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Travel & Escape

The best advice during a year on the road (so far)




Like any globe-trotter, Jada has learned a lot of lessons on how to travel — the easy way, the hard way and, occasionally, in a different language. She’s also been given advice from fellow travelers, proud natives, and followers and fans across social media.

Here’s a look at some of the best advice Jada has received from readers and some of the best advice she’s shared right back.

You can also read all of her dispatches, and follow her travels on Instagram and Twitter.

Let (social) followers lead

Before her trip to the Rogue River in Oregon, Jada asked Twitter followers what she couldn’t miss in the area. Followers responded with recommendations for caramels, road trips, hikes and sausages.

She followed the advice of many, and also had her own recommendations.

“When you do eat, though, make sure it involves blue cheese,” Jada said of her time in Oregon. The creamery she went to was recommended by a Twitter user, Katie D.: “Rogue Creamery has won awards for that mouldy goodness, and a farm stand on its dairy in Grants Pass served a grilled cheese sandwich made of Oregon blue cheese, a type of mild Cheddar called TouVelle, and honey, on locally made white bread basted with grape seed oil, that I’d commemorate in song if I could.”

“Even more indelible was Jasper’s Café in Medford, a roadside burger joint near the airport,” Jada wrote. The cafe was another recommendation from Katie D. “I craved it every day I was in Oregon — and was nearly late to my flight getting another one on the way out.”

Eat ice cream for breakfast

For many, the 52 Places traveller position is a dream job. For Jada, that dream, while not always totally dreamy, is a daily reality. And in that reality, you sometimes land in a hotel where there’s ice cream for breakfast.

In Prague, she tweeted the following: “My #prague hotel inexplicably has ice cream at breakfast and I went straight for an affogato because this is how you celebrate being an adult.”

Some readers had a few things to say about ice cream. In Cincinnati, the consensus was clear: Go to Graeter’s, they said. And get the blackberry chip — in a pretzel cone.

And when someone suggests a chocolate factory, never, ever, say no.

While in Africa, Jada tweeted this: “Guys I’m in São Tomé & today someone suggested I go to a chocolate factory & I was like, ‘I don’t have time!’ But now I’m here & omg just the smell of chocolate is making me happy. Seriously, in a bad mood? Go to a chocolate store. Breathe.”

Look for helpers

It goes without saying that when you’re travelling the world for a year, there will be some high highs and low lows.

When Jada’s car was stuck in the mud on a remote beach on the island of São Tomé — with no cell service, to boot — a group of villagers came to the rescue.

“This,” her guide, Juliano, said, “is just part of the São Tomé culture; no one would ever leave anyone stranded.”

In Lucerne, Switzerland, Jada faced a different kind of crisis: a lost bag with her laptop inside. “My hotel desk clerk said not to worry; Swiss people return things they find,” she wrote on Instagram.

The next morning, she woke up to a direct message on Twitter from a man named Anton. “Hi Jada Yuan, please contact me if you lost something,” he wrote.

Anton was in Jada’s hotel lobby — with her bag — 10 minutes later.

A few months later in Fiji, Jada was tasked with voting in the U.S. midterm elections from the South Pacific, about 8,000 miles away. She credits a team of locals — from hotel staff to newfound friends — for helping her ballot make it back to New York City.

Pack wisely and strategically

In June, Jada answered many questions about her packing strategy. “Blogs, travel writers, foreign correspondent friends, and flight attendants all gave me great advice, but the past five months of hopscotching through climates and national borders have been figuring out what works for me, with trial — and a ton of error,” she writes.

She shared a handful of her own tips and her biggest concern: “What happens when I get my period?” she asked. Tampons — and Duane Reades — aren’t everywhere, and that includes the African bush.

… but pack creatively

Because why have a neck pillow when you could have an animal neck pillow, as spotted in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport?

Listen to the chef

While travelling in Bolivia, Jada ate at Gustu, a restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia. Perhaps the most important advice in a restaurant comes from the chef. In this case, the advice was: Eat it. Jada held the hand of the co-head chef, Marsia Taha Mohamed, while taking a bite of a queen ant taco. “Smoky and crunchy,” she wrote.

“This Gustu tasting menu had at least 3 other proteins I’ve never tried (oxtails, beef hearts, and alligator ceviche). I won’t eat any of them again, but once seemed worth it.”

Nothing against chefs, but bus drivers also have some good advice (if unintentional).

While in Bologna, Italy, Jada wrote this on Twitter: “Ticket seller: You get the bus in front of the ice cream shop.

Me: (only hears the words ‘ice cream’ even though I’m going to giant food mall @eatalyworld).”

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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)





(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel





(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!





Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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