CIBC Poll: Canadians spending an average of about $2600 on their March vacations this year

12 per cent say they are packing up for a family vacation this March; Top concerns include becoming ill while travelling, or losing cash/credit cards

TORONTO, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) Poll conducted by Harris/Decima reveals 12 per cent of Canadians are escaping the weather for a vacation this March, spending an average of about $2,600 to get away. As Canadians look to enjoy their time away, their top travel concerns include illness, or losing their debit and credit cards.

Highlights of the poll include:

  • 12 per cent of Canadians say they are planning a March vacation, with an average cost of $2,665.
  • Among Canadians travelling for a vacation this March, 41 per cent are vacationing in Canada, with 36 per cent travelling to the U.S.
  • Residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan plan to spend the most on average (almost $3,200) and those in Atlantic Canada plan to spend the least (about $1,550).
  • Residents in Alberta (17 per cent) and B.C. (16 per cent) were among the most likely to travel this March, with Atlantic Canada (4 per cent) and Quebec (8 per cent) among the least likely.

"March is a special time of year for Canadians to take a break from school and work and enjoy some time with their families," said Cheryl Longo, Executive Vice President, Card Products, CIBC. "Finding the time and money for family vacations can sometimes be a challenge, and when Canadians do get away they want to enjoy the experience and know they planned well, budgeted well, and are protected in the event of the unexpected."

Illness, Losing Cash and Credit Cards Top the List of Travel Worries this March

When asked what they worry about when travelling, Canadians said getting sick or injured while on vacation (36 per cent), losing their money or credit cards (18 per cent), and overspending while they are away (12 per cent) were their top three travel concerns.

"Everyone wants their family getaway to be fun and relaxing, and knowing that you are protected against some common travel concerns can give you peace of mind before you leave," said Ms. Longo. "Your credit card may have a number of helpful benefits available to you when you travel, and understanding these features can save you time, money, and protect you in the event of the unexpected while you are away."

To make the most of your March vacation plans, CIBC offers the following tips:

  • Make sure you understand the travel protection you may already have: Many CIBC credit cards offer insurance to protect you and your family, such as travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, lost baggage, car rental collision/damage. Be sure you understand what you're covered for and how to access it if you should need it when you are away. If you do not have travel medical insurance on your credit card, you may wish to purchase it to protect you and your family.
  • Contact your credit card company to alert them that you are travelling: To protect clients from fraud, unusual transactions are flagged and CIBC may contact you to confirm certain transactions as a security measure. Advance notice about your travel plans can help ensure you have uninterrupted access to your card while you are away.
  • Keep your cash and cards secure, and have a back up form of payment: Carrying a back up payment card or cash can help if you lose your primary method of payment. Be sure to keep them separate and in secure locations, and have important phone numbers written down separately in the event you lose a credit or debit card. CIBC's credit and debit cards can be used when you travel internationally. With the CIBC Advantage Debit Card you can shop at stores in the U.S. and internationally where Visa is accepted as well as online, over the phone or by mail at participating retailers that accept Visa Debit.
  • Help manage or track your vacation spending through free budgeting and tracking tools: For example, with the free CIBC CreditSmart tool you can set and track your spending by category, set spending limits, and set up Alerts that remind you when you get close to your limits.

Access benefits you have on your credit cards to stretch your vacation budget further: For example, your credit card may have features such as discounts on travel-related items such as car rentals.


Percentage of Canadians who are travelling on vacation for March/Spring Break, by region:

National       12%
Atlantic Canada      4%
Quebec       8%
Ontario       13%
Manitoba and Saskatchewan    11%
Alberta        17%
British Columbia      16%

Average amount Canadians who are travelling say they will spend in total on their vacations, by region:

National       $2665
Atlantic Canada      $1554
Quebec       $1938
Ontario       $2931
Manitoba and Saskatchewan     $3178
Alberta        $2857
British Columbia      $2490

Canadians' top concern when travelling:

Someone gets sick or injured on our vacation      36%
We lose our money or credit cards   18%
We overspend on our vacation        12%
Our flight is delayed or cancelled because of bad weather   11%
Our luggage is lost      6%
Our travel plans need to be cancelled before our vacation     6%
Our travel plans get interrupted during our vacation      4%

*Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey. These data were gathered in a sample of 1000 Canadians between February 21 - 24, 2013. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at



For further information:

Kevin Dove, Head of External Communications, CIBC, 416-980-8835,

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