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New survey says more Canadians heading on summer vacation

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When it comes to summertime fun, Moncton’s Centennial Park and Splashpad is always a popular choice, but it’s just a taste of what New Brunswick has to offer.

“My family is here and there’s so many different parks and water parks. Northern New Brunswick, there’s the Acadian Village, there is the aquarium in Shippagan, there’s so many different family venues and parks, so I just go all over the place. As many places that I can,” said Monique Porier from Shippagan. “There’s just so much to do in New Brunswick that why go anywhere else?”

Porier shares a similar view with other Maritimers when it comes to vacationing right here at home.

“My vacation is every time I get out the door, I’m on vacation. I’m retired,” said Halifax resident Wayne Charles Ford.

Andrew Quigley says he’s a teacher and plans to spend his summer doing a few very important things at home.

“Going to be planning my wedding, getting married in December,” he said. “Budget-wise it’s all very close to home. Running, reading, playing the piano, trying a little bit of self-growth.”

With summer still officially a few days out, many are already planning ahead and a new survey by HelloSafe suggests this is happening across Canada.

“This summer over 40.4 per cent of Canadians actually plan to go on vacation and this in fact is a significant rise of 15 per cent from last year,” said Nishadh Mohammed with HelloSafe.

In total, the survey asked more than 1,000 Canadians from different provinces, age groups and genders their plans for the upcoming season.

“The aim was to gain broader understanding of Canadians’ summer vacation plans, including their intentions to travel, destination preferences, vacation durations, budgets, and the impact of the financial and economic impact in the country,” he said.

HelloSafe found 31 per cent of respondents will spend their summer vacation in their own province, 27.9 per cent will visit another Canadian province and 41.3 per cent will visit another country.

“The planes are sold out,” said Valerie Colpitts, the manager of SellOffVacations in Moncton. “People are looking for trips and I go to look it up and the aircraft is full, so the traffic that’s coming in and booking and even pre-booking for winter is unbelievable, it really is and a lot of people are going not once, but twice.”

She adds they’re seeing interest in everything from Alaska to all inclusive beach vacations.

“This is one of the busiest years we’ve ever had,” she said. “There’s been a little transition from the winter flights to the summer flights because right now we don’t have direct departures to the Caribbean, but you can still get there via Toronto or Montreal and it’s picked up quick a bit here.”

More than 35 per cent of survey respondents say they have no plans for vacation and more than 23 per cent were undecided.

“I think one of the main reasons that people had for not traveling this summer was increased financial caution with inflation levels rising, although the inflation is hovering around 2.7/2.8 per cent there is a lot of caution,” said Mohammed.

In fact, findings showed 37.7 per cent blame inflation for no vacation plans this summer.

"I'm actually not planning on going on summer vacation,” said Halifax resident Karen McNeil. “My daughter just got married about four weeks ago in Toronto so that was more or less our vacation."

Andrew Shaver from Halifax is planning to go to Ontario with his family of three for a wedding this summer.

“We are just literally flying by the seat of our pants,” he laughed. “We do what we can, you know, get the cheapest flight that we can. Our kid is 2.5 so six months ago he started costing us money to fly and that really hurts."

The survey does point out inflation is not the only reason why Canadians might not have summer plans.

Mohammed says other responses included people choosing to stay home to hang out with family and friends or waiting to travel at other times of the year when the weather isn’t as nice in their own backyard. 

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