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Majority of Canadians have only explored half their city, but still prefer to leave town on vacation

- July 10th, 2014
Staycation or vacation? (Fotolia)

Staycation or vacation? (Fotolia)

A new survey has found that 76% of Canadians have only explored half their cities, while another poll suggests this may be because we prefer to leave town when we have time off work rather than staycation.

In a survey by American Express, the 76% of Canadians who say they’ve only explored half of the city they live in blame a lack of time (42%) and their own comfort zones (53%) for keeping them from visiting new parts of town.

But another poll from says that even when we do have time off work, Canadians prefer to hit the road and leave their city. Forty-three per cent of survey respondents said they preferred to vacation, compared to 15% who said they like to staycation, saying that when they use vacation time to stay home, they just end up doing chores (34%) or attending appointments (8%).

Of the Canadians who prefer to travel on holiday, 36% said using time off to visit different destinations leaves them feeling more relaxed and refreshed than staying home does.

Canadians opt for saucy beach holidays this winter: Survey

- January 8th, 2014
22% of Canadians admit they have gotten frisky on the beach during their trip. (Fotolia)

22% of Canadians admit they have gotten frisky on the beach during their trip. (Fotolia)

Canadians are choosing saucy beach vacations this winter, opting to strut their stuff on nudist beaches or get down and dirty with a significant other in the sand rather than brave the sub-zero Canadian winter, according to a new survey from

Nearly 25% of Canadians are planning a sunny south escape this winter and, of those heading to the beach, 53% admit they are more adventurous when having fun in the sun. Men say they’re more daring on holiday (40% of men vs. 34% of women), but it’s the ladies who walk the talk, trying challenging water sports (39%) or wearing a revealing swimsuit (13%) more often than the guys.

Women were also more likely to have visited a nudist beach on holiday than men (9% vs. 3%), though residents of Quebec were most comfortable going naked on vacation: 22% said they had no problem baring all on the beach.

Gallery: 10 places to go nude on vacation
Gallery: World’s top nudist beaches

And, whether clothed or not, 22% of Canadians admit they have gotten frisky on the beach during their trip. Under the cover of darkness, perhaps?

The survey revealed the top reason Canadians were planning a beach holiday was to escape the dark of winter (39%), followed by a dislike of both winter driving (30%) and shoveling snow (25%).

Mexico (43%), Florida (42%) and the Dominican Republic (30%) are the sun destinations of choice for Canadians this winter.

What Canadians want in a hotel room

- February 21st, 2013




When it comes to booking a hotel room, Canadians look for accommodations with free WiFi, a good view and in-room espresso machines, according to a new survey from

The results of this year’s global amenities survey, which saw talk to more than 8,600 people in 28 countries, reveal that 70% of Canadians want free WiFi service at their hotel. This follows the global trend, with 66% of respondents from around the world saying free WiFi should become the standard at every hotel. No surprise travellers feel this way when one considers some $200 per night hotels charge for WiFi when fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Tim Hortons don’t.

“With an increase in airlines and airports offering free WiFi, tech-savvy travellers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel,” Taylor L. Cole, director of public relations and social media in North America at, said in a press release. “They are using their tablets, smart phones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it’s no surprise they require free and fast WiFi.” 

Some Canadians feel in-room mini bars are overrated (35%), though we love high-end coffee and espresso makers in our rooms (26%), free breakfast (31%) and hotel happy hour (38%). The survey shows that 46% of Canadians also think complimentary bottled water should become the norm.

When it comes to luxury hotel properties, Canadians expect to see and receive the best, with 50% of respondents saying they would pay more for a hotel room with a good view, 23% saying they expect the room to be stocked with luxury toiletries,  24% saying they want free use of hotel cabanas and pool towels and 54% saying they wouldn’t mind free use of a Rolls Royce Phantom during their stay.

For a recap of last year’s amenities survey, click here.

Palm trees, pyramids top Canadians’ dream destinations

- September 26th, 2012
Honolulu, Hawaii. (Shutterstock)

Honolulu, Hawaii. (Shutterstock)

Honolulu, European capitals, Egypt’s pyramids and Disney World are among Canadians’ top dream destinations, according to a new poll from RBC Travel Rewards.

The 2012 RBC Travel Rewards survey asked rewards card holders across Canada to name the destinations and attractions they most want to visit. For the second year in a row, Honolulu, Hawaii was named the most desirable destination, receiving 13% of votes.

European cities followed, with Paris (12%), Rome (11%) and London (9%) being the top dream destinations for Canadians on the continent. Egypt’s Great Pyramids (18%), Machu Picchu (11%), Disney World (10%), Canada’s Rockies (9%) and the Great Wall of China (9%) were named the top tourist attractions Canadian travellers dream of visiting.

“The results show that Canadians value their vacation time, prefer far-flung locations and are cost-conscious travellers who like to plan,” Donna Lue-Atkinson, vice-president of Global Loyalty Programs and Rewards at RBC, said in a press release. “By planning ahead and effectively using your travel rewards points, you can enjoy a relaxing vacation filled with memories without breaking your budget.”

The RBC survey also focused on Canadians’ travel habits, finding that for 67% of us, budget is the top consideration when planning a trip, followed by family desires (49%) and availablity of good travel deals (45%). Most Canadians (56%) say they book their travel online, while 19% prefer to visit a travel agent, 12% book over the phone and 8% ask someone else to book for them.

Of Canadians who plan to travel this year, 40% plan to go for a week, 49% plan to go for two to three weeks and 18% plan to travel just for the weekend.

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What’s keeping you from a vacation?

- September 21st, 2010

After receiving two somewhat depressing press releases last week on how Canadians can neither afford their dream vacation or find the time to take it, I began to wonder just how vacation deprived North Americans are.

While 89% of French employees take all their vacation time, only 58% of Canadians do the same according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey. Considering the French have a total of 40 days off a year and Canadians only have 19, this marks a huge difference in work culture and the Canadian “workaholic” nature.

A survey from Westin Hotels & Resorts found that 58% of North Americans confessed they were in need of a vacation now more than ever before, though 64% said they cancelled a vacation due to work commitments, 30% admitted to checking in with work even while on vacation and 41% said they needed at least four days to unwind and begin enjoying time off.

While the health benefits of taking time off work are well-known (everything from reduced stress levels to improved marriages have been reported), perhaps the results of the recent Framingham Heart Study will drive the point home. According to the study, men who take regular vacations are 32% less likely to die from a heart attack, while women who don’t vacation are eight times more likely to die from heart disease than those who do.

Still, even if Canadians were to take more vacation time, a recent TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card poll indicates not all would even be able to afford to get away. Of Canadians surveyed, 74% said they had a list of places they wanted to visit in their lifetime, but were unable to afford travel at this time. Only 47% of Canadians have taken a vacation lasting a week or longer in the past year.

“Eighty-three per cent of Canadians say they would travel more if they could afford it. However, only 42% of those surveyed have redeemed rewards points for flights over the last 12 months, and only one-quarter have redeemed points for hotels,” Stacie Pearson, associate vice president of TD Canada Trust Credit Cards, said in a statement. “By taking better advantage of travel rewards programs, Canadian travellers may be able to go on more vacations.”

The United States, Italy, France and the United Kingdom topped Canadians’ travel bucket list, though 51% of respondents indicated their next trip would likely be in Canada. Residents of Quebec, Alberta and Atlantic Canada are most likely to vacation in their own province.

What is your dream destination? Is money, work or another commitment keeping you from visiting this place?

- Nicole Feenstra