Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

THE NIAGARA FALLS GUIDE

THE NIAGARA FALLS GUIDE

Road trip Essentials

Road trip Essentials

In Partnership With my Friends at IHG Rewards Club

A couple of weeks ago we took a little road trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate Canada Day. I partnered with IHG Rewards Club who provided a lovely room at the Crowne Plaza for our stay. It was so much fun to spend some time in Niagara Falls, we live so close, but don’t usually take the time to get to know other regions!

It was a fun-filled weekend but one of the highlights had to be the incredible Fallsview Water Park right in our hotel. Felix & Des had a blast in the wave pool and Beach Village. 

It was nice to explore the city, of course the Falls are unbelievable, but we also enjoyed visits to the Bird Kingdom, the Botanical Gardens and the Butterfly Conservatory

Leading up to the trip, I created a list of my top ten travel hacks for Huffington Post Canada to help get out the door as stylishly and easily as possible. Here they are:

  • When packing, always roll garments instead of folding them. This will allow for more space and *bonus*, less wrinkles.
  • Pack by outfits, not individual pieces. I think about my itinerary and where I'll go during the trip and pack outfits to suit.
  • The majority of pieces should provide double duty; they may either be worn with multiple items or they serve multiple purposes e.g. a lightweight sun dress makes a perfect beach cover-up, tunic over pants and an evening option with heels.
  • Utilize a larger purse to maximize packing potential. I carry toiletries, evening clutch and even undergarments in a pouch in my purse to ensure you have the essentials should *heaven forbid* my luggage be lost. It also helps save on suitcase space.
  • Put dry tea bags in shoes or the "salt" packets found in new purchases are great for deodorizing and withdrawing moisture - this will help make sure items are their freshest upon arrival. 
  • Planning your trip is one of the best parts of travelling. Where to go? What to see? But the first part of planning is all about preparation, scheduling and making sure I've done my research. These tips help ensure I get to see and do everything on the list.
  • Read up on destination blogs before a trip. It always helps me see determine what areas I may like the best and plan my itinerary accordingly.
  • After I've checked in to my room, my next step is to try to become good friends with my hotel's concierge. They will have a wealth of suggestions for things to see and do especially - if you're looking for those local hidden gems like restaurants or fun show for the whole family.
  • When travelling with kids in the car, I always find planning games ahead of time will make the ride much more pleasant. Games like 'I Spy', 'Name that Tune', and 'Travel Bingo' (download from Pinterest) are great choices to keep your kids occupied and your mind on the road ahead. But just in case those games don't work, I have their favourite movies on a phone or tablet in my reserve.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when I travel and on-the-go, I look for hotels that offer a free breakfast with my stay.
  • Who knows where the Canadian dollar is going to end up this year and when constantly travelling for work or pleasure, those dollars can add up. Here are a few ways I like to save a few dollars along the road and I'm actually rewarded for it!

Through the partnership, I was introduced to the IHG app which makes a lot of sense for travellers. I was easily able to book our room through the app and it's where you get the best rates – which is always a bonus to save some cash. Some of the properties, like Holiday Inn, even offer free breakfast which is a really nice way to get a busy day started. Thanks so much to IHG Rewards Club!

HOW TO PACK FOR ANY TRIP

HOW TO PACK FOR ANY TRIP

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