Dream to Reality: Turning Travel Best Bets into Adventures

At Travel zoo, we consider travel constantly throughout the year. But as winter draws near, we begin to concentrate on the top destinations for Canadians to visit in the New Year. We’re searching for locations that deliver excellent value for (Canadian) travellers. A consistently fantastic travel experience, and that extra unique something that makes 2023 the year to travel. The mouthwatering locations that made the cut for travel best bets 2023 are listed below, alphabetically. 


2023 is the year to visit Amsterdam if you haven’t already. With direct flights on KLM from Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, getting there has never been simpler. Amsterdam is an endlessly fascinating spot to spend your winter vacation, with its renowned art galleries. Baroque architecture, bustling cafe culture, numerous parks, and family-friendly activities. We advise going in the winter because the prices are reasonable. You might be able to skate on a snow-dusted canal. Here are a few of our top wintertime events recommendations.  

The official start of the Dutch tulip season is on January 14, and to mark the occasion, tourists can pick tulips for no charge on Museum Square. These blooms are from a greenhouse; if you want to view tulip fields in bloom, you should go in late March. (Check out this practical flower prediction for up-to-the-minute information.)  

From February 10 to June 4, the Rijksmuseum will host Johannes Vermeer’s largest-ever exhibition of his works.

Travelzoo advice: Tickets for the exhibition are time-specific, so order yours as soon as you know when you’ll be travelling. 

There are literally hundreds of museums in Amsterdam, so to maximise learning while minimising expenses, think about going when they’re free, from March 31 to April 7 during Holland’s National Museum Week. We’ll recommend Our House, a brand-new museum dedicated to the history of electronic music, if you enjoy dance music or are travelling with young people who do. 

Read Travelzoo’s travel best bets article, Amsterdam: a kaleidoscope of art, activities, and adventure, to find out more about the city’s highlights (such as the delicious food and the abundance of outdoor activities). Visit klm.ca to make your flight reservations.


Barbados, a Caribbean island where palm trees sway in the sunshine and powder-white beaches lead to crystal-clear waters, is the epitome of a tropical paradise.

  • Every month there is something happening in Barbados, but if you’re planning a winter vacation, Holetown is a week-long celebration in St. James from February 12–19 that features culture, music, and cuisine. Oistins Fish Festival, which takes place around Easter, honours local fish, artwork, and crafts. 
  • Barbados places a high priority on sustainability in the travel and tourist sector, developing programmes that let travellers become involved in neighbourhood initiatives like tree planting, turtle rescue, and sea cleanup. 
  • You can’t go wrong by consuming Bajan cuisine! The national dish is flying fish with coucou, which is influenced by African, British, Portuguese, Indian, indigenous, and Creole cultures. Of course, there is also plenty of local seafood. Fresh ingredients are flavoured with regional herbs, spices, and insanely hot sauce to produce dishes that are unforgettable. 


Which state receives the most travel from Canadians? Take a guess! It’s not difficult to understand why: Florida offers everything there is to do. Visit thriving cities to uncover the intersection of culture, shopping, and cuisine. Go for the great Florida outdoors to get up close and personal with the local wildlife.

There are many reasons to travel to Florida, but the winter of 2023 has some added benefits: 

  • The winter manatee gatherings serve as the starting point for live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and general good times at the manatee festivals that take place in Crystal River (Jan. 14–15) and Orange City (Jan. 28–29).
  • Tampa will host the Florida State Fair from February 9–20. Get your fill of deep-fried fair at the biggest midway in the United States.

In Plant City, where an estimated 75 percent of the nation’s midwinter strawberries are grown, there will be a Florida Strawberry Festival from March 2 to 12. Naturally, this 11-day traditional fair honours all things agricultural, but it’s also well-known for its twice-daily live performances. 

See our article, Florida: where you want to go this winter, for further motivation to visit the Sunshine State. Also, be sure to check out Travelzoo’s travel best bets Florida specials to save money on your hotel and activities!

In Hong Kong

With the resumption of direct flights from Vancouver on Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong is finally reopened to foreign travellers, and Canadians in particular have cause to visit in 2023.

In a visit in 2023, we would first concentrate on the following:

  • The meal. We advise scheduling your trip around meals and making appointments when necessary at some of the more than 70 restaurants with Michelin stars or Instagram hotspots. Combine some of the best dim sum in the entire world with some of Hong Kong’s renowned street cuisine during your multi-course gourmet dining experience.
  • The opinions. Even if you’ve seen images, nothing quite compares to actually seeing the Hong Kong skyline in person from Victoria Peak. You can choose from six city harborfront districts, giving you a variety of water views. Travelzoo advice Take a trip on the Star Ferry, a budget-friendly passenger vessel that travels between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, to see both kinds of views.  
  • the sanctuaries. There are 600 temples, shrines, and monasteries in Hong Kong, including Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, and more; no trip is complete without visiting both significant and modest ones. Famous Buddhist temple Man Mo Temple was founded in 1847, and its serene interior provides a welcome relief from the hectic downtown setting. 

New Brunswick’s Saint John

Based on a royal charter from 1785 The oldest incorporated city in Canada is our choice for travel best bets 2023. The history of Saint John actually dates back longer. Samuel de Champlain established the sole city on the Bay of Fundy in 1604. Architectural wonders including Loyalist House (built around 1810), County Court (1825), and the City Market (1876). Canada’s first continuously operating farmer’s market, are examples of this walkable heritage. An extensive makeover of Saint John’s waterfront is currently taking place, including year-round terraces, a skating rink, and other improvements. There is a lot more to see and do in the interim:

  • Learn about nature. With more than 55 km of paths ideal for hiking, fat-tire biking, and snowshoeing in the winter, Rockwood Park is an urban paradise. You may also lace up your skates and take a spin there while renting equipment on-site beside Lily Lake Pavillion.
  • Eating and drinking. With over 80 eateries and bars within a 10-block radius. Uptown Saint John has received praise from GQ and the Food Network for its innovative cuisine and craft beer. Check out these two. The oldest independent brewery in Canada, Moosehead. It releases its most recent creations at the Moosehead Small Batch Brewery. The vegetarian and meat-eating public alike enjoy the success of the vegan restaurant VEgolution.
  • Set out on foot. Make Saint John your home base and travel best bets to the Reversing Falls Rapids, where the Saint John River and the Bay of Fundy meet, to explore the ocean floor at the St. Martins Sea Caves. Visit the charming fishing hamlet of Alma by taking the scenic Fundy Drive, then visit St. Andrews by the Sea to experience the fishing town atmosphere and go whale watching.

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