the scene

2018 mosaic contest

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Mosaic contest!

Congratulations to the Mosaic passport winners.

travel tips

Check out these travel tips submitted by Innovation Place tenants!

In order to prevent jet lag when traveling, begin living in that new time zone as soon as you enter the plane. Set your mind, your sleep, your eating patterns to the new time zone. When you arrive, you will already be synced up with the time zone of your destination. And then get straight to adventuring!

Always go left. The general population has a tendency of going right when getting into line ups and tours. As the unofficial guide to Disneyland, going left will have less people.

When travelling to a warm country in winter, always take a quick change of summer clothes in your carry-on and a small supply of necessities (medication, toiletries, etc.) in case you have a unexpected flight change/waiting to be cooler when you finally land in your warm destination.

Complete your packing a week in advance. and don't go shopping etc. on the day before travel so you are well rested for the travel.

Go off the beaten path…explore! When we were in Venice in 2000, my wife and I spent time in St. Mark's Basilica (who I am named after) and then went for a walk. We ended up coming across a fantastic church, Venice-Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - Amazing sculptures and art, many by Titian, who I am now an admirer of. That was one highlight of our trip!

Use the travel guides! Some of the best experiences and meals I've had while travelling have come from travel guide recommendations. Get the latest versions with the most up-to-date information (sometimes you can find them in the library). Personally, I've had the best luck with Frommer’s.

AC travel adapters are essential when you travel outside of North America.

Always pack one day's worth of 'essentials' in your carry on...just in case your luggage doesn't make it to your destination.

Bring a flashlight in case you’re in the dark, as well as a plastic sheet so you can sit anywhere.

Make sure you get a confirmed SEAT on all flights and not just a confirmed booking! This way you will never be kicked off an over-sold flight. (And yes…WestJet can overbook flights.)

Always pack a water bottle.

Slow down & enjoy. Please don't try to cram 20 countries into one month of travel. All the good stuff happens when you really take the time to explore. I traveled more than 4,000 km in two weeks, visiting 6 European countries. I saw a lot, but I felt stressed and rushed. Spend more time in fewer places for maximum enjoyment. You'll meet people who are eager to show you around and learn about activities that aren't in your guidebook.

Put a couple laundry sheets in your bag when you travel to keep things smelling fresh and clean.

Before travel across provinces or outside of Canada, make sure to check in 48 hours advance. This way for sure your flight ticket is OK.

Always carry a luggage scale so that you can rearrange the items between your bags to keep them within the weight limits before getting to the airport.

My best advice for travel is to not over plan. Book the first night and a very rough itinerary and that's it. Let the rest fall organically into place. You can experience so much more this way! Happy travels!

We use airbnb for booking our accommodations after reading their reviews. We use Costco for rental car bookings as they are affordable and you get the second driver for free. We also useGoogle Flights for booking our flights to find the best deal. I love reading the reviews on TripAdvisor as I get some great ideas from them. Try Duolingo for learning a language free. Finally, make sure to leave a copy of your passport, travel info, etc. with a family member. Safe travels!

Use bike-share services wherever you can. Walking is too slow. Subways or cabs are too fast. Cycling is just right! You can slow down to get a feel for the city, but can still get from one place to another in reasonable time.

Make a copy of the front & back of your credit cards, driver's license,  health insurance card & a copy of your passport. Put them in a sealed envelope & give them to a trusted person for safe keeping while you are away. In an emergency, these copies can come in handy.When you return home, if they were not needed, they should still be in the sealed envelope. Also email a copy of your travel itinerary (flights, pre-booked hotels, etc.) to yourself and to a friend who is not traveling with you.

Pack as light as possible. If you can make do with a carry-on suitcase then do it. Collect small bottles and vials so that you can take your own "travel size" containers that are under the 100 ml carry-on requirement.

If you use a point-and-shoot camera, make one of your first pictures a picture that includes your name, address and phone number so that if you lose the memory card or camera, someone can more easily see where to return it.

As a female who often travels alone, I always take an alarm that I can trigger if my safety is compromised. I always sleep better knowing that I can alert help of need be.

Use a money belt to ration money limits if on a budget while traveling abroad. Have a day's worth of cash in a separate wallet from your main money belt to prevent overspending while also keeping money safe from loss in case of a lost wallet or pick-pocketing.