Thinking of travelling soon? Join Clarissa as she embarks on her first post-pandemic ski-vacation to Canada in April with our audio products (WH-1000XM4 and WF-1000XM4). We follow her journey while she shares some tips & tricks on making the most out of her trip.
Most images are taken with the Sony ZV-E10! Perfect for capturing travel experiences.
Timothy (architect) and Clarissa (designer) at the Canadian mountains!
Be smart with what you pack
For our ski-trip, we brought our ski-gear from Singapore. As we were already packing almost 30 kg of ski gear, it was important for us to pack efficiently. For clothes, we split them into layers for flexibility. This was to cater for the unpredictable nature of springtime skiing and for warmer weather in Vancouver.
What we packed in our luggage
Our travel wardrobe included an assortment of thin merino jumpers, Uniqlo heat-tech base layers and down-equivalent mid-layers. Personally, I tend to go for everything turtleneck whenever the option is available. For good measure, we also added a final protective layer of waterproof shells. A fail-proof rule of thumb I stick to - if your head, fingers, toes, neck and chest are warm, you will feel warm as a result.
My handy travel carry-on pouch for the trip.
We also had a carry-on bag filled with essentials such as an iPad, two laptops, a kindle, the Sony ZV-E10 to capture memories and the WF-1000XM4 (mine) and WH-1000XM4 (Tim’s) because music companions are extremely useful for an all-round travel experience.
Travelling in the new normal
Riding business class with Singapore Air
We glammed our trip with a business ticket for the ultimate experience. At the time of writing, we were required to keep our masks on throughout the flight except during meal times. I opted to use Timothy’s WH-1000XM4 for the flight because I prefer to have my ears covered during a long commute. It really made things a lot easier. The noise-cancelling capability effectively tuned out the noise from a crying baby and the engine’s hum, resulting in a soothing and comfortable experience throughout the flight.
Best position to watch shows
I was able to keep my headphones on all the time on the flight due to the comfortable and light fit. The foam pads were so soft and did not weigh me down. Even when I was not listening to anything, I relied quite a bit on the noise-cancelling feature just to have some quiet time and to filter out the “white noise”.
Connecting to in-flight entertainment
Using the Quick Chat function to speak to the Stewardess
I connected the WH-1000XM4 to the in-flight entertainment and, with noise-cancelling enabled, the audio was so clear that I was able to fully immerse myself in some of the shows I watched. There were a few times I did not even realise the air stewardess was calling out to me.
(Edit: Some flights may have lifted the mask policy in flights but do note that Singapore still mandates all travellers travelling into Singapore to put on disposable masks on the flights here. It will be useful to pack in a couple of your favourite disposable masks for the trip home.)
Arrival Procedures in Canada
We rented a car to drive to Banff
Amazing views from the road
When we reached Canada, the travel procedures were relatively simple and fuss-free. At the time of writing, vaccinated travellers did not even require a negative pre-entry Covid Test!
These were the travel documents we prepared prior to the trip:
- Proof-of-vaccination certificates that had to be uploaded to the ArriveCAN app
- ART done at least 48 hours before landing (an easy process supervised by Doctor Anywhere which you can do in the comfort of your home).
Upon arrival and after collection of luggage:
- Selection for Arrival Covid Testing was random but we got selected (Not sure if we were excited about this ‘luck’)
- It was a quick and fuss-free process that involved nose and mouth swabs.
- Expect to add about 20 mins to your time because of this random selection.
Reaching our destination!
It truly was amazing and breath-taking being up in the mountains. The first thing I did was to take in a deep breath of fresh cold air. When we reached the peak, we were just below the clouds and our heads were literally in the clouds. It was such a vast terrain that we were never confined to narrow groomed slopes.
Lake Louise Ski Resort
At the peak, in the middle of the clouds
If there was one thing we loved about Canadian mountains, it was the sense of adventure and exploration that they evoked. You could practically ski anywhere on the mountain and we loved the speed at which we could cross the slopes to get to places for views of the peaks* (can provide some chairlifts to take/ areas to ski to for views). The groomed terrains were so wide that you could carve across the terrain and feel as free as a lark.
Sharing the view with my parents over video call
Here’s a few lists on our top 3 favourite things to do at each place.
Our trip can be split into 3 segments: Ski Resorts, the city of Banff and Vancouver.
We start with Banff Ski Resort & Lake Louise Ski Resort:
Fabulous Nachos with a View at Trappers Lodge – Banff Ski Resort
- Banff Ski Resort - We heartily recommend a meal and beer at the Trappers Lodge as a first port of call. The Lodge was lively with many skiers and we were immediately drawn to the cosy cabin vibe. We especially loved their nachos and their brownies are a must-try!
Routes at Lake Louise
Taking the Paradise Chairlift to SaddleBack
- Lake Louise Ski Resort - When you are in Lake Louise, a great route to start with is the SaddleBack (route 109)* as it is an enjoyable way to ease into the mountains (You can access SaddleBack by taking the Glacier Express chairlift from Base Camp to ski down Route 65 (aka Pika) before transiting to take Paradise chairlift up to start on SaddleBack. Once you’re warmed up you can start on the Blue slopes just adjacent to Saddleback and Pika)
Tim is the appointed BBQ master for the trip
- Rest Days - They are the best time for barbeque! Food choices can be pretty limited in the mountains. I’ll recommend having your own BBQ pit; it is a real game-changer!
Leisure time at the city of Banff:
- Start your day at Whitebark Coffee! Best for their small pastry bites and also coffee, and have Cheese fondue at Grizzly Bear.
- Shop for your snow gear in the countless mountaineering shops.
- If you see Mount Rundle, don’t forget to take a photo!
Bonus Tip: Turn your world into a musical
Nature is an important part in our lives and we enjoy taking long walks for some personal me-time.
Creating the immersive experience
At the rainforest near Capilano Suspension bridge, Timothy and I curated a Studio Ghibli playlist that we played as we walked through the forest. Being huge dreamers, the forest sprung to life for us! It was a totally immersive experience and it felt like we were transported into the cartoon stories. Seeing nature and pairing it with a calming audio playlist really soothed our senses. It was absolutely a visual and audio treat for us.
Compact for bringing along on walks, I can just keep it in my pocket
We did this for only one portion of the walk, the rest of the way we decided to immerse ourselves in the sounds of forests instead. We could hear the water gushing and, during periods when we were able to stay silent enough, we could even hear the branches crackling.
Do note: When you are on your headphones, keep the ambient sound control on so you are aware of your surroundings and the terrains.
Enjoying some personal time with WF-1000XM4 in nature
The versatile WH-1000XM4 for long car rides
At the end of the whole trip, I realised that the WF-1000XM4 and the WH-1000XM4 is a travel essential, right from the flight to the explorations and even back home.
- Versatility and small size – It was extremely convenient to bring the WF-1000XM4 around in my pockets.
- High audio quality created an immersive experience - Curate a playlist for yourself wherever you go!
- Importance of noise cancelling – It brought me the peace and comfort I never knew I could have while travelling.
- Long battery life is a must-have - I rarely had to charge my headphones. And when I do, I always did a 15-min quick charge the moment I woke up.