What happens when you take one of Canada’s top travel and family writers (Jody Robbins), add a dash of ambition and two years of commitment?
You get one heck of an awesome travel book packed with tips, advice and inspiration for families that love to go places. Jody’s book, 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit deserves a place on your bookshelf for dreaming and planning and one in the car for last minute ideas when you’re already on the road – with some time on your hands and a couple of squirming kids in the backseat.
Jody, with her daughter Eve and sometimes her husband Dan, traveled across a huge swath of Canada from the Yukon to Newfoundland to research this book. Of course they checked out the tried and true – cities like Halifax, Ottawa and Victoria. But Jody probed so she’s able to dish up the goods, not only on the best things to do in each city but also nearby. Take Vancouver for example. The regulars you’d expect are included – Stanley Park, Granville Island and the Capilano Suspension Bridge but Jody takes you one hour west to Squamish, a bald eagle hot spot where kids are welcome on winter rafting trips. Who knew?
Then she gives you great suggestions on where to eat with kids but they’re restaurants you’ll also like. Did you know Vancouver’s high end Hawksworth Restaurant offers a kid’s menu with steak frites and margherita pizza?
Sleeping recommendations along with suggestions on how to get around a city are also provided. Each chapter ends with fun facts and other book recommendations so the whole family can get excited about planning the trip.
What I have always appreciated and loved about Jody’s writing is she adds humour with a touch of edginess to the conversation. She’s forthright and tells it like it is. Since she’s tested these places with her own daughter she knows what matters from a parent’s perspective. Want to know what the real hit is? She’ll tell you. For example in Niagara Falls, their favourite part of the trip – Journey Behind the Falls was the unexpected highlight – and to think I’ve never done it even though I lived in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake for years.
Where does Jody recommend you and your family travel?
Aside from ten of Canada’s bigger cities, Jody suggests trips to Parksville-Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, Banff National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Churchill, Niagara Falls, Blue Mountain, the Saguenay Fjord, the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, the Lighthouse Route in Nova Scotia, the Avalon Peninsula, Western Newfoundland and the Yukon.
Each chapter covers about 10 pages and includes colour photos. There are headers to make it easy to find what you’re after. Some chapters have Good to Know sections so you don’t miss out on must do experiences.
The last half of the book is reserved for travel tips.
After reading through some of them – Surviving Travel, Travel by Plane, Pack Like a Pro, Camping Made Easy, Couple Time and Making Mealtimes Manageable as examples, I know I – a seasoned traveler learned a few new things. Did you know dental floss can be turned into a makeshift clothesline or it can cut through soft cheese and desserts?
If you’re new to travel, coming up short on ideas on where to take your kids this summer, or want to hand the children off to grandparents who are keen to take them somewhere, Jody’s book will help enormously. It’s the first book that addresses family travel specifically in Canada. What a year to hit the shelves! Now go buy one at any of the store listed below.
Where can you buy 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit?
In person visit Walmart, Save on Foods/Overwaitea, Chapers/Indigo and Indy Bookstores. The book retails for $24.95.