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Canadians Prefer Staycations or Local Day Trips to Visiting the U.S., Study Finds

May 31, 2021
3 mins
A young girl travelling on a plane takes a photo out the plane's window

With Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination program well underway and summer nearing, many Canadians may be enticed into booking plans to travel.

Although the federal government has yet to lift its travel advisory urging Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada, and there’s reportedly pent up demand to travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it doesn’t expect international travel to normalize until 2024. The IATA’s “Air Passenger Market Analysis, March 2021” notes airline industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometres were 67.2% lower compared to the pre-crisis level in March 2019.

As of May 30, it is estimated 57.1% of adult Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 5.4% are fully vaccinated (two doses).

A recent Leger survey finds 31% of Canadians say they’re likely to take a summer vacation in 2021, however, most prefer staycations or local day trips to travelling stateside. That survey also found:

  • Canadians who are likely to take a summer vacation in 2021 are most likely to plan to take day trips locally where they live (63%) or go on a longer trip within their province (50%).
  • 57% of Canadians say they will not feel comfortable travelling to the United States again until next year (2022).
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Canadians favour using COVID-19 vaccination passports

The travel and tourism industry in Canada and abroad will undoubtedly boom again once it is considered safe for countries to welcome itravellers, but it may be necessary for travellers to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated before they’re permitted entry to another country or when travelling domestically.

A separate Ipsos poll found 72% of Canadians support the use of vaccination passports to travel on an airplane. Furthermore, 67% said vaccination passports should be required to attend indoor concerts, theatres, museums or to attend a university or college.

If you decide to avoid flying and drive out-of-province, your car insurance policy will cover you while driving in another province or in the U.S., but you may still need proof you’ve been vaccinated before being allowed to cross an interprovincial border or the American border.

Although no decision has been made in Canada to introduce vaccination passports, the federal government is discussing the development and introduction of a vaccination certification system for travelling.

Get a travel insurance policy before leaving your home province

Regardless of the COVID-19 crisis, Canadians would do well to think about purchasing a travel insurance policy any time they venture outside their home provinces. Your provincial health insurance program may not pay for medical expenses you can incur if you need hospitalization or emergency care outside of your home province.

In the COVID-19 era, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and family when travelling from unexpected mishaps or illnesses, but not all travel policies include coverage for COVID-19. Moreover, if you do travel, an insurance policy will not cover the cost of mandatory quarantine once you re-enter Canada from abroad, which can run as high as $2,000.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile marketer with experience as a staff and freelance writer for many business and technology publications and newspapers. He previously worked as the editor and media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA, handling home, auto, and travel insurance topics.

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