Making the most out of your Canada Day Travel

Summer is once again synonymous with holidays for Canadians. What are you plans? CAA recently conducted a survey among its members in Quebec that revealed 69% of respondents will take vacations this summer, compared with 63% of those interviewed in 2012. Vacation times also seem to be getting longer, with 35% of respondents saying they expect to take two weeks, compared with 24% surveyed in 2012.

It would be very interesting to find out if residents of the other provinces and territories would also reveal similar results. My guess is that they would. Last year’s numbers were lower perhaps because of these difficult economic times. If numbers are higher this year, does it actually mean that the economy is improving substantially? Or are we just fed up with it all, and would simply prefer to live our lives fully and happily in spite of the grim economy?

Alright, so you’re sticking around your home province. What will you do there?

“These figures stand out in comparison to last year, when respondents seemed to show a sense of gloom or indecision regarding their holiday plans,” says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec’s Assistant Vice President, Public and Government Relations. “It would appear that the economic uncertainty hovering over us last year is of less concern now to vacationers, who are heading out in larger numbers.” The 2013 figures  provide evidence of this, with 41% of respondents planning to make five or more trips involving at least one night away from home, compared with 30% in 2012 and 2011.

Residents of Quebec have indicated that they see their own province as a destination, as opposed to traveling anywhere else, including the United States. Sure the US holds second spot followed by the East Coast, selected by 12%. I suspect that most Canadians are choosing to stick around their home province this summer – sort of an extended stay-cation.

Alright, so you’re sticking around your home province. What will you do there? According to the survey, fully 21% of respondents said they would be going camping this year, up from 14% in 2012. “Camping is ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy the scenery and engage in outdoor activities without spending a bundle of money,” Ms. Gagnon adds. Vacation budgets remain stable, with 55% of those surveyed estimating that they will spend between $500 and $2,000 on their trips. Not surprisingly, the automobile continues to be the preferred means of transportation for most respondents, with 76% making this choice. For finding their way around, GPS is the tool favoured by 59% of respondents going by car, while paper documents, such as road maps and TripTik itineraries, are used by more than one-third of the members surveyed.

Have you heard of the new 10-year Canadian passports being issued starting this July? Are you a fan? The concept seems to be very popular among travellers with 75% of members surveyed saying they would choose these, despite the $160 price tag for a 10-year passport, compared to $120 for a five-year document. Have you picked yours up yet?

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