Holidays

B.C. Vacation Rentals
Mar26

Everyone has different wants and needs when picking out which B.C. vacation rentals might be perfect for a long weekend stay or a whole week away. Whether you are on a budget, traveling with family, or planning a big event, we have a vacation property picked out for you.

Vacation Rentals on a Budget   

Who doesn’t love a great deal? These B.C. vacation rentals are budget-friendly.  

  1. West Kelowna Classic Lakeview Cottage 

From $100/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Sweet and simple 1 bedroom plus loft cottage, beautifully furnished with 1.5, 2 queen-sized beds and pullout sofa. Fully equipped kitchen with washer and dryer in the unit. Private sun deck with a gas BBQ grill. Units have air conditioning. This cottage type is available on the lower resort.

  1. Bowser, Vancouver Island Seacroft Cabin 

From $89/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Cozy 2-bedroom cottage in a serene location with easy beach access. West coast design with character wood ceiling, inviting wood stove, and front porch. Full kitchen, dining area, living room, 1 bathroom, and deck. The location is private and quiet and a short walk to the beautiful Vancouver Island waterfront. Great for the nature lover.  

Vacation Rentals for Families   

These properties have room for the whole family…and Fido, too!  

  1. West Kelowna Barona Beach Condo 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom and den 4th-floor condo with 3 full bathrooms and fully stocked premium kitchen. High-end finish in this waterfront building. Great location in wine country, minutes to Kelowna’s best wineries such as Mission Hill, Quail’s Gate, and many more.  

  1. Pender Island Oceanfront Rental Home 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom oceanfront home with a sleeping den. A comfortable, attractive, oceanfront bungalow featuring cedar siding, a shake roof, beamed ceiling. An appealing, 1640-square-foot house finished with Pender cedar and fir throughout and featuring many works of local artists. Pets okay!   

Vacation Rentals for Events or Large Groups   

Have a bridal shower, wedding, corporate event, family reunion, or other such plan coming up? These properties have room for everyone.  

  1. North Pender Island Ocean View Vacation Home 

Comfortably sleeps 8 guests. Great for “small” gatherings like birthdays or bachelorette parties. Beautiful oceanfront, 3-bedroom Pender Island vacation home, with 2-bathrooms and plenty of space. Equipped with all the amenities and sits right over the water. The marina and boat launch offer kayaks and other boats to rent. A heated swimming pool beckons you during the summer months.   

  1. La Casa Mirador Guest House 

The Guest House has everything: 6 large bedrooms, 1 master suite, and a bunkhouse level just for the kids. A large open kitchen, huge island, all new appliances, and two ovens. Expansive 2400-square-foot deck overlooking Lake Okanagan. The patio has a gas fireplace, lounge chairs, barbecue, darts, and outdoor seating. The games room has a pool table, fireplace, and plenty of board games. A movie theatre with a 10 x 20 ft screen and 15 surround sound speakers is available. Keg fridge with a tap (you bring the keg). Plus, a built-in sound system that connects right to your iPhone.  

Ready to book or continue to browse? Check out Breakaway Vacations’ full property catalogue with reservation forms on each page.   

Valentine's Day Cocktails
Feb12

Ahh, Valentine’s day—love is in the air! And it can also be in your best martini glasses with these 5 Valentine’s Day cocktails!   

What is a Valentine’s Day cocktail exactly? Well…anything that feels romantic. We know that’s broad, but Valentine’s Day drinks are a “you’ll know it when you see it” kind of deal. Typically, they will be sweet, maybe pink or red in color, and will have a feminine flourish.   

Here are our picks:  

The Pink Rose  

  • 50ml French dry vermouth  
  • 25ml Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)  
  • 1 tsp Natural raspberry syrup  
  • Garnish: Brandied cherry  

Roses are a common theme around Valentine’s Day. They are given as gifts and adorn hallmark cards celebrating the season. This drink plays on that theme with its pinky-red hue. Raspberry syrup and a brandied cherry will make it as sweet as your S.O.   

See how to make it at Taste Cocktails 

Seductive Strawberry Cocktail  

  • 2 Strawberries  
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice  
  • 1-1/2 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon  
  • 1/2 ounce Bénédictine liqueur  
  • 1 barspoon simple syrup to taste  
  • Strawberry for garnish  

Made with strawberries and champagne, this cocktail screams Valentine’s Day! The luscious red colour pairs well with the season. Plus, you’ll have strawberries left over for chocolate fondue. The bourbon gives it quite a kick and makes it something that everyone will enjoy.   

See how to make it at All Parenting.   

Sparkling Frosé  

  • ½ Bottle of Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade  
  • 8 Rosé Ice Cubes  
  • 1oz lemon juice  
  • Mint, for garnish  

Rosé slush is just a great idea all around. This rich, sultry cocktail can be easily adjusted for potency by adding or removing the number of rosé cubes before you blend it together. The Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade can be substituted for your favourite sparkling fruit beverage if you don’t have any on hand.  

See how to make it at Moscato Mom 

Blushing Geisha  

  • 4 ounces Ty Ku Liqueur  
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice  
  • 4 ounces rose nectar  
  • Garnish: lime wedge  

This drink is as beautiful as it is tasty. The main ingredient, Ty Ku Liqueur is made with pomegranate, honeydew, yuzu, and Asian pear and is considered an aphrodisiac. Replace the rose nectar with rose simple syrup if you can’t find any (hint: your best chance is probably a natural food store).  

See how to make it on The Spruce Eats 

Chocolate Cherry Delight  

  • 6 ounces chocolate almond milk   
  • 4 ounces cherry juice  
  • 3 ounces vodka  
  • honey for garnish  
  • dark chocolate sprinkles for garnish  

Chocolates are a traditional romantic gift so why not have a cocktail to match? This rich, scrumptious drink is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Use honey or simple syrup on the rim of your martini glasses to make the chocolate sprinkles stick.  

See how to make it at One Country 

Give these Valentine’s Day cocktails a try and let us know what you think!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the only time you celebrate your love. If you’re thinking about a spring or summer romantic getaway, maybe an anniversary or birthday, book with Breakaway Vacations. We have luxury vacation rentals that will make any trip special.   

Staycation blog
Feb05

COVID-19 has changed how we think about travel. Vacationers are sticking close to home and putting a pin in international travel for now. That’s why a “staycation” is such a great idea—it lets you enjoy some time to yourself without the hassle of crossing farther distances.  

But what exactly does a 2021 staycation look like and how can you make the best of it this year? First, let’s cover some basics.  

What is the difference between vacation and staycation?  

Vacation means you are traveling abroad, maybe taking a cruise or staying at a resort. A staycation means you are closer to home, maybe exploring attractions in your own city or taking a quick road trip to a neighbouring community for a long weekend.  

Why is #Staycation popular this year? 

Thanks to the Coronavirus, people are wary about unnecessary travel this year. That’s why staycations are becoming more popular. Not to mention they are often cheaper, less of a time commitment, and much easier to plan.  

How can I spend my staycation in B.C.? 

Considering a staycation this month? Here are some fun staycation ideas that you can try.  

Staycation at Home 

You don’t even need to leave your house for some of the best staycations. Here are a few things you can try:  

  1. Do a spa night with a face mask, long bath, nail treatment, and anything else you can think of 
  2. Enjoy some summer-themed cocktails with a partner and order takeout  
  3. Buy a cheap projector and watch films set in your dream destinations around the world  
  4. Treat yourself to a home-visit masseuse, if there are any ones in your area  
  5. Give yourself a whole “day off” to just lounge at home with no responsibilities  

Staycation in Town 

A staycation can also mean exploring your own backyard in ways you hadn’t thought to do before. Here are some ways you can do so: 

  1. Go out for a fancy dinner somewhere you have never tried before 
  2. Take a day trip to an outdoor market and sample new, local foods  
  3. Check out a tourist “hotspot” in your city that you’ve never visited before  
  4. Go for a walk in a park or hiking trail that you’ve never been to before 
  5. Stay overnight in an Airbnb just to get away from home life for a night  

Staycation Quick Trip  

Sometimes a staycation means taking “stay” lightly. Traveling to a neighbouring town or city can be a safe faux-vacation idea this year: 

  1. Book a cabin or yurt somewhere a few hours away from home for some new scenery  
  2. Visit a friend or family member in another city within the province 
  3. Go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing for a long weekend  
  4. Stay overnight in an Airbnb the next town over to get away from it all  
  5. Plan a road trip somewhere scenic, stay the night somewhere fun, and then try a new route back home 

Thinking about booking something this spring or summer? See what we have to offer in the B.C. area at Breakaway Vacations. And if you’re already a local, might we suggest a #staycation?  

19 Best Travel Apps
Jan29

Travel is easier and safer than ever thanks in part to technology. From in-your-hand maps to easy translating capabilities, travel apps have redefined how we move through the world together. Traveling should be all about the experiences: seeing the sights, meeting new people, broadening your horizons.  

Let these travel apps streamline the heavy lifting of your vacation plans so that you can focus on making memories.  

Organization and Packing 

AKA “the boring stuff.” Every great trip starts with a great plan. These organizational apps can help you spend less time on packing and planning. 

PackPoint – Access premade packing checklists by selecting locations and activities that are relevant to your travel plans.  

TripIt – The freemium version lets you log all your itineraries in one place to create a handy master list. 

Packing Pro (iOS only) – Lists for groups who require multiple packing checklists under one account, like families with young children. 

Trip Advisor – Pick out local attractions, sights, and restaurants and see how real travellers rated their experiences at each location.  

Culture and Maps 

Need a digital “guide” in your vacation location of choice? These apps will help you find your way around, access public transport, and learn about the area. 

Google Translate – Help translate text, handwriting, photos, and speech in over 100 languages. 

City Mapper – Your guide to local public transit systems all over the world, including insider tips like the best train car to be in, etc.  

Roadtrippers – Map up to 7 waypoints per driving route and keep abreast of local sights and food options as you travel.  

GPS My City – A self-service “walking tour” app with guided tours for over 1000 different cities across the world.  

Money and Budgeting  

Ahh…budgeting. Totally unavoidable yet such a vibe killer. These apps can help you track how much you are spending, on what, and arrange payment splitting if you are travelling in a group.  

TravelBank – A professional travel budget app for business trip cost tracking and submitting expenses. 

Trabee Pocket – Travel spending and budget help with multiple currency support and a visual pie chart to check frequent spending themes. 

Spendee – Travel planning and budgeting in one place, featuring automatic updates directly from your bank (if connected). 

Splitwise – Cost splitting app for travel partners who will frequently need to exchange funds between one another. 

Rentals and Lodging 

Dayuse.com – Book a day-time room for fast amenities like WIFI and bathroom access before “typical” check-in times open up.  

Airbnb – Find private, by-owner rentals that are more personable and usually cheaper than hotels (and YES, Breakaway Vacations properties are on Airbnb but you can book with us directly, too!). 

HotelTonight – Last-minute hotel deals wherever you are with budget-conscious choices where possible. 

Airport Help and Flights  

Everyone needs somewhere to stay. Whether you are booking ahead or looking for last minute hotel deals, these apps will help you get oriented.

Finding flights can be a hassle. These apps make it a bit easier to bear! Find great ticket deals, build an itinerary, and even prevent jet lag!

AirHelp – Assists in filing compensation claims if something about your flight goes horribly wrong; a great safety net to have installed on your device.  

Hopper – Watch for airfare deals according to when and where you want to travel using AI to predict upcoming prices to help you save money.  

Skyscanner – Track airfare prices and discover destination by time frame and budget tags and source flexible car rentals, if needed.  

Timeshifter – Prevent extreme jet lag with scientist-proven methods built into this app; perfect for frequent time-zone hoppers.  

Planning a trip soon? You might also be interested in packing tips or our favourite reasons to #TravelBC this year!

Group Trip Blog banner
Jan08

A group trip with friends seems like the ideal way to spend a long weekend or week away. Who doesn’t love seeing new sites with a close-knit pack of friends and family? Together, you can book group activities, split costs, and—most importantly—share memories.   

However, group trips can be daunting if not done right. Try these 5 tips to plan the perfect, hassle-free group trip.   

1. Pick a Leader and an “Accountant”   

You’ll want one person sending out all the group emails, making spreadsheets, researching activities, and planning carpools. Another person (or the same person) should be responsible for dividing costs and collecting payments from everyone in the group. Collecting money can be a bit of a drag—that’s why we suggest taking it off your Leader’s plate and having a dedicated team “accountant.”  

Bonus Tip: For payment splitting, try apps like Splitwise or Venmo.   

2. Use a Survey for Big Questions   

Getting everyone on the same page is tough. Where do you want to go? When do you want to leave? How much do you want to spend? What do you want to do while there? Planning a group trip relies on “majority rules”, otherwise we would never get anywhere. Try free survey apps like Google FormsSurveyMonkey, or Zoho Survey to gather feedback and share results as you go.   

Bonus Tip: Make sure you have an ongoing group chat to keep everyone up to date. Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts are free!   

3. Pick a Budget (and Keep to It)  

Choosing a budget for a group trip is often one of the most difficult things to do. You’ll want to tailor the budget to those with both small and large amounts of disposable income. One way to do this is to travel off-season or keep an eye out for flight deals using apps like Hopper. You can also have “optional” activity days where those who want to buy tickets to this or that can while others enjoy a cheap/free day at a pool, beach, or park.   

4. Book By-Owner Rentals Instead of Hotels   

Hotels are high cost and low personability. Not only that but they tend to be less environmentally friendly than their rental-by-owner counterparts (think AirBNB or Breakaway Vacations many rental properties). By-owner rentals have the same sense of professionalism and luxury but are more ingrained within the community in which they are established. They are also more likely to pair with local businesses for promotions and events!   

5. Pre-Plan an Activity or Two Per Day   

Group trips are the perfect opportunity to try new things abroad. You can book adventure activities like bungee jumping or scuba diving; you can focus on cheap activities like hiking or seeing local landmarks; or you can pick out some of the best food and drinks hangout spots to try. Daily activities are the key to getting the most out of your trip and your time together. However, for everyone’s sanity, make sure to leave room for free time, too!   

Conclusion   

Planning a group trip doesn’t have to be a burden. If done correctly, it can be a ton of fun for yourself and everyone else involved. If you need somewhere to stay in British Columbia, check out our vacation rental locations in Kelowna and on Vancouver Island.

Travel 2021
Jan01

COVID-19 put a damper on travel and recreational plans around the globe. Our wanderlust has to be put on hold while the word began to heal. Near the end of 2020 summer, we saw travel restrictions begin to ease. As the pandemic ebbs and flows, we must play the role of a knowledgeable and conscious global citizen. Now, it’s a new year. What will the 2021 travel landscape look like?   

We want all you travelers to stay safe and stay healthy, so we’ve compiled some things you need to know.   

1. Solitary Travel is IN—Consider Touring a National Park, Camping, Hiking, or Bird Watching.  

If you are still feeling iffy about being in groups, never fear. There are ways to explore the world while allotting yourself some much needed (2-meter!) space. Camping or touring remote wilderness areas in small groups are just some of the ways that people are keeping travel plans safe. Research what National Parks are close to you to get some ideas. You might also want to try searching for the best hikes in your state or province and seeking them out!   

2. Keep Abreast of Travel Restrictions and Requirements—Go Above and Beyond in Following Them.   

Before you make any plans, be sure to know the ins and outs of any COVID restrictions in the area. Even if the restrictions are weaker where you’re from, it’s important to respect the community you are visiting and go above and beyond to adhere to their guidelines. Practice good travel hygiene by wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitizer, washing your hands frequently, and keeping a safe distance between your group and others. Better safe than sorry—especially when you are just a visitor in someone else’s home!   

3. Consider a Vacation Close to Home—Travel Within Your Country, State, or Province.   

If you don’t want to risk international travel right now, try something closer to home. Consider a weekend trip somewhere nearby, maybe a city or camping spot that you have always been meaning to try. There are plenty of places within your own “backyard” that you most likely have yet to visit. Try searching some must-see spots in your province or state and make a plan to check them out this year.   

4. Remember That Big Hotels May Not Be as Safe as COVID-Safe as Private Rentals.  

When filled to capacity, hotels can be quite a virus hotspot. Not to mention those big corporations tend to cut corners when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces. That’s why we recommend private vacation rentals for any 2021 travel plans you may have. All Breakaway Vacations locations adhere to the strictest cleanliness standards—and we are available to chat at the venue anytime if you have issues. Find us on Airbnb or on the Breakaway Vacations website for a list of available vacation rentals.  

Conclusion   

We won’t know for sure what 2021 travel will look like. We might see travel restrictions ease and tighten as things change. Plan to be a respectful and conscious traveler this year. It’s going to take all of us working together to keep our towns and cities happy and healthy.

dice games
Dec26

Whether you are traveling in December for holiday festivities or just some pre-New Years relaxation, you might be looking for things to do indoors when the temperature drops. Here are 3 easy dice games that you can do with minimal prep (super easy to pack, too).

1. Knock Out

This dice game only requires 2 dice and involves adding up to the number 10, making it great for younger kids to play, too. Each player first chooses their “knockout number” between either 6, 7, 8, or 9. Two players CAN pick the same number.

Decide who goes first by each rolling a die with the person who rolls the highest taking their turn first, second highest goes second, and so on. On their turn, a player must roll two dice. If they land on their chosen “knock out” number, then they are disqualified from rolling until everyone has been knocked out and the next round starts.

Every roll (EXCEPT the knock out number) contributes to the player’s overall score. Players race to a score of 100, or whatever goal your group decides on.

2. Catch Up

This dice game is great for a larger group, as it requires between 4-8 players. You will need 2 dice as well as an assortment of counters, which can be anything from bits of paper to coins, etc. The first player to obtain 3 tokens wins.

Give the dice to the oldest and youngest players (or however else you want to divide it up). Both will roll their dice at the same time and anyone who lands on a 6 must pass their dice to the right. The goal is to be the one person holding both dice. Then, you earn a counter and the process starts again.

Between each dice roll, there is a chant (mainly to give those without the dice something to do), which you can customize to your group. Use an assortment of clapping or knee-slapping to emphasize every other word to make it more exciting. We like to use the “We Will Rock You” chant, changing up the second repetition to announce the dice roll, as such: We will, we will, rock you. We will, we will, ROLL NOW!

3. Run For It

You will need 6 dice to play this and any amount of players is fine, though it tends to work best with 4-5 for time’s sake. Players will take turns rolling all 6 dice and trying to make “straight”, that is: a series of numbers that progress in counting order. For example: 1, 2, 3, and 4 OR 5, 6, and 7.

A “straight” can encompass anywhere from 2 to 6 numbers and each dice in the sequence gives the player 10 points. So 1, 2, 3, 4 would be worth 40 points in total. You can only make ONE straight per roll, so players should pick the one that gives them the most points.

Whoever reaches 500 points wins. You can raise or lower that number depending on how long you want to play.

Bonus: Want something even simpler? Check out these dice games that require only a single die!

Have Fun and Roll Away

Whatever dice games you decide to play, be sure to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones this holiday season. Play games, enjoy the snow, and celebrate the holidays together.

If you need some help booking your next great vacation rental, be sure to reach out to us using our phone number or contact page!

christmas crafts
Dec11

Winter holiday travel will be filled with Christmas markets, building snowmen, and ice skating…but sometimes you just want to stay warm indoors! Whatever the reason for staying in, your family night together needn’t be uneventful. Here are some family-friendly Christmas crafts to keep everyone entertained.

  1. Paper Plate Santa Clause

This craft is great because minimal supplies are needed. Also, the resulting product is flat and easy to pack in a bag or suitcase to take home after your holiday trip. The main supplies are a paper plate, construction paper, googly eyes, and paint or markers. However, you can modify the list to customize the experience: try pipe cleaners, pom poms, stickers, or glitter (if you dare!).

How to make it.

  1. Pinecone Christmas Tree

Turn a simple pinecone from your walks and hikes in the area into seasonal souvenirs! Use a bit of paint and whatever supplies you want to use for a star (construction paper, wood cut-outs, etc.). Kids will love exploring outdoors to find their “perfect pinecone.” Plus, the craft is minimalist if you need to buy supplies: just a few paint colours and brushes will do! You can leave them as stand-alone decorations or attach a hook or thread loop to them and turn them into tree hangings.

How to make it.

  1. Paper Snowflake Cut-Outs

Ah, a classic! The best part of this craft is that you can print out patterns at home and easily pack them along to have an easy, on-the-go craft ready for any occasion. Patterns range from ridiculously simple to quite challenging and precise. That means there is a design out there for any age range to enjoy. You can also fold the paper and “freestyle” a design to see what you can come up with from scratch.

How to make it.

  1. Popsicle Stick Ornaments

A simple pack of popsicle sticks and a few odds-and-ends to decorate with can go a long way. This can also be a multi-night craft, as there are plenty of patterns to make: reindeer, gingerbread, penguin, holiday tree, snowman, and anything else you can dare to imagine! Use buttons, markers, pipe cleaner, pom poms, felt, construction paper, and ribbon to decorate to your hearts’ content.

How to make it.

The best part about the above Christmas crafts is that many of them use similar materials so you can buy bulk supplies and mix and match projects on different nights of your winter vacation. Plus, you can have fun exploring the local shops to find supplies!

Need somewhere for your holiday parties or weekend ski trips? Check out Breakaway Vacations’ selection of luxury vacation rentals.