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Travel & Escape

Government Of Canada Issues Over 20 New Travel Advisories For These Countries




Speak break is right around the corner, which means many Canadians may be going on vacation or you may be travelling for work. Since it’s a time of high travel, we’ve gathered up a list of countries that the Government of Canada is advising Canadians not to travel to or advising Canadians where they should exercise extra caution during their travels.

Travel advisories can be scaled from exercising normal security precautions to the government advising Canadians to avoid all travel to the area due to war, civil unrest, or for other reasons. 

Since last week, the Government has issued over 20 new travel advisories for Canadians. If you’re travelling anytime soon, make sure to check this list before packing your bags. 


Exercise normal security precautions. The Public Health Agency of Canada has new advice for travellers on the Zika virus. They recommend travellers take special health precautions before travelling to affected countries. 


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to unstable security situations in parts of the country.

Avoid all travel to the following areas of Sudan: 

  • Darfur
  • Abyei administrative region
  • Southern Kordofan State
  • Blue Nile State
  • Area bordering Eritrea within the Red Sea State
  • The portions of Northern Kordofan and White Nile states located south of the Kosti–El Obeid–En Nahud road
  • Area bordering Libya

Northern Marianas 

Exercise normal security precautions. Be wary that it is monsoon and typhyoon season and that Typhoon Wutip may pass west of Guam starting February 24, 2019.


Exercise normal security precautions due to natural disasters and Typhoon Wutip. There’s also petty crime in the area such as pickpocketing and purse snatching. 


Exercise normal security precautions (with regional advisories) including Lazarat. The government says to avoid all non-essential travel to the city of Lazarat. This is where Albanian state police and armed marijuana growers have been engaging in violent confrontations recently. 

There’s also issues of petty crime and threats of terrorism, landmines and women’s safety to be considered for travellers. 


Avoid all travel to Venezuela. The Government of Canada states there is a significant level of violent crime, the unstable political and economic situations and the decline in living conditions. This includes shortages of medication, food staples, gasoline and water. 

There’s also a notice to be careful regarding Zika virus. You should practice special health precautions when travelling to affected countries. 


Avoid non-essential travel (with regional advisories) due to risks of terrorism and kidnapping. Also, avoid travelling to Niamey due to crime and the risk of kidnapping.


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to civil unrest and the threat of terrorism. 

Specifically, avoid travel to these areas:

  • Adrar
  • El Oued
  • Illizi
  • Ouargla
  • Tamanrasset
  • Tébessa
  • Tindouf


Exercise normal security precautions (with regional advisories). Avoid travel to Fukushima nuclear plant and surrounding areas. There are also tensions on the Korean Peninsula that could escalate with little notice. 


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to crime. Avoid non-essential travel to Djibouti-Eritrea border due to tensions between both countries. 


Avoid non-essential travel (with regional advisories) due to the threat of terrorism, particularly against Western interests. There is also the risk of banditry and kidnapping. 


Exercise a high degree of caution due to high crime rates and gang-related violence in urban centres. There’s also a health notice regarding Zika virus. It’s important to ensure proper safety measures when travelling to countries that are affected.


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to the prevalence of crimes of opportunity. Avoid all travel to Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. 

Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to violent crime and demonstrations. Avoid all travel to Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía due to high levels of crime. There’s also a notice regarding Zika virus. 


Exercise a high degree of caution due to moderate levels of crime throughout the country. There is also a notice regarding Zika virus. Canadian travellers should be special health precautions when travelling to a country that’s affected by Zika. 


Avoid all travel to Haiti due to civil unrest throughout the country. The government states that the security sityuation could deteriorate very quickly. There has been trouble recently with Canadians not being able to leave the country safely, which has results in many being stranded in the country.

You should consider leaving by commercial means when they are available, if you can leave safely. 


Avoid non-essential travel (with regional advisories) due to the unpredictable security situation. This advisory does not include the Red Sea coastal resorts of Hurghada and Sherm el-Sheikh or the Luxor area along the upper Nile River. 

If you’re travelling to Egypt, you should plan your trip with a reputable Egyptian travel company as they will be well informed on the ongoing security situations in the country. 


Exercise normal security precautions. Be wary of local laws and what you can be arrested or detained for. Illegal activites include photography of military or police installations, vehicles or personnel. 

Drug possession, use or trafficking will result in long jail sentences or heavy fines. You must carry photo identification on yourself among other laws. Check here for a full list. 

North Macedonia 

Exercise normal security precautions due to petty crime, ATM fraud, terrorism, demonstrations and road safety. 


Exercise normal security precautions due to petty crime, landmines, road safety, pickpocketing at airports or on public transportation, credit card fraud, and the threat of terrorism in Europe. Demonstrations may also occur which can quickly turn violent. 


Exercise normal security precautions (with regional advisories). Avoid all non-essential travel to Northern Kosovo due to high levels of tension between multiple municipalities. 

Democratic Republic of Congo 

Avoid non-essential travel (with regional advisories) due to political and security risks. 

In particular, avoid all travel to these areas of Congo:

  • Maniema
  • North Kivu
  • South Kivu
  • Tanganyika (northeastern area of the former province of Katanga);
  • Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele and Ituri (northeastern area of the former province of Orientale)
  • points of entry to Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda
  • areas bordering South Sudan (including the Garamba National Park) and Uganda


Exercise a high degree of caution due to high levels of crime. Particularly, avoid the tension between the Namibia-Angola border. There is a risk of banditry and petty crime throughout the country. 


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to continuing threat of terrorist attacks by Pakistan throughout the country. There is also a threat of Zika virus in the country. Canadians should take the proper measures to ensure their health safety.

Specifically, avoid the following areas of conflict. 

  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Manipur
  • Meghalaya
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Western border with Bangladesh
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Border areas of Pakistan


Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) due to high crime rate and potential for political instability. Officials also recommend avoiding all travel to Batterie beach where violent assaults have recently occurred. 


Exercise normal security precautions due to natural disasters and crime-related issues. There are risks of flooding throughout the area, along with petty crime, muggings, scams, spiked food and drinks, demonstrations, landmines and more.


Exercise normal security precautions due to known crimes such as muggings and carjacking, which are typically low. Higher rates of crime include petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching in bigger cities. There are also threats of fraud, harassment, demonstrations, spiked food and drinks, terrorism in Europe and more.


Avoid all travel to Afghanistan due to the unstable security situation, ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks, risks of kidnapping and high crime rates. The Government of Canada strongly recommends not travelling to Afghanistan at this time. If you do, they recommend you register with the Registration of Canadians abroad and provide your personal and professional contact information. 

Ultimately, it is the traveller’s decision whether or not they decide to travel to any of the mentioned countries. The Government of Canada just suggests that you be informed on the ongoing issues in the countries mentioned before travelling abroad. All of the information from the article was gathered from the Government of Canada.

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Travel & Escape

How to win the lottery — 7-time lottery winner shares 5 important tips





Incredible as it may seem,the odds of matching all the winning Powerball numbers are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. It means you’re much more likely to date a supermodel, get bitten by a shark, become the president of the United States, get struck by lightning, amongst other incredible feats than win the lottery.

However, despite the high odds of winning the lottery once, Richard Lustig has won the seven lottery grand prizes. Due to the rarity of his feat, Lustig wrote a book titled: Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery, where he discusses the do’s and don’ts of playing the lottery and how to better your odds of winning the lottery.

Here are some of the useful tips shared by Lustig to better your chances of winning the lottery.

1.  Avoid “quick-pick” numbers that are autogenerated from the stores

While it might appear like every number carries an equal amount of “luck” in the quick pick method, but according to Lustig, it is advisable to not be lured by this.

“Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game, whatever game you’re playing. In this case, the hype, of course, is all about the Powerball right now,” said Lustig in a Forbes interview.

2.  Exhaust all your options

For many people who play the lottery, they typically limit their choices to “special dates” like anniversaries, birth month and dates and the likes.

While these dates carry precious memories, choosing them means you’re limiting yourself to less than half the numbers available from 1 through 31. Therefore, ensure you exhaust all of your options in terms of picking numbers.

“If you pick your own numbers and only play birthdays and anniversaries, you’re splitting the pot with 20-40 people. If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” said Lustig.

3.  Ensure you stick with your guts

In his book, Lustig recommended a specific way to find the numbers that you’re most comfortable with, but ultimately, never go back on a group of numbers that you believe would win you the jackpot.

“Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” notes Lustig.

Therefore, while it is alright to repeat one or two numbers, it is necessary when playing multiple cards to have enough variety when grouping selected numbers. Doing this helps maximize your odds.

4. Maintain consistency

If you want to increase your chances of winning a particular game, it is important to consistently follow past and future drawings to get an insightinto the winning patterns—if any.

“Never miss a drawing in the game you’re playing. Every Saturday, every Wednesday, every week,” said Lustig.

5.  Know your limits and don’t be carried away

Winning the jackpot can be a life-changing experience for not only you but your loved ones, however, it is important not to invest so much money into lottery tickets than you’re willing to lose.

While buying 100 tickets gives you a better chance that buying 10, but only do this if you’re able to afford a loss—as lottery tickets are not a regular investment.

“One of the things that I preach to people all the time is budget, budget, budget,” Lustig says. “Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called lottery fever”

“Don’t spend grocery money. Don’t spend rent money. Figure out what you can afford to spend. Don’t worry about how much Joe Blow down the street is spending. … Figure out what your budget is, what you can comfortably afford to spend, and stay within that budget,” he continued.

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Travel & Escape

48 hours in . . . Bruges, an insider guide to Belgium’s city on water





Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.

Today its new riches are in tourism, carefully managed and constantly refreshed by year-round cultural events, so that it retains the dynamism of a living city. The best way to appreciate all this is to stay a few days, luxuriating in the dreamily romantic boutique hotels, and visiting the rewarding museums and churches at your leisure. Above all, this is a place to walk and wonder, and there are still plenty of quiet corners to discover, where historic Bruges sleeps on.

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Travel & Escape

Europe’s most incredible cosy cabins for watching the Northern Lights





The Northern Lights are a phenomenon likely to appear on the wish, bucket or to-do list of any intrepid traveller. And what better way to experience them in Europe than by bunking down in cosy cabins, surrounded by miles of forest, still water or the peaks of mountains. They might be pared-back but still boast polished elements, whether it’s a heated hot tub in Sweden, an ‘igloo’ extension in Norway or a glass roof above your bed in Finland. Nothing distracts as the Aurora Borealis flames across the sky – curl up under a blanket and take a look inside. . .

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