Tis the Season to Travel: Expedia.ca Holi-Data survey finds seventy-one per cent of Canadians agree that a vacation would relieve stress around the holidays

TORONTO, November 24, 2014– According to a recent survey from Canada’s leading online travel provider*, Expedia.caTM, travel is on the mind for six out of ten Canadians this holiday season as 29 per cent are planning to travel and another 29 per cent wish they could be travelling. Whether travelling to visit family and friends (18 per cent) or for a vacation getaway (11 per cent), a large majority of Canadians (71 per cent) agree that a vacation would help relieve stress associated with the holiday season.

With one in two Canadians claiming they find the holiday season stressful, 40 per cent have previously turned to travel to escape the holiday chaos. Expedia.ca Managing Director, Sean Shannon, agrees that travel is an ideal option for those looking for a less hectic holiday break.

“It’s no surprise that we can all get a bit stressed around the holidays. Between all the planning, prepping and running around, we often find little time for ourselves during this busy time of year,” said Shannon. “Expedia.ca offers Canadians a cost effective escape from the hustle and bustle of it all. Whether you’re looking to ‘fly and flop’ on a sunny beach or explore the sights and sounds of an urban getaway, we offer more than 400 airlines and 365,000 hotels, providing Canadians with plenty of options and deals for them to enjoy their break.”

For those planning to travel this holiday season, 49 per cent will be doing so with the family while another 31 per cent will be travelling with their spouse. When it comes to what they’ll enjoy most about travelling during the holidays, 38 per cent said they look forward to getting away with family and friends, followed closely by being able to rest and relax (34 per cent), while one in five (21 per cent) are eager to use this time to explore new locations.

WHERE ARE CANADIANS GOING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the travel industry according to the Travel Industry Council of Ontario and Expedia.ca agrees. This year is no different than others with December 20, the Saturday before Christmas, holding strong as the busiest travel day for Canadians flying to their holiday destinations**.

According to Expedia.ca, Canadians who are planning to travel this holiday season by plane will mostly be visiting sunny locations south of the border. The top 10destinations for Canadians this holiday season, based on Expedia.ca bookings, include**:

1)      Fort Lauderdale, Florida                                   6) Honolulu, Hawaii

2)      Orlando, Florida                                                7) Tampa, Florida

3)      Phoenix, Arizona                                              8) Cancun, Mexico

4)      Miami, Florida                                                   9) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5)      Los Angeles, California                                   10) Las Vegas, Nevada

HOW ARE CANADIANS GETTING TO THEIR HOLIDAY HOT SPOT?

According to the Expedia.ca Holi-Data survey, many Canadians will be turning to the sky for the seasonal journey with 44 per cent confirming they’ll be travelling by plane. For those visiting family and friends, 57 per cent will be hitting the road and using their car to arrive at their destination, with travellers 65 years of age or older almost twice as likely to travel by car (69 per cent) compared to those aged 18 -24 (37 per cent).

CANADIANS INCREASINGLY TURNING TO MOBILE TO SEARCH AND BOOK THEIR TRAVEL

According to Google trending***, searches for "holiday travel" are up year-over-year in Canada and more and more searches are happening on phones. In fact, more than half (59 per cent) of Canadians are expected to use their smartphone for holiday browsing and research. Expedia.ca concurs that more and more Canadians are turning to the ease and convenience of their mobile devices.

“Canadians lead busy and fast paced lives, especially around the holidays, and they rely on the convenience of their smartphones and tablets to get things done,” said Shannon. “Since the introduction of our Expedia app in 2011, we see more and more travellers using the app to not only research but to also book and review trip details, right in the palm of their hands.”

EXPEDIA.CA HELPS CANADIANS TRAVELLING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Whether travelling to see family for the holidays or taking a much needed vacation from the chaos of the season, Expedia.ca offers tips on how to make travelling during the holiday season a little less hectic.

ARRIVE EARLY: With so many people travelling, build in some extra time to not only get to the airport, but also queue in at check-in, customs – even the duty free shops. Airlines provide recommendations on when to arrive before a flight and it’s always important to double check a flight’s status before leaving home.

ENTERTAIN THE TROOPS: When travelling with kids, parents know that waiting in line can make the calmest of kids get a little stir-crazy. To avoid this, make sure to carry a few boredom busters in carry-on luggage, especially for the kids. Magazines, books, puzzles, word games, video games and/or a deck of cards don’t take up a lot of space and are great at keeping everyone occupied. Also, bring some snacks (no liquids) like granola bars and treats.

PLAN AHEAD: To speed things up on the day of travel, there are several things that can be done before leaving for the airport and make the experience more seamless:

·         Stay up to speed with the status of your flight at all times. Apps, such as the Expedia Travel App,allow users to check travel details – from flight schedules and hotel options to their complete itinerary.

·         Have tickets, confirmation numbers and all other relevant travel information handy before leaving home. Print them off ahead of time, or keep them close by on a mobile device to ease reference.

PACK, PACK, PACK: Before heading to the airport, make sure luggage is good-to-go with Expedia.ca’s packing checklist:

·        DON’T WRAP IT: When bringing holiday gifts, be sure not to wrap them ahead of time. When checked luggage goes through security, there is a chance they will have to unwrap the gifts to clear the item.

·        WEIGH IT: Be realistic about what is absolutely necessary. Many airlines are restructuring their policies around baggage fees. Airlines list their extra baggage fees on their websites so be sure to check maximum allowances.

·        FOLLOW THE RULES: Pack any liquids according to the security regulations. Liquids in carry-on luggage should be packed in bottles no more than 100ml each, and contained in clear, re-sealable plastic bags.

SURVEY METHODOLGY

The results quoted in this pressrelease are taken from “Expedica.ca 2014 Holi-Data” survey using Google Consumer Surveys between November 5 and 17, 2014. Each question sampled at least 1,000 unique,randomly sampled internet users across the Google Consumer Surveys publisher network. The average margin of error is +/- 4%.

ABOUT EXPEDIA CANADA

Expedia.ca is the nation’s most-visited full-service online travel provider. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia.ca offers the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, and travel insurance. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response. Expedia.ca is owned and operated by Expedia, Inc.

Follow Expedia.ca on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and download the free Expedia Mobile App.

Expedia, Expedia.ca and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S.  Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2014 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-5030    

SOURCE: Expedia.ca
Web site: www.expedia.ca

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Amanda Gun-Munro                     

Veritas Communications                                              

T: 416-482-0814

E: gun-munro@veritasinc.com

 

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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Canada, Online Travel Agents Category, Jan – Dec 2013

**Based on volume of flight bookings made on Expedia.ca between Jan 1, 2014 and Oct 31, 2014, from all Canadian origins combined for travel between December 20, 2014 and January 3, 2015

***Google Trends (November 2014)