TORONTO — An Expedia survey has revealed new insights into Canadians’ pandemic travel behaviour.

From this research, Expedia has identified a new phenomenon dubbed the ‘tripping point’ — the intense need for a break from the routine and the moment at which day-to-day responsibilities become too much, resulting in the desperate need for a change of scenery.

Through a survey of 1,000 adults aged 18 to 45, Expedia reveals how both short- and long-term travel desires and aspirations were shaped by stay-at-home mandates earlier this year and continue to impact Canadians, as they stay closer to home these days.

To cope with reaching their tripping point, travellers turned to self-care (43 per cent), spending more time outside (36 per cent) and taking a local road trip (29 per cent). When asked what they missed most about travel over this past year, 47-per-cent said a break from normal, every-date routine; this was followed by the opportunity to explore a new place and culture (36 per cent), enjoy a different climate (31 per cent) and try local food dishes (26 per cent).

Feeling cooped up and missing the freedom and variety that travel provides led more than a quarter of respondents to plan a road trip or staycation (29 per cent) for a quick change of scenery; others found relief by researching or dreaming of a future trip (18 per cent). In fact, based on search data in April from Expedia, top-searched destinations for Canadians included beach getaways such as Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Once restrictions eased, it took an average of 22 days for travellers to book a trip away from home, with many opting for provincial road trips.

With many Canadians historically heading south for the winter and beach travel being the popular choice, this year early indications suggest Canadians will be spending the winter season at home. This trend will be a first but will offer the opportunity to explore local and tap into outdoor activities and ski vacations. Once able to travel freely, 27 per cent of Canadians are excited to visit friends and family who live elsewhere, another quarter are likely to head somewhere they’ve never been within Canada (26 per cent) and around one-in-five said they plan to reschedule a trip they couldn’t take this year.

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