I’m first and foremost a scientist. It’s what I went to post secondary school for, it’s how my brain is hardwired. Lucky for us it makes me great at researching and planning and Joey has no problems giving me the reigns. I’m a firm believer in doing your homework to find the best deals. Over the past few years, the trips that we’ve taken have required a fair share of shopping around. Here are some of the best companies we have used during our travels.

  • Scuba Diving
    • Canada
      COJO Diving
      COJO Diving

      Fredericton, NB

      A couple of the nicest people we have ever met, Connie and Joe George are the founders and owners of COJO diving. Exploring the Bay of Fundy can be daunting as it boasts some of the biggest tides in the world. With COJO guiding you every step of the way, diving this amazing landscape has never been so easy. We have done several of our certification courses with this company, including our PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Rescue Diver, and the classes are very personable and catered to meet the individual’s needs.

      Divers Den
      Diver’s Den

      Tobermory, ON

      As one of the top dive sites in Ontario, Tobermory is high on any dive hobbyists bucket list. Having visited Tobermory a few times Joey and I never leave disappointed when using the Diver’s Den Outfitters. Top of the line equipment rentals and reasonably priced boat charters, make this company a favourite among our dive friends. I strongly recommend calling or emailing in advance to book your charter as the summer dive season can be very busy in this neck of the woods.

    • Iceland
      Dive Island

      Hólmaslóð 2 – 101 Reykjavik
      Phone Number: (+354)5786200
      Email: [email protected]

      This five star Icelandic dive centre truly treats you like royalty when you dive with them. From equipment preparation and snacks to even removing and cleaning up afterwards, the dive centre takes care of it all. Diving in Iceland is an expensive feat no matter which company you choose. That is the price you pay when you want to dive in one of the clearest places on the planet.

    • Costa Rica
      Summer Salt Dive Center - Playas del Coco - Costa Rica
      Summer Salt

      Though their website may be a little outdated Summer Salt is a very reputable dive shop in Costa Rica. The employee’s are wonderful to deal with and fluent in Spanish, French and English. The equipment is above the standard for rental gear and the prices are the cheapest compared to many of the other dive shops in the area. Our dive master treated us like kings, preparing all our gear pre dive and even swapping out the tanks for us between dives. We did not need to deal with anything. The only downfall was that the boat did not have a washroom onboard so make sure you go to the washroom and change into your bathing suit before going out on your charter because if you are doing a 3 tank dive it can be a long time before you see land again.

    • Nicaragua
      Valcano Divers Nicaragua
      Volcano Divers

      This diving shop combined with a hotel and restaurant is located right on the edge of a volcanic crater. Run by a local Nico and his wife, for $40.00 USD you will be taken on a 1 hour dive in this uncannily warm lake. It is so warm that we didn’t need any wet suits even when we planned to descend to 80 feet. The wildlife is not too exciting, with small crabs and cichlids being the main fauna, however if you are lucky the dive master will find some neat geological structures or a thermal vent excreting hot water into the lagoon.

    • Cuba
      Barracuda Diving Logo
      Barracuda Dive Center

      Our first experience was not the greatest with the Barracuda Dive Center, however on the second day of diving, our guides were well spoken, great leaders and very helpful with any of our wants or needs. As one of the most reputable dive centers in Cuba we sincerely hope that the issues and poor functioning gear we had on our first day of diving were just an unfortunate fluke.

  • Accommodations
    • General
      Airbnb Logo

      One of the best websites to find accommodations for a wide variety of budgets is Airbnb. Joey and I found it hard to justify staying in a hostel, when for equally as cheap we can find a full house or apartment. What’s even more appealing is the discounts, typically between 10-30%, that become available if you stay for a week or a month in one particular locations. Airbnb is the perfect solution for traveler’s looking to stay in one area for a few days or even a few months. If you’re new to Airbnb, receive a discount for your first stay!

    • Cuba
      ROC Arenas Doradas All Inclusive Resort
      ROC Arenas Doradas All Inclusive Resort

      This four star Cuban resort is located along the white sand beaches just outside of Varadero. The resort has several pools, a hot tub and many luscious gardens that you can stroll through at your heart’s content. All staff are bilingual, speaking Spanish and English, and are always willing to help guests out. We enjoyed the food, the bars and the a la carte restaurants (they had 5 to pick from during our stay). At the ROC Arenas Doradas, you are guaranteed to find something that tickles your fancy.

    • Iceland
      Guesthouse 66 Iceland
      Guesthouse 66 Hostel

      Grensasvegur 14 108 Reykjavik
      Phone Number: (+354)6997313

      This hostel is located about 5 km from downtown Reykjavik. The facility was very clean and quiet, a perfect spot for jet lagged traveler’s to rest. It was a little cramped with four of us and our baggage per room, but we made it work. We had bunk beds and our own sink in the room, as well as a fridge and microwave, a bonus we did not expect. The staff was very accommodating providing us with kitchen necessities so that we could prepare our own meal with grocery store purchases.

      Höfn Campsites and Cottages
      Höfn Campsites and Cottages

      Hafnarbraut 52 780 Höfn
      Phone Number: (+354)4781606
      Email: [email protected]

      Höfn was the second campground which we stayed at during our trip around Iceland. The camping spot was good and spacious, and what we really liked was the cooking facilities. Picnic tables and and sinks outside, but also an indoor area that you could take care of any culinary business. Höfn Campsites and Cottages also had a great information section that provided lots of brochures on things to do in the area.

      Hosteling International
      Borgarnes Hostel

      Borgarbraut 9-13 310 Borgarnes
      Phone Number: (+354)6953366
      Email: [email protected]

      After a few days of really miserable wet weather we finally decided it was time to can the camping and find a hostel. We arrived on the west side of the island with no reservations and after stopping in at a few places found this hostel that was within our budget range. The hostel was very spacious with multiple kitchens, laundry service, great wifi and board games. We made ourselves right at home and toured around for a few days in this spot.

    • Costa Rica
      Ostional Turtle Lodge
      Ostional Turtle Lodge

      Playa Ostional
      Email: [email protected]

      For $50.00 USD per night we couldn’t go wrong staying at this Eco lodge. The owner of the lodge, Luis was one of the nicest people I have met. We had wanted to see the famous Pacific sea turtle nesting that is known to occur around the new moon on the beach in Playa Ostional. I emailed Luis just about every day for a week trying to figure out if the turtles had started nesting and he was more than happy to help me out.

      Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve “La Casona” Lodging
      Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve “La Casona” Lodging

      Email: [email protected]

      Staying at La Casona when we visited the Cloud forest was well worth our money. The lodging cost $80.00 USD per person per night, but this included breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as our entrance to the cloud forest reserve (approx 20$ per day). The Casona lodging is located right in the Monteverde Reserve visitor center, 100 meters from the entrance to the trails. All three meals were delicious and for our supper we had to book in at a local italian restaurant just up the road. What a good deal!

      Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
      Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna

      Located directly on the main street of La Fortuna, this hostel was teeming with life from the second we arrived. A clean and comfortable place to rest our heads, we really enjoyed the complimentary arrival drink, swimming pool (the pool was at the sister hostel down the road), billiard table and hammocks so much that we booked in for a second night, enabling us to enjoy all the sights La Fortuna offered.

    • Nicaragua
      The Monkey Hut
      The Monkey Hut

      Laguna Apoyo

      Although we didn’t spend the night, we did spend the day at this hostel with one of our traveling buddies who had booked a room. Nestled directly on the Apoyo Lagoon, The Monkey Hut is the perfect getaway for any outdoor enthusiast. Free kayak rentals, hammocks everywhere, a floating dock offshore are only some of the amenities that this lodge provides for its guests.

      Bigfoot Hostel Leon Nicaragua
      Bigfoot Hostel

      Phone Number: (+505)88523279 or (+505)85901709
      Email: [email protected]

      In spite of our first night in this hostel being absolutely brutal, with the air conditioning not functioning and our room being hotter than a sauna, Bigfoot Hostel was a great place for our weekend getaway. We booked our volcano boarding through the hostel and ate at the in-house restaurant (the smoothies were amazing). The only downfall was the kitchen was poorly equipped and the fridge was not working resulting in spoiled milk and meat. Overall Bigfoot is a busy place with lots of young people, however if you go to this hostel don’t plan on using the kitchen.

      Managua Backpackers Inn
      Managua Backpackers Inn

      Phone Number: (+505)22670006
      Email: [email protected]

      Joey and I spent one night at the Managua Backpackers Inn on our last day in Nicaragua. Our room was very clean and comfortable (something that was sometimes hard to find in Nicaragua). There was a dining area and lounging area in which we kicked back and read our books all afternoon. The hostel had a small pool but the water was very cloudy so we didn’t go in. As a bonus the hostel offered a pancake breakfast served in the morning hours, but due to our early departure we never had a chance to try it out.

    • Turkey
      Efe Boutique Logo
      Efe Boutique Hotel


      Found in the heart of Kuşadası, the Efe Boutique is a short walking distance to the city center and all its main attractions. An ocean front view looking out onto the Aegean Sea, this elegant hotel has quality service and a peaceful atmosphere giving guests the travel break they need when settling down for the night.

      Erenbey Logo
      Eren Bey Cave Hotel

      [email protected]

      The Eren Bey Cave hotel is a family run business owned by a local Turkish man and his Australian wife. Making use of the cave houses that have given the region of Cappadocia their reputation, this hotel is literally built into the side of the mountain and give visitors a unique once-in a lifetime experience that they will never forget. The hotel provides a complimentary Turkish style continental breakfast, free wifi and satelite TV.

  • Transportation
    • Flight
      Iceland Air

      By far one of our favorite and cheapest airlines flying from Canada over to Europe is Icelandair. With plenty of flights leaving for Europe everyday and competitive prices, booking with this company is oftentimes a no brainer. It is important to note that when booking with Icelandair you are guaranteed a stopover in Iceland during your transatlantic flight. The only real downfall is that they don’t serve any in flight snacks or meals with the purchase of an economy plane ticket, those must be purchased as extra.

      Avianca Airlines

      Avianca is an international latin american airline with a central hub in El Salvador for North American passengers traveling south and vice versa. We were very happy with the good service provided by the inflight staff and enjoyed a small appetite filling meal while watching some good blockbuster movies. All in all if the price is reasonable, this company is a good one to fly with.

      Porter Logo

      A Canadian born airline founded in 2006, Joey and I have nothing but good things to say about our experience flying with Porter. Having its main headquarters at the Billy Bishop airport on the island adjacent to downtown Toronto, Porter’s impeccable service includes complimentary Canadian beer, wine and snacks, keeping you more than content during your journey. Though Porter may still be a small company, they are gradually expanding their destinations, now reaching 15 Canadian cities and 8 American ones. By flying with Porter there is no doubt you are flying refined.

      Turkish Airlines Logo
      Turkish Airlines

      Connecting the eastern part of the world to west, Turkish Airlines is a rising star among airlines. A comfortable and reputable company, this airline has top of the line entertainment systems and even serves beverages and a meal on short 1 hour flights. By using Turkish Airlines migrating between two cities has never been so enjoyable.

Dive Buddies Love

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”

– Wyland

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