54% of Canadians say they plan to hit the open road this year. Credit: Shutterstock/MUNGKHOOD STUDIO

After years of staycationing, Canadians are ready to pack their bags and take off to destinations at home and abroad, according to a press release from Rakuten.ca, an online retail company.

According to a new survey conducted by Rakuten.ca, with inflation and soaring gas prices top of mind, the cost is the No. 1 inhibitor to planning a post-pandemic trip.

“Canadians are ready to travel again, and we want to help them get the most out of their travel experiences,” said Claire Sweeney, VP of marketing at Rakuten.ca. “We discovered, 63% of Canadians agree travel is more important now than it was before the pandemic.”

In addition to travel barriers, other survey findings reveal Canadians’ intention to travel, the importance of travel perks, the popularity of summer road trips and even where Canadians plan to vacation and stay.

Barriers To Travel

Though travel is becoming more popular, 70% of Canadians are focusing on visiting family/friends in Canada first before traveling outside the country. However, the high costs of domestic travel in Canada is causing many to opt for international getaways instead. Forty-five percent of respondents said the high cost of flights within Canada has resulted in them deciding to travel outside the country as flights are often less expensive than within Canada.

Intention To Travel

After years of travel restrictions and lockdowns, Canadians are now ready to plan their getaways with 68% likely to take a leisure trip in 2022. We’re approaching a return to pre-pandemic travel intention levels (70% in January 2020). Only 15% of Canadians have traveled outside Canada in the past year, with one-third (31%) not having left the country in three to four years.

Summer of the Road Trip

Road trips will continue to be a go-to vacation for many, with 54% planning to hit the open road. Despite record-high gas prices, 73% of Canadians will drive to at least one of their destinations this summer. Of those, roughly a quarter (23%) plan to rent a vehicle.

Where Canadians are Vacationing

Staycations have grown in popularity as an alternative travel option. In fact, one-third (36%) of Canadians say they’re planning staycations, doubling pre-pandemic levels of 18%. That said, 65% of Canadians are adamant it’s not a real vacation unless they travel somewhere.

To read the full release, click here.