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Canadians Value Vacation Experiences More than Ever Before

Hawaii holiday

Following a year where for many, every aspect of life – from work, school, daycare, and even vacation – was spent under one roof, people worldwide are inspired about future travel possibilities and expressed making it a priority to use the vacation days they've earned more than ever.

Across the country travel restrictions remain in place; though undoubtedly Canadians are dreaming about the opportunity to get away and explore once able to do so again. According to the annual Vacation Deprivation study from Expedia®, in 2021 Canadians plan to take an extra week (five days) of vacation. With this new "no days left behind" mindset, Vacation Deprivation is well on its way to becoming a thing of the past.

Expedia first launched the annual study more than two decades ago in an effort to illustrate the benefits of vacation and encourage working adults to regularly unplug. In recent years, the benefits of vacation are well-known and undisputed, yet Vacation Deprivation is on the rise in most nations. This year's findings point to yet another shift, one in which workers agree they will never take their vacation days for granted again. In fact, the majority of Canadians (83%) said they now value vacations more than ever before, which comes in slightly higher than the global average (81%).

Queue the bucket lists

Expedia's study showed that 66% of people globally have been inspired to create a bucket list, and the longer the pandemic has waged on, the longer bucket lists have become – 60 percent of respondents said they continue to add to their lists.

Expedia's study also found that people are willing to put more budget into their bucket list vacation in 2021 than originally planned (61%). Whether it's trying a new activity, seeking out a place untraveled, reuniting with family and friends separated by distance (64 percent find vacation time more valuable when spending quality time with family), or simply having time to relax and recharge (54 percent think having the time to relax and do nothing is what makes them happiest on vacation), people want to make the most of their time.

Vacation dreaming for the future

As the hope for future travel in 2021 grows, Expedia is seeing an uptick in Canadians searching for their next bucket list spot for the backend of the year. Whether it's a warm and sunny beach or an outdoor adventure closer to home, the below destinations topped the list for where Canadians are dreaming of going once able to do so1

Domestic: Banff, Kelowna, Osoyoos, Canmore, Jasper, Tofino, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Revelstoke and Halifax

International: Cancun, Maui, Las Vegas, Honolulu, London, New York, Puerto Vallarta, Maldives, Paris and Santorini.

Shifts in travel perspective

Expedia's Vacation Deprivation study found that over half of respondents (63%) expressed feelings of vacation deprivation over the past year, which is an increase from the previous report (57%), and one that isn't surprising given the year that has transpired. The study also found:

  • Travel Substitutes Brought Joy: Respondents indicated that spending more time watching TV/movies (41%), more time cooking (41%) and more time spent reading (32%) were all activities that brought joy to fill the time in the absence of travel. Additionally, 82% of Canadians expressed in the interim of not being able to travel, they are looking for new ways to find happiness.
  • Employer Support in Recharging Batteries: 75% of respondents feel their employer is supportive of taking vacation time.
  • Taking Time Off at Home: 37% of Canadians' last vacation involved staying at home, not travelling anywhere.

With COVID-19, it's important to stay safe and up to date on the latest travel guidance and restrictions. 

1 Top searched destinations based on lodging interest on Expedia.ca between December 14, 2020 – January 12, 2021 for travel between July 1, 2021-December 31, 2021.

About the Vacation Deprivation Study

The annual study was conducted online among 9,200 respondents across North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Commissioned from November 18-December 9, 2020 on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, responses were gathered using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. Looking at the margin of error for the global average, a 1% difference is statistically significant at 90% confidence. The sample for Canada included 1,000 participants.

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