Travel Gadget Reviews

An IT professional by day, this HappyFlyer is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast with a passion for travel. Hailing from the East Coast, she will be writing about her interest in travel gadgets and sharing her best travel tips and unique perspective on travel experiences.

Review: InterContinental Toronto Centre

I booked a stay at the InterContinental Toronto Centre for my last night in Toronto.  The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Toronto and it is within walking distance to Toronto’s Harbourfront. The famous CN Tower is right there, as well as the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada which is literally just around the corner from the hotel.  You can also walk to Toronto’s Entertainment District from the hotel.     Awesome Check-In Experience Check-in was just plain awesome.  The staff was friendly and professional. I booked two rooms and both are the King room type.  My desired room type –...

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Four Pictures: A Funny Sprinkler Warning and 3 Hotel Room Design Flaws

Sometimes I really wonder what hotels are actually thinking of when they design rooms or when they decide on the placement of certain items in the rooms. Sometimes those puzzling decisions actually made me laugh out loud. 1. The Sprinkler Problem I laughed at this one.  You can see the ceiling at the top of the photo.  Right below the ceiling is a sprinkler system.  It comes with very clear visual instruction what it is NOT to be used for. I imagine there has to be a reason the signage is there. Still, there is a closet space with...

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Review: Marriott Springhill Suites Toronto-Vaughan

I recently stayed at the Marriott Springhill Suites in Toronto-Vaughan.  I picked this hotel because it had great reviews and the rooms looked comfortable.  It seemed like a good place to rest up after a road trip. Check In Experience We arrived at the property well past midnight due to a few unplanned hiccups.  After a short wait, a front desk staff came out to assist with my reservations.  She was awesome and got us checked in quickly. Midway through the check-in process, she thanked me for being a Marriott elite member and offered a welcome gift for each...

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Review: My First Stay at a Staybridge Suites (Toronto-Markham)

This past weekend, I had my first stay ever at a Staybridge Suites property.  Staybridge Suites is an extended stay hotel, and the hotel brand is under the umbrella of IHG. Normally, I don’t stay at a place long enough to warrant an “extended” hotel.  I generally  think of “extended stay” as a week or longer.  However, through word-of-mouth, I heard some great things about a good value hotel:  Staybridge Suites Toronto-Markham.  The general price range for this hotel is $140-180/night. I booked 2 rooms for my party for a night’s stay. Location The hotel is in a decent...

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I Think I Accidentally Agitated an Agent at the Canada-US Border Crossing

I know border patrol control agents have an important job to do.  They are law enforcement officers, working to detect and prevent unauthorized individuals (or agricultural products) from entering a country. In many ways, I really admire them and their dedication.  Other times, I wish the US-based agents could be a tad more friendly. Border Control to Canada On my recent road trip into Canada this weekend, I drove into Canada with little fanfare.  The border agent was quite nice.  He asked a couple of casual questions, and although initially serious, he actually smiled after he cleared our passport...

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IHG to Launch a New Mid-Scale Brand

Recently, I came across the news that IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) has announced plans to launch a new midscale hotel brand.   The brand has not been named yet, but it is dubbed as Project Horizon. Let me be the first to say that I generally like IHG hotels.  While I have ventured and stayed at other hotel brands in recent years, I still hold a soft spot for IHG (or more specifically, Holiday Inns).  Growing up, my family always stayed at reasonably priced hotels like Holiday Inn Express or Holiday Inn.  The rooms weren’t fancy, but they did their...

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Koalas: Are they really as cute as they look?

For each country that I visit, there is usually at least one thing I look forward to.  For Australia, that was a chance to see koalas, native to to Australia, in person. Having never seen one live in person, my image of a koala is that of a small, cute fuzzy animal. That’s a dangerous combination.  I really like cute and fuzzy.  I mean, just look at it:     Needless to say, I planned my trip to include visits to catch a glimpse of them.  This included a visit to the Taronga Zoo, an easy scenic ferry ride...

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Visiting the Great Wall: Cable Ride or Toboggan Slide?

Last summer, I visited the China as part of the multi-country Asia trip.  Needless to say, I couldn’t visit China without making a stop to see the Great Wall of China in person.  I decided to visit the Mutianyu section of the wall.  There are a few options to get to the up to the wall.   You can walk up to the wall (30-40 minutes, according to some estimates) or take a cable car up.  At the end of the trip, you can walk, take the cable ride, or take the toboggan slide down. Travel tip: If you are...

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This is One of the Best Disney Animated Films, Ever

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  The post does not contain movie spoilers. I have long been a Disney fan and many of their animated films.  The one I love right now is Disney’s Moana, which was released late last year. Ever Heard of Moana? I had seen the trailer for Moana before its theatrical release.  Despite being a Disney fan, the trailer didn’t draw me in enough to make me want to see it at the theater.   Just like the trailer for Frozen was focused on Olaf’s slapstick jokes, I thought Moana was an adventure film with a...

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Review: Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive (Backup Storage for your iPhone)

Note: this post contains affiliate links. As someone who takes tons of pictures, I never seemed to have enough storage space on my iPhone.  Recently, I came across and wrote about a flash drive for the iPhone as a solution.  I see it as an option to eliminate the need to carry my digital camera and make do with the built in camera on the iPhone. I purchased a 32GB Sandisk iXpand flash drive.  The item arrived quickly in the mail, and I put it to the test. Size of the device The device is clearly designed for the...

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