TORONTO, Dec. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There’s a new way to travel and it’s saving Canadians thousands of dollars. From sleeping in a train station or airport, to skipping meals, Canadians are ‘splurgetting’ on their vacation – a growing trend in which travellers take a hybrid approach and scrimp on some aspects of their holiday so that they have extra cash to spend on luxury bucket-list activities -- according to a new study commissioned by online travel company Skyscanner.  The study of more than 1,500 Canadian travellers conducted by research firm Maru/Blue showed that nearly half of respondents (45 per cent) confirmed they are adopting an alternative to the traditional budget holiday, particularly if they travel twice or more annually.

"Like the two-thirds of Canadians who pay for travel with savings, anyone can learn to budget for both ‘life necessities’, and things we love that make us happy, like travel,” says Jessica Moorhouse, a Toronto-based personal finance expert. “While going to extremes to stretch a vacation budget may not be for everyone, making travel part of your annual financial goal should be.  For those willing to put the effort into budgeting and researching travel options to save them money, a five-star dream vacation can certainly be achieved.”

While flying economy is listed as the top practice to save on vacation costs (60 per cent), the study unveiled some unorthodox money-saving hacks Canadian splurgeters employ:

  • Nearly one in five (18 per cent) Canadians camped or slept in a car to save on accommodation costs; more than one in five (22 per cent) of respondents who admitted doing this were millennials
  • One in 10 Canadian travellers opted to sleep in the airport or a train station
  • Nearly four in ten Canadians (37 per cent) skipped drinks or drank water while on vacation and one in five (20 per cent) even skipped meals to cut on travel expenses

“Our survey showed that not only are Canadians travel lovers, but they’re also strategic about how and where they spend their budget and many are willing to go a long way and be creative to fund their bucket-list adventures,” says Marissa Hills of Skyscanner. “Because we’re travellers too, the team at Skyscanner works hard to meet the needs of our users, offering a completely unbiased and comprehensive range of flight, hotel and car rental options for every traveller and budget.”

Canadians budget for travel over clothing

The extent to which Canadians love to travel is evident by the high priority they put on vacations when budgeting. According to the study, nearly nine in ten (86 per cent) Canadians plan to vacation in the coming year with 62 per cent of respondents saying they intend to finance upcoming trips with savings put aside specifically for holidays.  Travel seems to be so important to Canadians that allocating budget for travel immediately follows ‘life necessities’ such as food and mortgage/rent which lead the household budget priority list at 91 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively.  Following that, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadians will set funds aside for travel, slightly before clothing (67 per cent) and far ahead of health and wellness (55 per cent) or exercise (27 per cent).

Have credit, will travel

While two-thirds of respondents said they would pay for their upcoming holiday with savings, almost half (48 per cent) plan on financing an upcoming trip with a credit card.  Of those, 26 per cent said they would pay the balance before their trip while almost the same percentage (28 per cent) said that they’d pay off the balance after their trip. Millennials were the most likely of all age groups to pay off their credit card-purchased trip before their vacation (30 per cent).  Other ways Canadians cited as means to finance a holiday is with a tax refund (10 per cent), money received as a gift (8 per cent), line of credit (5 per cent) and company bonus (4 per cent).

“For the budget or splurget-conscious traveller, there are lots of options and resources to help them afford the trip of their dreams without relying on a cash windfall,” continued Moorhouse. “By coupling regular savings with travel sites that offer real-time cost comparisons or features like price alerts that find the cheapest time to travel, Canadians can get a lot more mileage out of their travel budgets, regardless of the size.” 

The survey also revealed that 57 per cent of respondents stated they have a travel bucket list, but only 1 per cent can claim to have visited them all.  The country cited as the most likely place respondents would travel to this coming year: Canada.  Nationally, 62 per cent of respondents said 2019 would most likely include a trip to discover the Great White North.

Study Methodology

The study, commissioned by online travel company Skyscanner and conducted by research firm Maru/Blue surveyed 1,510 Canadian leisure travellers from across the country about their travelling habits and preferences including travel budgeting, booking and planning. The study was conducted using an online questionnaire that was fielded from October 11 to 15, 2018. All respondents are members of the Maru Voice online panel.

About Skyscanner

Skyscanner is the world's travel search engine, saving you time and money by finding the best travel options wherever you want to go.  Free and unbiased, over 80 million travellers around the world trust us each month to help them find the best flights, hotels and car rentals. 

Available in Canada since 2014, Skyscanner’s secret is in our self-built technology and global reach, connecting you directly to everything the travel industry has to offer.  Available online and through our mobile app, we can help you find inspiration for your next trip as well as the best travel deals. 

Media contact: Kaitlyn Forde, Cohn & Wolfe, 416.924.5700 ext. 4034, kaitlyn.forde@cohnwolfe.ca