Canadians Have Money on Their Minds as Cost Trumps Destination in Summer Vacation Planning

ING DIRECT survey finds gas prices keeping more than a third of Canadians closer to home

TORONTO, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Exotic trips and luxurious getaways are taking a back seat as Canadians are more inclined to stick to their budgets when planning their summer vacations this year, according to a recent survey commissioned by ING DIRECT. The poll found that 62% of Canadians are more focused on the costs of travel, accommodation and attractions over the destination itself.

The high cost of gas proved to be a sticking point in some Canadians' travel plans. Forty-three per cent of respondents admitted that they are no longer planning a particular trip (8%) or plan to stay closer to home (35%) as a result of higher gas prices. Interestingly, the strength of the Canadian dollar hasn't prompted more Canadians to consider a trip abroad; 29% of respondents said they were more likely to travel to abroad thanks to a higher Canadian dollar, compared with 57% of Canadians who remained neutral.

Regionally, the survey found:

  • British Columbians take the least amount of vacation, with 62% planning only a short summer trip of four days or less. Seventy-five per cent of British Columbians plan to spend their vacation days travelling within the province.
  • Almost three quarters of Albertans (70%) feel it's important to take a summer vacation away from home and 64% plan to either travel within a different province or visit the U.S.
  • More than half of those living in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (51%) plan to travel to another province this summer.
  • 17% of vacationing Ontarians will travel abroad this summer, while two-thirds will travel within the province.
  • Quebecers love their vacations and ranked highest among all provinces with 64% taking more than eight days off during the summer months. Ironically, 37% of those admit that they do not save for vacations in advance, compared to 31% of Canadians nationally.
  • Most people in Atlantic Canada will travel within their province this summer, with 68% choosing to stay local.

Nearly half of Canadians (49%) surveyed plan to spend the same amount of money as last year on their summer vacations, while 30% stated they will be spending less, and 21% plan on spending more on travel this summer. Fifty nine percent of Canadians expect to spend under $1,000 on travel, while merely three per cent will shell out over $5,000.

When it comes to funding their summer trips, Canadians appear to be disciplined savers. More than half of Canadians (52%) save a little bit of money on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis, and another 10% put their tax refunds towards their vacation fund. Incredibly, 85% of Canadians indicated they are not willing to go into debt to fund their summer vacations.

"It's encouraging to see that Canadians are thinking ahead and saving for vacations year round, as opposed to relying on credit to cover costs," said Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT Canada. "It shows most Canadians are sticking to their budgets and keeping it simple by finding creative, budget-friendly and local options to have fun and spend quality time with family and friends."

The survey found that Canadians' ideas of an ideal getaway are simple, with over a fifth of respondents (22%) choosing to spend their time off at the cottage or on a camping trip. Sixteen per cent chose a road trip around the province or to neighbouring provinces as their ideal vacation.

When asked which Canadian celebrity they would most like to take a cross-Canada road trip with, respondents overwhelmingly chose Shania Twain (41%) and Rick Mercer (33%). Stephen Harper and Pamela Anderson each received 10% of the votes, while a mere six per cent chose to road trip with Don Cherry.

Survey Methodology
From May 30 - May 31, 2011 an online survey was conducted among 1,003 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About ING DIRECT
ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no-fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4.5 billion in interest to clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3743).

Follow Peter Aceto on Twitter at: Twitter.com/CEO_INGDIRECT
And find ING DIRECT at: Facebook.com/SuperStarSaver; Twitter.com/SuperStarSaver; YouTube.com/SuperStarSaver

SOURCE ING DIRECT

For further information:

Amanda Petriglia, ING DIRECT
647-259-5797
apetriglia@ingdirect.ca

Magda Jarota, MAVERICK Public Relations
416-640-5525 ext. 244
magdaj@maverickpr.com


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