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St. Clair Travel Agency

www.stclairtravel.com

About us

St. Clair Travel Agency first opened it’s doors in 1954 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We specialize in trips to Italy but our team of travel consultants knowledge of the world’s most inspiring places is unrivaled. We are passionate and experienced and whether you want to discover the Caribbean, or experience the rich history of Europe we are here to make your dreams come true.

Visit our website for more information or call (416)654-9600 and an agent will be happy to assist you!

 

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION – FLIGHTS TO CANADA

The Government of Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), that applies to visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting Canada by air. A visa-exempt foreign national is a person who is not a citizen of Canada and is not required to obtain a visa for the purpose of travel based on their country of nationality.

 Effective March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada. Until November 9, 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.

To complete your application for an eTA, you will need your valid passport, a credit card and an email address. The application for an eTA is completed online: Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

An eTA costs $7 CAD if booked directly on the Government website there is a small administrative fee if booked through the agency and is valid for up to five years or until your passport expires – whichever comes first. You can come to Canada as many times as you wish as long as your eTA remains valid.

After you submit your application online, you should get an email that indicates one of the following: confirmation of receipt/pending (your application has been received and is under review); request for documents (you are asked to submit additional documents to complete the review of your application); or approval (your eTA has been approved).

The approval email will include your eTA number, expiration date, and passport number. You do not need to print the eTA. An eTA is electronically linked to your passport. However, you will need to travel with the passport you used to apply for your eTA.

Among those exempted from this new requirement are U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents do not need to apply for an eTA. Also, entry requirements for travellers arriving by land or sea have not changed.

To see if the citizens of your country need an eTA or to apply for one, visit the Government of Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization website. If you require an eTA, apply for it before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes, but some applications can take several days to process, so don’t wait until the last minute.

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TO UPGRADE OR NOT TO UPGRADE?

Should you upgrade your hotel room or is that just a waste of money?
Let’s take a closer look.

Room vs Suite
Many resorts offer the option of upgrading to a suite. But is it really worth it? That depends on what the suite entails. If you tend to feel claustrophobic, then having a larger space could make your stay much more comfortable. Also, if you are travelling with children, it is great to have the option of unwinding with your spouse past your kids’ bedtime in a separate living area. However, if your travel itinerary is so busy that you only spend the nights in your room, you might find that your money is better spent elsewhere.

Tip: Find out if the “living area” is separated by an actual door, if you are interested in some privacy.

Worth the upgrade: Playa Cayo Santa Maria (4-star), Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
Skip the upgrade: Gran Bahia Principe Tulum (5-star), Mayan Riviera, Mexico

No View vs View
The decision to upgrade your room to the one with a view depends not only on your personal preference, but also on the type of vacation you are on. If it is a hectic sightseeing trip with family or a party getaway with your friends, then you have to ask yourself if you will actually have the time to admire the view? However, if this is an adult-only getaway with your significant other or a chill trip with your best friend(s), then go ahead and upgrade – you can already picture yourselves taking in the views of the ocean or the mountains while sipping a glass of wine.

Tip: Make sure that the advertised view meets your expectations – sometimes “ocean view” is nothing more than a sliver of blue in the far distance.

Worth the upgrade: Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik (5-star), Dubrovnik, Croatia
Skip the upgrade: Hotel Luxe (4-star), Split, Croatia

Terrace vs Balcony
While having a balcony seems so much more glamorous, you have to again think of the type of trip you are on. If travelling with people who have limited mobility (e.g. seniors, small children, individuals with joint and knee issues), then it is important to remember that many Caribbean resorts and old-charm hotels in Europe do not have elevators. If you want the balcony, you will be trekking up and down the stairs… every day! Also, you might want to avoid booking a room with a balcony if you have small children who are active – you would be constantly worrying about them staying safe on the balcony!

On the other hand, if you are worried about critters or noise, or you simply want to ensure a better view, then balcony could be a better option than a terrace.

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WHY BOOK WITH A TRAVEL AGENT?

Shopping for clothes, buying groceries, ordering food – nowadays we can do it all online. So why would travel be any different? Maybe because saving money and having an enjoyable trip takes more than just a few clicks online. Below are the benefits of booking with a travel agent.

Real deals. Just because something is advertised as a “deal”, doesn’t mean that it really is. Travel agents know the seat sale trends, so they can give you the real scoop. Also, a travel agency may be able to give you a discount or has special prices for certain destinations. For example, ask St. Clair Travel Agency about flights to Italy – you won’t be disappointed!

Insider knowledge. Which resort has a natural or a man-made beach? How many hours should you leave between flights booked separately on two airlines? Which side of the ship should you choose your cabin to be on to ensure the most scenic views throughout the cruise? How many days should you spend in Venice? Travel agents’ decades of experience combined with insider knowledge and client feedback ensure that your holiday is as enjoyable and memorable as possible!

Hidden routes and prices. Online travel websites are improving, but they still can’t compete with travel agencies’ booking engines. Travel agents can mix and match routes you didn’t even know existed – while saving you money!

Solving problems. Your flight gets cancelled. Your airline goes on strike. Your hotel downgrades you. When things don’t go as they should, your travel agent will have your back, as they would be committed to resolving your issue on your behalf. Furthermore, St. Clair Travel Agency is TICO-certified, which means that your travel purchase is protected in case of a travel provider’s bankruptcy.

Time to think. Tic-toc. You have found a great price online, but the airline’s website is counting down on the 10 min that have been allocated for you to complete the booking. Tic-toc. You are trying to reach your spouse while coordinate schedules and tracking down your boss to ask time off from work. Tic-toc. Some airlines offer you the possibility to “hold the seat” for a set non-refundable fee. Tic-toc, tic-toc. But did you know that with a travel agent, you can usually place a seat on hold until the end of the day (or sometimes even for a couple of days) for FREE! Take your time, so that you don’t have to make a rush-decision.

Instant confirmation. Nobody wants to admit it, but it is quite common to book a really good deal online… only to get an apologetic email in the next 24 hours (or, worse, just a couple of days before your departure date) where it turns out that “the price has increased” or “your flight is no longer available on the dates chosen.” Avoid these glitches and hoaxes by booking with a travel agency – if a travel agent tells you that your flight is booked, it’s booked!

Payment plans. Online booking websites normally require full payment at the time of booking your all-inclusive vacation. If your vacation is still months away, you could end up paying high credit card interest fees that add to the total cost of your trip. Travel agencies, on the other hand, will often only require a small deposit to confirm your all-inclusive vacation and you won’t have to pay the rest until 45-60 days prior to your departure.

Saving time. If it is your first time travelling to a new destination, it may take weeks to do a thorough research… just to plan your itinerary! Sometimes you don’t even know from where to start. Travel agents plan trips for a living, so relaying on their expertise can save you weeks in travel research.

Easy group travel. Travelling with a group of friends or perhaps with your extended family? Planning a destination wedding or a destination anniversary party? Save yourself some headaches (and money – lots of places offer group rates!) and have a travel agent take care of your group’s travel arrangements.

At St. Clair Travel Agency, our agents work very hard to gain your trust and show you how we can save you time, money, and hassles. So give us a call at 416-654-9600 and let us make your next trip a truly memorable one!

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