Jen’s Top 10 Vacation Destinations

Summer is a great time to get away for a vacation. Whether you’re adventuring with your family, looking for a romantic paradise with your partner, hoping to lie around on a beach or explore spectacular sights, we hope some of these Top 10 Vacation Destinations will jumpstart the trip of your dreams!

1.  Dublin, Ireland: A stay in the famous Shelbourne Hotel is truly special and the afternoon Champagne Tea is worth the splurge. The Shelbourne Hotel is a great starting point to explore all Dublin has to offer. Wander through the local shops, take a tour of Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, go for drinks at the Guinness Storehouse (the home of Guinness), or just relax with a stroll through St. Stephens Green. Pack a picnic lunch and bring a book and you’ve got a wonderful afternoon ahead!

The Lord Mayor’s Lounge at The Shelbourne Hotel. Photo credit: Shelbourne Hotel

2.  Niagara Falls, Canada – This breathtaking spot is always worth a visit, even in the winter when everywhere is ice-covered and the crowds are nowhere to be found. Visit the historic falls in a variety of ways: take a self-guided White Water Walk, take the Hornblower Cruise right up to the falls, or if you’re feeling adventurous, take the Wildplay Mistrider Zipline. But there’s more than just the falls to see! Visit the Botanical Gardens or the Butterfly Conservatory. When you’re done explore Clifton Hill for restaurants and amusement, or take in a show and dinner at The Niagara Fallsview Casino. Don’t forget to stick around for the nighttime fireworks!

View of the Horseshoe Fall in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

3.  New York City, USA – Check out the Big Apple in the fall when crowds are thinning and the temperature is more comfortable. The list is endless of what to do: the Hop-on Hop-off double decker bus tour is the greatest way to see the city and learn about the history even if you’ve been to the city many times before. You can also visit the big attractions: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the MoMA and the Met. Take in a show, eat in any one of the endless delightful restaurants, go shopping or just wander.

Photo Credit: Hop-on Hop-off Bus

4. Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA – Take the historic Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for an true adventure – it’s like stepping back in time. I never understood how magnificent the Grand Canyon was until I saw it in person. Photos do not do it justice! While at the South Rim you can even eat (or stay) at El Tovar Hotel where National Lampoon’s Vacation was filmed.

Photo credit: Grand Canyon Railway Train & Hotel

5.  Route 66 – “It winds from Chicago to LA….”  If you’re up for a road trip, travel sections of Historic Route 66. Add it to a trip to the Grand Canyon, and head down to Winslow, AZ to start traveling along the old Route 66. Before you leave Winslow be sure to visit the Corner. Then settle in for a fascinating drive with attractions that are interesting for all ages. Summer is the busiest and warmest season, but fall is the best time to visit!

6.  Stockholm, Sweden – Summer in Sweden is true happiness! From tiny wild strawberries to fresh potatoes and snaps (and the snaps songs), what’s not to love about the land of the midnight sun! Though Stockholm is spread across 14 islands, it’s easy to navigate with bridges, ferries and public transport. Signage is in both English and Swedish, making it easy for non-native speakers to enjoy the city. Go see the Vasa, the ancient Swedish warship that was raised from the depths of the ocean, or step into the present and visit Norrmalm, the modern heart of the city. And don’t forget the wild strawberries!

7.  Tokyo, Japan – Ancient traditions and culture are everywhere in this modern metropolis.  There is so much to take in and learn here. May is a great month where you can witness the amazing Sumo tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan and the not-to-be missed 1000 Samurai procession in Nikko – it’s truly incredible! And how could I forget to mention the cherry blossoms?

Photo credit: Go Tokyo

8. London, United Kingdom – Again, a massive city with so much to see and do that it can’t all be listed here! Plan ahead (if possible) to make sure you see what’s most important to you. Tea at Fortnum & Mason is tops on my list for my next trip!

Photo credit: Fortnum & Mason

9. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada – Banff is a real beauty in the Canadian landscape and a sight to behold. Summer in Banff and Lake Louise is magical. Spend time hiking – short walks to mountaintop treks or whatever is most comfortable for you. Tour by bike, or paddle the lake. If relaxation is what you’re after, be sure to check out the hot springs.  And choose anything from luxurious accomodations to beautiful campgrounds. Banff is yours to explore!

Photo credit: BanffLakeLouise.com

10. Austin, Texas, USA – Austin has it all. Typically you might think of the music scene, great shopping and fantastic food, but if you’re not afraid of bats, the Congress Avenue Bridge is pretty amazing at dusk! Austin is surrounded by the breathtaking Hill Country which is worth a trip outside of the city to see. And don’t forget to try the Texas BBQ!

Photo credit: Merlintuttle.org

Now that you’ve got your destinations in mind check out some of our Best Travel Tips and How to Pack Light when Traveling with Kids.

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Caring for Summer Beachwear with Eucalan

It’s summertime, and whether you’re heading to the beach or staying poolside, you can keep your swimwear and towels in great shape by keeping them laundered with Eucalan.

Swimsuit Care

To keep your swimsuit looking fresh you should wash it after every use with your favourite scent (try our Lavender, Jasmine and Grapefruit scents for their naturally antiseptic properties).  Whether you stock a bottle at home, or keep our single use pods handy, Eucalan makes it easy to remove oils, lotions and chlorine from your suit at home or on vacation. Follow these easy steps to ensure a clean-smelling suit every time.

Step 1: Fill a sink or basin with tepid water (room temperature).

Step 2: Add either a capful of Eucalan or the contents of a single use pod.

Step 3: Add your swimsuit and soak for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Remove your swimsuit and gently squeeze out water (do not wring). You may also wish to roll in a towel and squeeze again to remove excess water.

Step 5: Hang suit to dry overnight.

For more information on swimsuit care you can also check out this article over at Lingerie Journal.

Towel Care

But what about those sandy or chlorinated towels? Eucalan can also be used in your washing machine to keep fluffy beach towels looking bright and smelling sweet.

Step 1: Add Eucalan to your washing machine (if it’s a front load machine, add it to the fabric softener drawer).

Step 2: Select the Delicate cycle and tepid water.

Step 3: Load your towels into the machine and start cycle.

Step 4: Allow the towels to spin out.

Step 5: Dry your towels in the dryer on low heat.

We hope these tips will keep your trips to the beach, lake or pool carefree and easy.

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10 Top Ideas for Summer Fun

It’s easy to think that summer fun just happens, but sometimes a few minutes of prep can make all the difference between a ho-hum summer and one full of incredible memories. Summer  goes by so quickly, make the most of it with my top picks for fun things to try this summer!

It can often be a bit too hot to be outside for hours during the day, but the nights are balmy, and perfect for an outdoor movie night! Find the whole step-by-step on how to set up your own backyard movie theatre here.

This is a lot harder than it looks- frisbee tic tac toe! Perfect for adults or kids, it’s super quick to set up, but you do need a lot of frisbees! See more details here.

Bring a bit of fun wherever you go with this picnic blanket game board idea- perfect for picnics, the beach, wherever you happen to be! Read the whole DIY here.

Build a sandman. Because you know it’s going to be SO FUN. There’s no DIY with this photo, but you can probably figure it out- a bit of water and sand, and you are in business!

Tryout a dramatic summer dish- like hollowing out a pineapple to serve a fruit salsa with baked cinnamon tortilla chips. Find the recipe here!

Lawn Twister– forget the awkward floor mat, and spray paint these circles directly onto your lawn for anytime games of Twister!

Feel like having a backyard fire for roasting marshmallows? Why not build your own fire pit? Here’s a great tutorial on how to do it in an hour (not including the purchasing of materials, of course!) 

Instagram feed feeling a little empty? Adults and kids (even pets!) can have fun with some sidewalk chalk and careful positioning– perfect for a creative afternoon.

Frozen drinks- wine slushies are big this summer and there are loads of recipe you can try- I’m partial to these peach wine slushies, they are so summery and delicious! Find the recipe here.

Lawn Scrabble- Making oversized letter tiles out of cardboard keeps this game really fun, and is perfect for hanging outside when it’s hot enough that you want to be outdoors, but a bit too hot to actually do anything too active. Find all the details here.

Looking for more ideas? Check out last year’s round up of great outdoor  summer activities!  We also have a Pinterest board full of amazing, inspiring summer ideas.