Be happier. Plan a vacation on your way home from work.

Spring is on its way…we think. In the meantime here’s a suggestion to keep your spirits high:

Take a vacation! Or better yet, book and plan one. Some research shows that planning your vacation can be more enjoyable than the vacation itself. And a lot of your vacation planning and shopping can be done right here the Financial District and PATH. Where to start? How about some travel books? You can do some great travel research at the following stores:
Ben McNally Books at 366 Bay St.
IndigoSpirit First Canadian Place
IndigoSpirit Royal Bank Plaza

We used Ben McNally’s ask Ben form to request a book that would get us excited about travelling. The answer: The Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris, a Canadian author who grew up wanting to be just like Marco Polo. Harris’ award-winning travelogue is about her cycling trip through the 10 countries and 10,000 km of the Silk Road. It’s great inspiration to take road previously very-well travelled.

If the trip you’re looking for is more all-inclusive than pedal-powered, there are options for travel agents in the Financial District which include:
Flight Centre in TD Centre
Trip Central in Royal Bank Plaza
The Travel Agent Next Door at 55 York St.

The travel experts at Flight Centre recommend booking six to eight months in advance to get those Early Booking Bonuses. Last-minute deals are a myth, so plan ahead!

Both Mexico and Jamaica earn Flight Centre recommendations as places with great food, safe environments and high-value experiences. Roatan in Honduras is a good off-the-beaten-path destination with scuba diving and snorkeling. And Riveria Maya, south of Cancun in Mexico, has some great off-resort activities from shopping malls to ancient ruins.

To prepare for all the sun, you’ll probably need a nice pair of shades. Bailey Nelson in Royal Bank Plaza, Harry Rosen in First Canadian Place and FYidoctors in Commerce Court are close and PATH-connected.

Winners in Scotia Plaza is good place for a big shop. They’ve got everything from suitcases to swimsuits.

And don’t forget to check the expiry on you passport! If you have to renew, you can get passports photos at Rapid Photo or one of the many Shopper’s Drug Marts in the Financial District and then scoot to the Passport Canada Office at 74 Victoria St. before 4 p.m.