Biggest reasons to travel in Canada

Turns out most Canadians — around 3 out of 4 Canadians (74%) — plan to stay in their own country for the big summer vacation — and most plan to stay within their home region.

According to the Deloitte report, Canadians are planning to stay within their borders for a variety of reason, including:

  • 63% are doing it to spend more time with their family
  • 79% want to support independent and locally-owned businesses (21% show a desire to support big-box chain brands)
  • 57% expressed interest in Indigenous-owned and operated tourism, with Gen Zs and millennials being most eager (75% and 68%, respectively)
  • Overall 57% of respondents expressed interest in green tourism; however, Gen Zs and Millennials are the biggest fans of sustainable or regenerative tourism opportunities

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Local travel typically means visiting provincial sites

While most Canadians (79%) want to support independent and locally-owned businesses — travel operators located within their own province — there was one exception: 78% of travellers to Prince Edward Island will come from Central, Western and Northern Canada.

Spending plans of Canadians travelling in 2024

Despite staying local, travelling this summer won't be cheap, with most Canadians planning to spend a few thousand to see the sites in their own backyard.

According to the Deloitte report, Canadians plan to spend an average of $2,405 on transportation and lodging costs for their major summer trip in 2024; however, travellers from Ontario and Quebec will spend slightly more with an estimated budget of $2,459.

Turns out there is also a demographic divide when it comes to travel spending. While Gen Z plans to spent the least — with a 2024 travel budget of $2,100 — Gen X are the big spenders with an average travel budget of $2,671 in 2024.

How to get the most from travel expenses

The cost of living certainly increased over the last year, including the cost of travel. To help off-set travel costs, most Canadians look for creative ways to hack their travel budget.

One option is to join loyalty programs that let you collect rewards points that may be used to off-set travel costs. For instance, many larger hotel chains offer free loyalty programs that give you a free night stay after accumulating a certain number of points or let you spend part points and part money to pay for a night's stay.

Some of the better known hotel reward programs in Canada include: Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, Wyndham Rewards. Accor Live Limitless (ALL).

Best hotel loyalty program incentives for 2024

To maxime these free hotel loyalty rewards programs, you need to keep on top of current promotions — some options include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels Privileges
  • Hilton Honors

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Avoid loyalty plans and opt for a rewards credit card

To maximize the perks of a card, consider where you will spend the bulk of your money when planning and scheduling a trip.

Great credit card loyalty programs — not tied to hotel loyalty plans — include:

  • American Express Cobalt: This card is ideal for travellers who want to earn points on every day spending and use those points to subsidize their travel expenses. The earn rate of 5x the points on groceries and food delivery (there is a spend cap) and 3x the points on eligible streaming purchases makes it easy to rack up points.
  • BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: While the annual fee is $150, cardholders earn 1 to 5 points on every dollar spent with this card — with 5x the points on eligible travel purchases. This card also comes with complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass by DragonPass and four complimentary annual passes (great for families that travel together), as well as a suite of travel and medical insurance coverage that can be applied to unlimited trips per year. The best part is that you can fly on any airline, at at time, with no blackout dates to juggle.
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege: If you primarily fly with Air Canada (or Star Alliance airlines), this card may be right for you. Not only do you get robust travel insurance coverage, but those who frequent the US will appreciate the rebate on NEXUS application fees (that applies to the primary cardholder as well as additional cardholders). The annual fee is $139, but new cardholders can earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points in their first year.

— with files from Romana King

What To Read Next

Sources:

1 Deloitte: "Summer travel spending is on the rise for 2024"

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Nicholas completed his master's in journalism and communications at Western University. Since then, he's worked as a reporter at the Financial Post, Healthing.ca, Sustainable Biz Canada and more. Aside from reporting, he also has experience in web production, social media management, photography and video production. His work can also be found in the Toronto Star, Yahoo Finance Canada, Electric Autonomy Canada and Exclaim among others.

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