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After fifteen months of on-again, off-again lockdowns — and a persistent call for non-essential travel — Canadians are more than ready to get away. Exactly where that getaway will be varies widely, but the travel itch is prickling nonetheless.

A recent RBC study revealed 51% of Canadians now value their freedom more than ever, and are ready to hit the road (or the rail or air) post-pandemic. When asked, “What is the biggest change you will be making in your life going forward?” 38 per cent of respondents said they wanted to travel more.

Canadians want to travel again

Some Canadians will avoid long-haul trips for the foreseeable future, far-flung destinations are topping the list for others. The results are divided. According to the same survey:

  • 29%of respondents said they will do less international travel than before, while 38% said they will travel more.

In fact, according to a new study of 1,500 Canadians by Development Counsellors International (DCI):

  • 50% of those surveyed said international travel will be a priority post-COVID-19, compared to other major purchases.

 
And travel sites have seen a boom in sales to exotic locales such as the Maldives, Tahiti and Bali, while countries that have announced they will welcome vaccinated visitors this summer — such as Iceland and Greece — saw a surge in flight bookings almost immediately.

For Canadians with the travel bug, the pandemic isn’t going to slow them down long-term. Stuck at home for so long, Canadians’ thirst for adventure is as strong as ever.

Cottage rentals are in high demand

Cottages, cabins and vacation homes were snapped up for summer rentals this past winter. In particular, the Muskoka region in Ontario and Okanagan in British Columbia have seen unprecedented demand for summer rentals, as Canadians look forward to a change of scenery. And with cross-border travel still uncertain, getting some lakefront time is an attractive option for many.

RV’ing and camping grow in popularity

For many travellers, a safe and clean environment ranks as the top priority in vacation planning for 2021. For that reason, travelling with your own bedroom, kitchen and bathroom is appealing to more Canadians — hence the dramatic rise in RV sales since before the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by RVezy, roughly three million Canadian first-time RVers and campers are expected to embark in summer 2021. While RV rental demand rose 800 per cent in 2020, it climbed an additional 250 per cent in 2021.

Regardless of where and how Canadians are looking to travel, much of it looks to be centred around family time. The same DCI study revealed that 56 per cent of Canadians surveyed said a family vacation was the priority for 2021, and the RBC study found that for 52 per cent of respondents, spending more quality time with the ones they love was the biggest change they will be making post-pandemic.

Whether at home, at the beach, on a dock or exploring a distant location, Canadians plan to spend their leisure time in 2021 (and beyond) with the people who matter to them most.

Looking for smart ways to save for your dream vacation? Book your free, no-obligation RBC Check In today!

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