Two happy people on the edge of a beach

Canadian holiday travel trends

Where and when Canadians are travelling this winter

We are now at the time of the year when people are booking their holiday travel plans and winter trips down south. For many of us, there is only so much cold weather and snow we can take. With forecasters expecting it to be another long and cold winter, booking a trip somewhere south is a welcome way to get away, relax and get some much-needed sun.

Where are Canadians planning on going this winter? What are the holiday travel trends this year? Here’s a look at how many people are travelling and what their preferred destinations are for the 2015 winter travel season.

More Canadians are taking winter vacations outside the country

An increasing number of Canadians are planning on exchanging their skis for bathing suits this year. According to a recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada, more people are planning to take a winter vacation outside the country.

The survey revealed that “45% intend to take a vacation trip outside the country during the November 2014 through April 2015 winter travel season. This figure is up from 43.3% in the 2013 survey.” This is a good sign for the travel industry, and a sign that the Canadian economy is in good shape.

Where are people travelling?

Where people choose to vacation is always a popular topic of discussion this time of year. Where are Canadians choosing to travel this winter? Here is what the survey found:

  • More Canadians plan to visit the US on their longest winter vacation despite the drop in the Canadian dollar
  • More Canadians plan to spend their longest winter vacation in the Caribbean or in Mexico
  • 9.5% of Canadians plan to visit Mexico, compared with 7.5% in the October 2013 survey
  • 4.3% of Canadians plan to take a winter vacation, but they have yet to decide where they will go

For Canadians who plan on travelling to the United States, Florida remains the top winter vacation destination, in part because of the thousands of Canadian snowbirds who call Florida home each winter. Not surprisingly, other popular travel destinations in the US include California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Canadians are waiting to book their trips

An interesting trend identified by the study is that Canadians are waiting longer to book their travel plans: “45% of travellers visiting the Caribbean/Mexico this winter plan to book 6 weeks or less prior to their trip,” with uncertainty over pricing being the most commonly cited reason for the delay. People are hoping to take advantage of last-minute deals and holiday travel specials to save money on the cost of their trip – something that could add up to significant savings for families planning a winter getaway. Canadians are also waiting to book because they are still uncertain about whether they will travel this season, and where they will go.

If you are planning on travelling this winter, make sure you get all inclusive travel insurance when you book your trip. Blue Cross travel insurance allows you to travel worry-free and have the peace of mind in knowing you are covered as you enjoy your trip this winter.