Travel Bug – News and adventure to expand your horizons

The Paradisus Los Cabos features a zero-entry swimming pool as well as a selection of wheelchair accessible rooms.

Photo & Travel Bug by Michele Peterson

Breeze through U.S. Customs
Canadian citizens using the Mobile Passport app can now enjoy shorter processing times through U.S Customs and Immigration at one cruise port and 24 airports. Available for download on the APP store and Google Play, this free app allows travellers to set up a profile with passport information in advance, so that upon entry to the U.S. there is no need to hunt for a paper and pen to complete customs and immigration forms. Instead, you simply complete the Mobile Passport app and transmit your travel information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection electronically. The Mobile Passport electronic receipt with encrypted barcode is then shown to the CBP officer. All passport profiles are stored securely and can be reused for multiple trips.

Epic exploring on the Great Tasmanian Traverse
Walking tour operator Tasmanian Expeditions has launched a new fully-guided wilderness adventure that traverses the entire length of the Apple Isle over 39 days. Highlights of the tour include rafting down the iconic Franklin River, trekking in Tasmania’s world heritage regions, a scenic flight over the west coast and southwest World Heritage area and a transfer to Strahan on the famous Stormbreaker yacht. Each of the memorable experiences has been chosen to showcase the pristine landscapes of one of the last great wilderness areas left on the planet. Departure takes place in February 2018.

UNESCO World Heritage list growing
UNESCO has awarded World Heritage status to new sites in China. Gulangyu, one of the newly inscribed sites is a tiny, car-free island off the coast of Xiamen that preserves much of the architectural and cultural history from its days as an international settlement. Nicknamed the “Piano Island” for having the highest piano ownership per capita in the nation, the island in southeast China is also home to a unique piano museum. The other new UNESCO World Heritage site is the Hoh Xil plateau in Qinghai Province, the world’s highest and largest plateau, recognized for its remoteness and sub zero temperatures. China remains tied with Italy for the most sites inscribed to the list, with 52 each.

Headbanger festival in Radium Hot Springs
Although it might sound more like a heavy metal music concert, the Headbanger Festival is actually a twoday event showcasing the powerful rutting action of bighorn sheep. While summer is a popular time for spotting mountain sheep at Radium Hot Springs in the Kootenay Rockies, the real drama unfolds in November when the rams of the 140-strong herd compete to win female attention. The rams charge each other at high speed, rising on their hind legs to bash horns with such incredible force you can hear the crack across town. The Headbanger Festival, to be held November 7-8, 2017, features opportunities to witness the annual rut, participate in interpretive walks, attend education seminars and spend an afternoon with professional wildlife photographers.

Escape winter at Paradisus Los Cabos
Looking to escape the snow? Melia Hotels has opened Paradisus Los Cabos, its fourth property in
Mexico. Located beside a private golf course on one of the largest swimmable beaches on the Cabo Corridor of the Baja California Peninsula, the all-inclusive Paradisus Los Cabos offers many appealing features for active, older adults. Elevated amenities at the elegant 350-guest-room resort include adults-only Royal Service suites featuring a private check-in lounge, 24- hour butler service, exclusive swimming pool, restaurants and 28 Royal-Service Swim-up Suites. Wheelchair accessibility is available within the four ADA-compliant suites and the main swimming pool offers zero-entry access, ideal for travellers with mobility issues.
Michele Peterson is a Toronto-based travel journalist who can be reached at