and various bars, restaurants and cafes. If you’re making it a weekend getaway and want to venture outside the downtown area, you’ll find the Royal Botanical Gardens and Nickel Brook Brewing Co. are great additions to your itinerary.

While we spent a weekend in Burlington exploring, we only scratched the surface as this is one place you could spend a lot of time exploring together, especially the culinary scene!

Casino Rama Hotel Room
Casino Rama Resort Deluxe Suite

Casino Rama Resort, Orillia

An hour and a half north of the city you’ll find a resort that promises a complete escape from the city. The hotel itself offers only luxury suites which means you’ll have a little home-away-from-home and since there is delicious food, a wonderful spa and great entertainment right within the resort itself (you don’t need to step outside) you can hibernate inside and immerse yourself in each other and still wander away from the hotel room to find fun things to do together. While it is known for its casino, there’s a lot more to the resort than just gambling and we’ve actually already written about some of the things to do at Casino Rama beyond gambling!

Another great thing about Casino Rama Resort is that it is located in a beautiful area with a lot of outdoor activities as well as museums and a really wonderful food scene. If you do decide to step outside the resort property, you’ll find amazing places to eat in Orillia and lots to do too! Wintertime is especially romantic with the fireplace in your suite and still offers a ton of things to do in Orillia.

Downtown Toronto

Hotel X, Toronto

While all the other romantic getaway destinations are outside of Toronto, there is one place located downtown that allows you to feel like you’ve escaped the city even while sticking to the heart of it.

Hotel X is one of Toronto’s newest hotels right on the waterfront and offers its guests a complete escape from the bustling city around it. It’s the ultimate staycation if you’re from around the city and one fantastic romantic weekend getaway destination if you’re travelling into Toronto, with its many restaurant and cafe options, athletic facility, rooftop pool, cinema, gallery and archaeological exhibit along with tons of complimentary amenities.

If you’re looking for a way to spend some time exclusively focused on each other and avoid the distractions of the outside world, Hotel X is where you’ll want to go.

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Romantic Getaways near Toronto

The more languages we know, the more doors around the globe are opened for us. Learning a language can never be a negative thing because by knowing a foreign language you basically get to know a new universe – the culture, the people, the places, the food. The list is endless. The question is, where, how and which language to learn? Well, you can try to learn as many as you physically and mentally can, but the best way to do so is to go to some of these places in order to get the best linguistic experience possible.

4 of the Best Countries to Learn Another Language

Quebec City, Canada learning french

Study French In Canada

When you travel to a different country, you certainly don’t want to be “lost in translation”. As you get to learn a new language, you get to learn the people and their traditions and customs. Being in Canada, one of the multicultural countries, is the most thrilling way to learn even two languages. French is the mother tongue of more than six million people, but English is the official language as well. If you happen to be an English speaker or you know English better and want to learn French, then choosing any of the schools in Quebec might be the win-win option. People might be speaking French in slightly different intonation than in France, but you will be able to learn all the grammatical and linguistic terms and characteristics.

Study Spanish in Costa Rica

The Spanish language is one of the most spoken languages in the world, next to English, French, and German. Due to its popularity, and the ability for the learners to acquire it more easily, people opt to learn it because they will also have an opportunity to go to sunny places. People are misled when they think that you have to go to Spain to learn Spanish. To get the best experience abroad, low-cost but effective schooling and beautiful weather you should go to Costa Rica. As one of the many countries where Spanish is spoken, Costa Rica is not so over-crowded with tourists. There are many language experts that can transfer knowledge equally professionally as if you were in Spain, but for less money and a more hands-on approach. You will not have much comfort in speaking English, so you will only succumb to speaking Spanish thus, learning it is inevitable. Sydney, Australia learning English

Study English in Australia

London is too jam-packed with tourists and people around the globe who go there to find work. You will actually get the best experience possible by studying English in Sydney, Australia. Known for beautiful weather, dazzling beaches, friendly people, and bustling architect, Sydney is undoubtedly the best place there is. By enrolling in Sydney College of English, to study this number one world language, you will have the opportunity to become more fluent, meet people from all around the globe, get an official certificate and even learn about their culture, history, and pick up the Aussie slang. The enchanting blue sea hasn’t left any visitor disappointed so, after the lessons, you can head out to the beach for a quick surf with the locals and immerse yourself into learning the language even more.

Study German in Switzerland

A country where there are more official languages, four in this case, Switzerland is perfectly tucked in central Europe, making it ideal to learn more that one language. You can even learn to speak French or Italian, but learning to speak German might be the most effective. Zürich is the ideal place to explore everything. You can easily hop in on a train and explore the whole central Europe and that way enhances your ability to acquire the German language. Many schools in Zürich allow you to practice German as you do other fun activities that locals do like skiing in the Alps, visiting various museums, participating in the walking tours around the old town, and so on. The interesting thing is that you will have a chance to take in a lot of things connected to the German language in this small but perfectly formed country. The best way to learn a foreign language is to pick it up on the go. Whether you are rock climbing, surfing or mingling with the locals while you are preparing a delicious dish, language is definitely best learned when you don’t have the choice to speak your mother tongue.


About The Author

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She is passionate about exploring different places across the globe and believes that first you need to get lost before you can get found. In her free time you can usually find her hiking with her furry four-legged friend.

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Best Countries to learn a second language

By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

From the bustling boardwalk to the smiling faces, there are plenty of things I enjoy about Ocean City, though I must admit my favorite part of visiting this pleasant beach town is the food. Ocean City has a broad range of fresh, unique savory options that make my mouth water just remembering them. I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you.

7 of the Top Places To Eat in Ocean City

Best in Brunch – OC Surf Café

This little café might be known for their beachy décor, but I know them for their sweet potato burrito. Each burrito comes with the perfect combination of black beans, guacamole, grilled sweet potatoes and cheese all wrapped together in a whole wheat tortilla for less than ten dollars. Make sure to roll out of bed before two in the afternoon, or you’ll miss the deliciousness. The café is open Thursday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 
 
 
 
 
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Sweet Treats –Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor

I never make a trip to the beach without stopping by the local ice cream parlor for a sweet treat. Located on Ocean Ave, this family owned shop is hard to miss with the carousel horse out front. I have a tough time deciding between the 47 different flavor offerings, which range from maple walnut to rum raisin to traditional vanilla bean. The owners use real ingredients for all of their ice cream – it’s easy to taste the difference. The parlor is open seasonally from May to October.

Peaceful Surfing – 4th Street Café

Going wrong with art, coffee and free Wi-Fi is hard. I like to stop in 4th Street Café before heading down to the beach to soak up some sun. The cafe offers free Wi-Fi for guests and a frequently changing assortment of food and artwork available at affordable prices. I find it impossible to get bored with the selections here. Though hours vary in the winter and summer, the café is open year-round.

Fresh Seafood – Spadafora’s Restaurant and Clam Bar

When dining alone, I prefer to head to casual, low-key restaurants with the best food I can find. Spadafora’s Restaurant and Clam Bar doesn’t disappoint. My favorite selections here are the Cape May Sea Scallops and the Blackened Tuna Taco. It’s no surprise Spadafora’s is known as one of the best restaurants on the Jersey Shore. Make sure to stop by during the summer months as they are only open seasonally.

Guilty Pleasure – Cathy’s 14th Street Bakery

After a morning workout, I savor nothing more than biting into one of Cathy’s 14th Street Bakery’s famous white cream donuts sans guilt. Located on the corner of Asbury Avenue and 14th Street close to downtown, Cathy’s is easily accessible. While it’s hard to pick a favorite bakery in Ocean City – there are at least three others throughout town – the fresh ingredients and warm service are, to me, what set Cathy’s apart. Before visiting, call ahead or check their Facebook page, hours can vary.

Traditional Fare – Manco & Manco

More times than I like to admit, I don’t have a chance to sit down for a meal. Other times I prefer to grab a quick bite on the go rather than take a break from what I’m doing. Regardless, Manco & Manco offers the perfect solution with their single slice pizza options. The price tag is a bit higher compared to some of the other local fare, but it is well worth it for the quality. My personal favorites are the spinach or the plain. Manco & Manco is open year-round from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

 
 
 
 
 
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Change of Pace – Yianni’s Cafe

Yes, it is possible to continue eating healthily while visiting the Jersey Shore even though I don’t always like to. Yianni’s Café makes it easy to stick to any diet. Stop in and try the Greek Island Ahi Tuna with lentils and grilled zucchini, it’s divine. Not a fan of fish or seafood? The portabella mushroom sandwich, topped with sautéed spinach and red peppers is packed with flavor. Yianni’s is open year-round.

Ocean City, New Jersey has many eating options which will please the palates of even the pickiest eaters. Excuse me while I order a pizza, I worked up an appetite recalling all those mouth-watering choices.


 Kacey Mya Profile Picture                                           ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                                           

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter & Pinterest.


 

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Where to Eat in Ocean City New Jersey

For many, winter means travelling to warmer destinations and escaping the cold, but what if we told you there was a place you could go that would make you fall in love with the season, snow and all? That may be hard to believe for some but it’s exactly what happened to us when we visited Quebec City in the winter. We fell in love with pretty much everything about it and it has become one of our favourite destinations, no matter the season. It’s a place that has something to do throughout the year and with so much to offer when the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall, Quebec City in the winter is an experience you’ll definitely want to have.

Top Things To Do When You Visit Quebec City In The Winter

If you do get a chance to explore Quebec City in the winter months, we’ve put together a list of some of the best things to do while there that will have you experiencing the city indoors and out!

Spend The Night In An Ice Hotel

Perhaps one of the most unique things to do in Quebec City involves ice… and a lot of it. The Ice Hotel, or Hotel de Glace, is the only ice hotel in North America and one of the most unique experiences we’ve ever had.  The hotel is located on the property of the Village Vacances Valcartier and is made of solid ice, sculpted each year to fit a different theme with multiple rooms and suites, a bar area and an ice slide. Guests can choose to stay in a regular room, a themed suite or one of the fireplace suites as well. They’ll provide everything you need, and walk you through the process, to stay warm and comfortable through the night. You’ll also get a room at the Hotel Valcartier on the grounds to keep your luggage, charge your phones, shower or use after you wake up in the ice hotel or if you should choose to leave your ice room earlier in the morning. 

It really is a once in a lifetime experience and we were surprised at how warm we were the whole evening! We also loved that the ice hotel is located on the same property as one great resort and winter playground, which is a whole other experience to have while in Quebec City in the winter!

Embrace The Season At Village Vacances Valcartier

Village Vacances Valcartier

As we had mentioned, the Ice Hotel is located at the Village Vacances Valcartier, a resort that includes the Hotel Valcartier, restaurants and an indoor waterpark. Whether you spend the night at the Ice Hotel or not, this is definitely a place to check out as you can enjoy the entire property AND visit the Ice Hotel for a tour to see the amazing sculptures and works of art throughout.

Since the outdoor waterpark is obviously not functional in the winter time, the grounds become a winter playground which is, according to them, the largest winter playground in North America. Here you’ll find 35 snow slides, a skateway that is illuminated in the evening, a snow fort and mini-slides for younger kids.

Tip: Village Vacances Valcartier is located a bit outside old Quebec. If you’re not planning on spending the evening at either the Ice Hotel or the Hotel Valcartier, we would recommend you get there earlier in the day in order to experience as much of the grounds, including touring the Ice Hotel, as you can.

Enjoy The Festivities At Winter Carnival/Carnaval de Quebec

Carnaval in Quebec City Winter Carnival

The first major winter carnival took place in 1894 and though it was interrupted for a period of time, it was brought back and has evolved into the huge winter celebration it has become today. If you are able to travel to Quebec City during Carnaval de Quebec (typically the end of January into the beginning of February) we would highly recommend taking time to explore the various activities throughout the city. From a parade, to an ice castle, outdoor games, drinks and food and even an ice canoe race, the Winter Carnival in the city highlights the camaraderie of the people, the fun of the culture and the joy that can be found even in the dead of winter. They’ll have a full schedule of events online and be sure to see if you can track down Bonhomme! He’s a national celebrity! 

Tip: Though it is cold out during this time, there are many ways to keep warm that will allow you to stay out for longer periods of time. Layers of breathable material, winter jacket, hat, globes scarf, snow pants and warm boots. Our MUST HAVE for winter excursions are the warm packs (like HotHands) for feet and hands. Just bring a bunch with you, take them out of the package when you are ready to head out and slip one in each of your boots and gloves (bring extra just in case). They’ll keep warm for hours and really make a difference.

Warm Up While Enjoying Amazing Cuisine

La Buche Quebec City

There is no shortage of good food to be found in Quebec City and stepping indoors to grab a tasty meal makes for the perfect excuse for escaping the cold. 

One of our favourite sit-down restaurants, offering traditional Quebecois cuisine is La Buche in Old Quebec. It is in a perfect location if you’re exploring the city and we always make a point of visiting when we can. Their food is ridiculously good and offers locally inspired dishes like foie gras, poutine, rabbit wings, meat pies and smoked salmon. We haven’t been disappointed with any dish we’ve tried and we are always impressed with the overall experience.

Tip: Check out their bathroom. It’s pretty much an art installation.

If you’re not looking to stop for long because, and trust us, the streets of Quebec even in the winter will have you enthralled, we’d recommend making a quick stop at one of the locations of the chain restaurant Chez AshTon. We hear it’s a late-night stop for many locals but we found it enjoyable no matter the time of day. Though their poutine is the main attraction, their burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches are quite good as well.

Tip: We loved La Galvaude poutine – with fries, chicken, green peas and gravy – though if you want to make it a real poutine, you’ll need to ask them to add cheese curds to your order!

Take Part in Unique Experiences on The River

Ice Fishing in Quebec City

One of the coolest (excuse the pun) areas of Quebec City for winter fun is the St. Lawrence River.  In fact, there are some incredibly unique activities that happen pretty much ON the river. At the Village Nordik du port de Quebec you’ll find another kind of winter playground. Here you can participate in ice fishing, whether in an igloo or open air, and even purchase a package which includes a chef preparing food for you after your ice fishing experience OR preparing your catch as a meal if you do end up catching something. They also have an outdoor skating area if you’re looking to spend more active time on the river and because the Village Nordik is located at the Market Old Port of Quebec (or the Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec, you’ll also be able to head inside to warm up with some shopping, food and hot beverages. 

Another neat winter activity in Quebec City that happens on the river is the Quebec City-Levis Ferry. The ferry operates year round and offers stunning views of Quebec City from the water and from the Levis side of the river. You’ll also get the opportunity to see the ice breaking as the ferry moves through the water which is a unique experience in itself.

Tip: While on the Levis side, you should take the opportunity to explore a bit and grab a bite to eat or a hot beverage before heading back across. 

Participate in Incredible Winter Outdoor Activities With A View

Just taking a walk around the city will have you running into some stunning views and cool city sights no matter what time of the year you visit Quebec City but there are a few outdoor activities you can participate in, that we haven’t already mentioned, that will offer a special view in the winter.

One of our favourite streets to walk is Rue Saint-Jean and in the winter time, Place D’Youville located on it, has an outdoor skating rink (with skate rentals) open both in the day and night that will have you gliding in the midst of a winter wonderland. It’s a beautiful location to be outdoors and skating around and we particularly enjoy it at night when the street is lit up.

If you visit Quebec City you’ll definitely be seeing the iconic Chateau Frontenac and the Plains of Abraham and in the winter these two areas become host to gorgeous views. The plains of Abraham are a perfect spot for snowshoeing (we often see rentals in the area but it would be a good idea to plan ahead) and the views are amazing especially if you can make your way to Terrasse Pierre-Dugua-de Mons and look out over the St. Lawrence river and the Chateau Frontenac. At the Dufferin Terrace by the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, you’ll find a toboggan slide that was built in 1884. Of course there’s no better time to toboggan then in the winter and the views going down are great, that is if you can keep your eyes open while reaching speeds of up to 70km/hr!

You’ll also find you’ll run into some unique treasures in the winter by just taking a walk outdoors around Quebec City. Throughout Carnaval, ice sculptures are placed across the city and statues of Bonhomme are scattered around. 

While not technically outdoors, we absolutely love going to the Observatoire de la Capitale, an observatory that allows you near panoramic views of the city. In the winter, when the white snow coats the city and the winter weather makes it seem almost still and silent, it’s an extra beautiful view. 

Tip: The last time we went to the observatory we got there before sunset and before it closed and were able to catch the city in the daylight and watch as night fell and the lights of the city turned on.

 

There was a period of time when one of us had some serious health issues that required some dietary restrictions for almost a year. During that time, we stocked up on recipes and ingredient knowledge in order to accommodate the various foods and food groups that were no longer allowed as part of that diet.

What that lead to was a multitude of clean-eating recipes that were acceptable for a wide range of dietary restrictions and, because of the sheer amount of time cooking can take when you’re limited with your options, a whole lot that were quick and easy!

It was when we were looking for quick, energy-packed snacks that we stumbled upon a vegan, gluten-free multi-seed cracker recipe that was not only easy and fast to make, but also super healthy and good for multiple things – from snacks on the go, to energy boosters before and after workouts, to dippable or spreadable crackers.

These are super simple to make and are delicious as well as healthy and we love to eat these crackers on their own or with great tasting dips like Sabra hummus. We’ll often add these crackers to one of our party platters with several Sabra hummus flavours like in our Super Bowl Pop-Up Platter! It creates a snack or platter that anyone can enjoy.

Healthy Multi-Seed Cracker Recipe

This makes approximately 25 larger crackers and can be stored in an air tight container for a couple weeks.

healthy multi-seed crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup of any of the following seeds: raw sunflower, raw pumpkin, raw sesame, raw hemp, raw, whole flax (We prefer 1/2 cup each of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds).
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely grated (optional)
  • Seasoning of choice: pepper, chilli flakes, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, thyme (optional)

Steps:

In a bowl, combine seeds, seasoning (if desired), grated garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt and stir

  1. Add water and stir until well combined
  2. Let mixture sit for a few minutes until mixture becomes almost gelatinous (what results when chia seeds absorb the water)
  3. Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  4. Spread mixture out onto sheet in 2-3 rectangles, spreading out until 1/4″ or thinner
  5. Sprinkle some more salt on top
  6. Bake for 35 minutes
  7. Flip rectangles and bake for another 35 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes before breaking into smaller crackers and let cool completely
  9. Crackers are ready to be dipped! These can also be stored in an airtight container  or frozen for later use

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easy multi-seed cracker recipe