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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

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1 comment

  1. Western Mark | September 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Guilty as charged. Other than statutory holidays 5 or 6 days of 10 is all I use.
    A tent, canoe and fishing rod in Northern Saskatchewan. Why not? All of the above.

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