Some people—but mostly just me—sometimes fail to realize the inherent value of a buck. In choosing between a non-returnable high-cost purchase and a fancy weekend getaway to Las Vegas, I would choose the former. So blissfully unaware that spending my money wisely could actually get me something (or somewhere) of value, I've longed for the day when the answers to wise spending could fall into my lap.
Well, this year, if you're planning your summer getaway, good timing! up! magazine has just released its third annual Value Guide, available both in print and online, chock full of smart suggestions for the experience-driven traveller—customized for those who are not me, clearly. You're guaranteed to like the winners, all of which have been voted by you!
And because we are now accepting nominations for next year's Value Guide, don't hesitate to send in your favourites; not only will you help spread the good word, but you'll get your name in for a bounty of awesome prizes (last year's prize was a luxury vacation to Jamaica!).
Divided by different locales—Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean—the list is unified by sub-categories of your best travel experience, from top-voted attraction, hotel, and nightlife, to highest-rated restaurant, spa and outdoor event.
Some of my favourites on the list for 2010?
British Columbia’s Capilano Suspension Bridge! Oh, the fond memories I have of peering down a gulch 230 feet below me, holding onto the twine railing for dear life. Being afraid of heights, I would always envy and despise the school children for their incessant jumping up and down the rickety structure as if it were a trampoline, frightening the bejesus out of Grandma in the process. Rest assured that the 107-year-old structure is sturdy and will not collapse, but the screams coming from the bridge might suggest otherwise...
Incredulously-so, Fantasyland Hotel in West Edmonton Mall has also made the list in 2010! Who wouldn’t want to sleep like an Eskimo in an igloo, or on the bed of a yellow pickup truck? Or under the stars in a tribal-inspired African safari room, where even the toilet paper is leopard-print (maybe...)? I’ve longed for the night to sleep in a Polynesian warrior catamaran boat under full sail, fit with a stuffed crew of animal warriors...
Lastly, no one should forget about Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas! It’s the modern equivalent of what Atlantis might have looked like if it hadn't sunk into the ocean... minus the flying machines. This tropical oasis of fun + sun has the power to convert even the most crabbiest into the most happiest! I can't say that I know what has the power to thrill an average human, but I know for sure that a water-slide built directly through a giant aquarium with swimming hammerheads should satisfy anyone's craving for adrenaline.
So check out the Value Awards page online and in July’s issue of up! magazine, and start nominating your 2011 picks at valueawards.ca! You’ll be happy you did when prizes start flyin’ your way!