Martinique Beach near Club Med — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
Looking for a wallet-friendly warm weather getaway from Montreal? Head to the Montreal-Trudeau Airport which provides the only direct service out of Canada to the French island of Martinique. Air Canada provides daily service year round while Air Transat provides seasonal service from December to April. Fort-de-France, capital of Martinique — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
New Yorkers, Bostonians and inhabitants of the Washington-Baltimore area can take advantage of Norwegian's direct budget service to the beautiful mountainous isle of Martinique. A whopping 93% of visitors to Martinique hail from France, but that's about to change.La Savane des Esclaves (Slave Museum and Gardens) Martinique — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
Speaking of France, more direct non-stop flights to Paris and other French-speaking countries are available at the Montreal-Trudeau Airport than at any other airport in Canada.
Ben and Nina of insidr.paris set me up with their pre-loaded rental smartphone — Photo courtesy of John Cameron Once in Paris, connect with Ben and Nina, the brother/sister team of insidr.paris who will greet you at your hotel with a loaner smartphone. The phone includes free local calls, a brilliant app for finding your way via metro, bus, bike or on foot anywhere in Paris and beyond, text-based access to the insidr.paris community for instant responses of helpful suggestions on where to eat, what to do and the latest on what's happening in the city. Preprogrammed maps and apps for art lovers, shoppers, foodies and others plus valuable time and money-saving tips on visiting the major museums, make this a must-have device for visitors to Paris.
For a few euros a day, avoid the hassle of carrying or unlocking your own smartphone or packing guidebooks and maps - all the information you need is on your state of the art rental smartphone with easy operations and instant communications with Ben, Nina and helpful locals.
Rail Europe Train at Lisbon's Oriente Station — Photo courtesy of John Cameron Travelling beyond Paris? Check out the latest rail pass specials from Rail Europe for smooth, scenic, high-speed and always on time city to city connections throughout Europe, featuring stylish cafe cars serving tasty local wines and light meals. Comfortable berths for overnight trips can be also be pre-booked.
Within a few hours you can be in Barcelona, Madrid, the south of France, London and Italy. Rail Europe's helpful rail planner app provides on and offline trip planning details and special offers for pass holders covering all their European destinations.
A total of 130 direct flights both regularly scheduled and seasonal originate from YUL to destinations in Canada, the USA and international destinations including Casablanca, Algiers and Tunisia.
Free services at the Montreal-Trudeau Airport
Along with more direct flights to the world's French-speaking nations. the Montreal-Trudeau Airport offers 60 minutes of free Wi-Fi. The airport also offers free luggage carts and the first chapters of digital books that can be downloaded for free to smartphones, tablets and e-readers. The remainder of these books can then be borrowed or bought if desired.
Art exhibits can be found throughout the airport including works by Molinari and Axel Morgenthaler. Even planespotters are accommodated here, at nearby Jacques-de-Lesseps Park which offers great views of the runways.
Postage stamps are available at all Maison de la Presse newsstands, and mailboxes are in the public areas of the terminal. Designated smoking areas can be found in front of the terminal.
Travelers with special needs are accommodated and nursing rooms are available for those traveling with young children.
Eating at the Montreal-Trudeau Airport
Along with the usual assortment of sports bars and big brand name coffee shops, favorite Montreal-specific venues are accounted for, including Brulerie St. Denis for great coffee, U-bar for cocktails and both Lester's and Moe's Deli – serving some of Montreal's best smoked meat sandwiches in addition to other local favorites.