We Did More Travel In 2021 Than Expected
We had no firm plans when we entered the year but were happy we did more travel in 2021 than expected. The Covid-19 pandemic impacted our travel plans. But we travelled when we could do it safely!
Early in the year most of our travels were local trips. By the summer of 2021, things started to settle. As vaccinated Canadians we were finally able to do a month long road trip to Eastern Canada. With that road trip experience in hand, we packed the car and headed to Western Canada for the fall.
Our travels in 2021 took us to the most easterly place in Canada at Cape Spear in Newfoundland. And we returned to the very west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. And as we crossed Canada on our road trip from Toronto to Vancouver, we even stopped at the longitudinal centre of Canada. Travel to the far north of Canada was still on our travel wish list!
We had our first international travel experience as the year wound down with a cruise around the Caribbean. A great way to finish 2021 travel!
Travel In 2021 By The Numbers
We travelled a lot in 2019 and were away from home almost 6 months that year. Like most people, 2020 was a quieter year with mostly local travel. Although we did start with a long cruise around South America before we were stopped by the pandemic.
When we looked back at travel in 2021, we were not surprised to find how much we travelled by car:
Local Trips 1,284
Atlantic Canada Road Trip 6,090
Western Canada Road Trip 11,560
Total 18,934 Km (11,765 Miles)
Many of our road trips required ferry rides as we moved from spot to spot. We enjoyed them on all of our road trip travels and covered over 1,043 Km (Miles) by ferry. On our Caribbean cruise, we added much more distance by sea.
Ferry Travel 1,043
Cruise Ship 5,356
Total 6,399 Km (3,976 Miles)
By Airplane 3,970 km (2,466 Miles)
With all of that travel in 2021, we sure spent many nights away from home. We stayed in a mix of accommodations. The hotel stays helped us achieve loyalty status for 2021. The AirBnb spots provided more space and kitchen facilities when we visited with family. One staycation we enjoyed a stay at a local winery. And we even spent many nights on the water.
Hotel Night Stays 76
Winery Stay 2
Ferry Overnight 1
Cruise Ship 10
Total 110 Nights
The travel numbers we compiled definitely showed we did much more travel in 2021 than expected!
The Covid-19 Pandemic Impacted All Travel Planning In 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic raged as we entered the new year. Vaccines were just introduced and we had no idea when we might get them. Or if the vaccines would be the solution.
The winter months of early 2021 were really tough in Toronto. We had severe restrictions. With “stay at home” orders in place, we rarely left our condo in the city. When spring hit, the numbers were better and we left home for outdoor day trips. It was wonderful to discover new gems close to home.
We had our second vaccine shot in early June. This gave us a little protection so we took our first overnight local trip. When Canadian vaccination rates got high enough, the provinces across Canada opened their borders for vaccinated Canadians. We were delighted to finally be able to travel to Eastern Canada.
When we returned from the east, we headed to Western Canada for the fall and visited children we missed seeing for almost 2 years. When we returned, infection rates slowly trended back up as winter set in.
As we approached the end of 2021, we felt comfortable enough with Covid travel precautions and planned our first international trip. It was great to book last minute and head south for 10 days cruising around the Caribbean. But even before we left, news of the new Omicron variant broke and new travel restrictions were imposed.
We had a good time cruising and managed to stay safe. But by the time we arrived home, the Omicron variant gained prominence. The timing for our short vacation could not have been better!
We had a great year with more travel in 2021 than we expected. On our travels we were always careful to be extra cautious. We wore our masks and practiced good social distancing wherever there were people around – even if local restrictions were relaxed. Luckily many of the spots we visited had much fewer people than previous years. Sadly we suspected that early 2022 would be a tough time to travel again!
Heading Outdoors Close To Toronto
All through the fall of 2020 and into the winter and spring of 2021, we walked outside in our neighbourhood. We lived on Lake Ontario and there were paths all along the water. And if we headed out early in the day, we rarely had to worry about social distancing.
When thing opened up in the spring of 2021, we looked for outdoor experiences a little further from home. As the snow melted, we took our first day trip and hiked around Mono Cliffs just north of the city. We enjoyed a change of scenery. Hiking mid-week we had most of the park to ourselves.
We were glad we found some great options for outdoor activities so close to home in Toronto.
Day Trips For Geological Wonders
David and I lived in the Toronto area for most of our lives. So we were surprised this year when we visited some of the great geological wonders that we never saw before.
One day we headed east along Lake Ontario and enjoyed the stunning cliffs at Bluffers Park. On our first visit, we headed east along the beach with the cliffs high above us. When we returned, we headed west and got under the great sandstone cliffs.
On both trips, we started high above the cliffs and tried to find a panoramic viewpoint. We got close. But it was not long before major barriers were installed which kept people back from the edge.
We were so glad we discovered some of the local geological gems so close to home in 2021.
A Staycation In Prince Edward County
By early summer, we were fully vaccinated and felt comfortable with a first staycation for the year. We started our mini vacation with a return to Kingston along Lake Ontario. We enjoyed the early patio season and opportunities to walk some new waterway paths.
From Kingston we went to Prince Edward County and stayed at a local winery. It was great to have a local base as we explored the art displayed all around the region. We checked out the beaches and the local attractions during our stay.
We cherished the opportunity to be away from home for a few days. It was more travel in 2021 than we expected when the year started so bad. We planned to return to Prince Edward County more times through the summer. But we eventually drifted much further from home.
Leaving Ontario For Eastern Canada
The provinces in Eastern Canada were closed to all visitors including Canadians for a long time as Covid-19 raged. When they finally opened to vaccinated Canadians, we planned our road trip to Eastern Canada immediately.
On our stop in Quebec City, we finally spent some time at the stunning Montmorency Falls. We went early when it opened and avoided all the tourist crowds!
A long weekend stop in the Saguenay region of Quebec brought us great outdoor adventures. We even planned a day excursion for whale watching from Tadoussac with a company that required everyone to wear masks.
Several stops in Quebec were great on our road trip to Eastern Canada. It added some interesting stops for more travel in 2021 than we expected.
Travelling Around The Atlantic Provinces
On our travels around the Atlantic provinces, we often chose the routes right along the water. This gave us the chance to enjoy the lighthouses, fishing villages and seafood as we travelled through New Brunswick.
Several stops in Nova Scotia gave us a variety of experiences. We used Halifax as a great base and explored the city. From there we headed off for a day trip to Peggy’s Cove and discovered the Ovens Natural Park.
We had a wonderful road trip to Eastern Canada. There were lots of road trip tips that helped our next major journey.
A Long Road Trip To Western Canada
After our successful road trip to the east coast of Canada, we set off for a much longer road trip to Western Canada. The two days it took to leave our home province of Ontario gave us a chance to enjoy some new and repeat sights in Northern Ontario.
We slowed down a bit for two night stops in both Winnipeg in Manitoba and Regina in Saskatechewan. The weather was great for both stops. We explored these interesting Canadian cities and discovered many new gems.
Our western road trip then took us through Alberta and into the Rocky Mountains. On a stop in Banff we took in all the beauty.
We finished our road trip from Toronto to Vancouver having experienced so many great stops along the way.
Enjoying Two Months In BC In The Fall
When we arrived on the west coast we settled in and enjoyed BC for a long fall visit. Several stays in Vancouver let us enjoy the city life and the great spots close to the city.
For a brief escape, we headed north of Vancouver and stayed in Whistler. Despite several rainy days, we explored outdoors and hiked many of the great waterfall sites.
Several long stays on the Sunshine Coast gave us a chance to slow down. We enjoyed the time with family. Wonderful outdoor spots kept us active on our visits.
When we headed over to Vancouver Island for two weeks, we travelled from north to south. On our stays in Courtenay and then outside of Nanaimo, we discovered more new outdoor areas. Although we were disappointed when we never found the salmon running.
When it was finally time to leave BC, we re-traced our road trip path from Vancouver to Toronto. This western adventure added much more travel in 2021 than we ever expected.
Escaping South For A Caribbean Cruise
As the year drew towards an end, we finally decided to leave the country for a short vacation. A short flight gave us one night in Miami before we went to the Oceania Cruises dock for a 10 day Caribbean cruise.
It was wonderful to enjoy a relaxing trip in the sun as we re-visited many ports – Antigua, St Barts, St Maarten, St Lucia and Puerto Rico. And we spent our last port day on the beach day at Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. We loved re-connecting with many of the great Oceania staff we met over the years we cruised. It felt awesome to be at sea again!
We returned to Toronto as the Omicron variant raged through Canada. And we were so glad that our timing was perfect for a quick escape.
Food And Drink Treats Everywhere We Travelled
In 2021, we headed out to explore new places and we re-visited some of our favourites. Most of our time was spent in awesome outdoor experiences. But with all of that activity, we made sure we were well fuelled!
Our loyalty status for 2021 ensured we had some amazing hotel stays. And the luxury hotels we stayed at always had the best food.
When we finished our year with a trip with Oceania Cruises, we knew we would gain a pound or two with the “Finest Cuisine at Sea”.
We had great memories of the places we saw and the fun we had this year. But with more travel in 2021 than expected, we also ate and drank very well!
We Sure Enjoyed More Travel In 2021 Than Expected
When we started the year, we had no booked travel plans. So as the year unfolded, we were delighted when we enjoyed much more travel in 2021 than expected. We enjoyed the chance to explore more of Canada – both close to home and from coast to coast.
We are again entering 2022 with no firm travel booked. At least that means we have no trips that we might again cancel. We have a lot to travel dreams for 2022. I guess we will see how the year shapes up!
Did you do more travel in 2021 than expected? Was it very different you thought it would be?
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