With the lead up to March Break, new research tells us that Canadian families have a high travel threshold, are adventure seekers, and invest in quality time together
TORONTO, March 4, 2019 /CNW/ -- Today Expedia®, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites, released the results of the 2019 Expedia Family Travel report, a study looking at the travel habits of Canadian families with children ranging from toddlers, to pre-teens to teenagers. The report revealed that over 40% of Canadians indicated that 'the sky's the limit' when it comes to a family vacation and are willing to spend eight hours or more travelling by plane or car to their destination – demonstrating a high travel threshold. Surprisingly, when asked the length of time Canadian families would travel for a family vacation, the lengthiest option of over eight hours ranked as the top choice, in comparison to shorter distances. And if time and budget weren't factors, one in five respondents expressed they would literally travel to the other side of the world to explore Australia and New Zealand with their families, once again illustrating that Canadians are willing to go the distance when it comes to a family vacation.
Albertans and dads have the highest plane travel threshold
At a regional level, Albertans had the highest plane travel threshold with almost 50% of respondents indicating that they are willing to travel over eight hours by plane with their children, while those from Atlantic Canada expressed the lowest threshold at almost 30 per cent willing to take a similar trip. And breaking this down even further – dads ranked as having a higher threshold (43%) compared to moms (40%), when asked if they would travel on a plane for eight hours as part of a family vacation.
Canadian families are adventure seekers
It's no surprise with this cold weather that escaping to a beach destination ranked as the most popular vacation type amongst Canadians (81%) for their next trip; however, interestingly, in second place was adventure travel. Seven-in-ten (71%) like the idea of an adventure destination with outdoor activities, with younger parents under 40 years of age (33% vs. 27% 40 years of age or older) and those with children under six years of age (32% vs. 28% with children six years of age or older) slightly more likely to choose this type of vacation. According to Expedia.ca flight data1 destinations that offer that 'adventure' feel are proving to be quite popular. These include spots such as, Kahului, Manila, Costa Rica, Auckland and Phoenix. For those looking to stay closer to home, there are plenty of options within Canada that offer access to the great outdoors. In fact, Canadian parents stated that the Atlantic provinces (63%) and the Rockies in the West (62%) were both on their bucket list when choosing which parts of the country to explore with their families – both destinations highlight adventure, whether hiking in the mountains, or whale watching off the east coast.
"Managing a budget is important for all travellers and families are no exception. Our survey found that the extra costs that can arise with family travel is the number one challenge for 42% of Canadians," said Jennifer Callegaro, Senior Manager, Marketing for Brand Expedia. "As a parent, I try to book as many elements of our trip together before we leave. This helps to not only manage our itinerary all in one place, but also manage our budget. By bundling trip elements into a package on Expedia – including hotels, flights, car rentals and activities – travellers are able to save as well as know the near total cost of their trip before they even depart."
The Canadian 'musts' for a family vacation
When it comes to taking a family vacation, Canadians value family time with 75 per cent indicating that more quality time is the main take-away from a trip. In fact, when selecting a destination, Canadian families indicated that having nearby attractions (58%) and access to kid's friendly activities, such as a pool (46%) were the two most important requirements. Access to kids' clubs or other child care services was a lower priority (12%), demonstrating that families are most interested in participating in activities together. Other family travel requirements included:
- Access to family friendly dining options (37%)
- Positive recommendations online (40%)
- Adjoining rooms (17%)
Educational and environmental travel are increasingly relevant for families
Family travel is also sparking the emergence of new trends and priorities, from educational travel to being environmentally friendly. The study revealed:
- Six-in-ten Canadian parents (58%) said they are always thinking about ways to share more knowledge and keep their children engaged while on vacation. As the number of children in the household increases, the more likely parents said they always think about ways to share more knowledge.
- Dads are more likely to incorporate educational aspects into family trips (61% dads vs. 55% moms)
- While Quebecers are significantly more likely to say that vacations are for having fun only (21% vs. 11% rest of country), those in the rest of the country are significantly more likely to say they'd consider incorporating educational elements (27% vs. 18% Quebec).
- Four-in-ten (43%) say they always think about environmentally friendly options when planning a family trip. Those with more than four children and children under six years of age are more likely to always take environmental aspects into consideration during the planning process.
- One third of Canadian parents (33%) said that although they haven't thought of environmentally friendly options in the past, they would definitely be open to changing and thinking about this more in the future.
Family vacation preferences
- Almost half of respondents (47%) use vacation rentals, which provide great options for families with access to kitchens and the extra space. Amongst all Canadian parents, Quebecers and those from BC are the most likely to stay in a vacation rental.
- Rental cars are the transportation option of choice for Canadian families, with 47 per cent relying on this as the primary method of getting around once in destination. Interestingly, Quebecers are the most likely to rely on public transit.
- Thirty per cent of respondents spend between $3-5K on a family vacation. For those looking at ways to save, travellers should consider destinations where the Canadian dollar may go the farthest; perhaps looking for options within the country, as one way to be budget conscious.
To book your next family vacation, please visit Expedia.ca.
For this study an online survey was conducted by Leger of 1503 Canadian parents of children under 18 years of age. The study was completed between February 8 – 14, using Leger's online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
Expedia is one of the world's largest full-service travel sites, helping millions of travellers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia aims to provide the latest technology and widest selection of top vacation destinations, affordable airfare, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. ©2019 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Expedia and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. Visit our web site https://www.expedia.ca or use our mobile app to book cheap flights, hotels, and packages.
1Based on flight demand on Expedia.ca for travel dates from February 1 – March 31, 2019
For further information: For further information or to schedule an interview, contact: Mary Zajac, Expedia Canada, [email protected], (416) 202-8736., http://www.expedia.ca