TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2014) - With Canada now fully in winter's grip, new survey data from Expedia.ca™, Canada's leading online travel provider, finds that almost one in four of us (24 per cent) plans to escape winter by taking off for a beach vacation in the sunny south. But are Canadians really as adventurous as we like to think we are when we hit the beach?
Newly released findings from Expedia.ca's "Escape Winter Report" state that more than half of Canadians (53 per cent) who have taken a beach vacation say they're "more adventurous" when having fun in the sun. But when asked for examples, the top responses were to "eat unusual food" (70 per cent) or "try challenging water sports" (35 per cent).
"Our survey suggests that Canadians have a fairly tame perspective on what they consider adventurous," laughs Sean Shannon, Managing Director of Expedia Canada. "But it also shows that Canadians are open to trying and enjoying the local flavours and different experiences that beach vacations have to offer, and that's really one of the main joys of travel."
MEN TALK, WOMEN DO
The survey also found that while more men than women say they're more adventurous while on a beach vacation (40 per cent of men compared to 34 per cent of women), higher percentages of women report actually trying new experiences. For example, more women than men have reported actually eating unusual foods (75 per cent vs. 66 per cent), trying a challenging water sport (39 per cent vs. 32 per cent), or wearing a more revealing bathing suit (13 per cent vs. 9 per cent). While men were more likely to consider these adventurous activities, they rarely followed through.
And what about showing off some skin while vacationing in the sand? Women were three times as likely to have actually visited a nudist beach rather than just thinking about it (nine per cent vs. three per cent) compared to men who were more likely to think about visiting a beach "au natural" versus those who have actually done so (18 per cent vs. 13 per cent).
"Whether you're a full fledge adventure seeker, or prefer less risky activities, we offer a variety of beach destinations for all types of travellers, especially Canadians who are looking for a chance to escape winter and get away from the snow, slush and shorter days," said Shannon. "For the truly adventurous, we offer unique experiences travellers can include as part of their beach vacation package such as going on a jungle tour in Mexico or doing a zipline safari in Florida."
SEX ON THE BEACH -- IT'S NOT JUST A DRINK ON THE BAR MENU
What about more, ahem, intimate pursuits? One in five Canadians surveyed (22 per cent) admit to "getting frisky" at the beach while on vacation. Only half as many (11 per cent) bare it all on a nude beach -- except for Quebecers, where it's double the national response rate at 22 per cent. Residents of la belle province are also more likely to wear a Speedo or other type of revealing bathing suit -- 17 per cent compared to the Canada-wide group of 10 per cent who reported doing so.
OTHER CANADIAN BEACH TRAVEL TRENDS FROM THE ESCAPE WINTER REPORT
- Canadians want to ditch the dark: the number one reason Canadians escape winter is to flee the dark (39 per cent) followed by our dislike of driving in winter weather often causing delays (30 per cent); and one in four (25 per cent) Canucks escape winter to avoid shoveling the snow -- with the hopes of perhaps shoveling sandcastles instead.
- Viva Mexico: based on survey results, Mexico remains the number one destination of Canadian beach vacationers, with 43 per cent having visited there to escape winter.
- Sunshine State a close second: almost neck-and-neck with Mexico, 42 per cent of Canadians go to Florida, especially those from central Canada (57 per cent of Ontario respondents, 44 per cent of Quebec respondents) and seasoned travellers (54 per cent of respondents age 55 and over).
- Dominican Republic: almost one-third of respondents (30 per cent) from the survey have vacationed in the Dominican Republic, with most coming from Ontario (41 per cent) and Quebec (37 per cent).
- Before we go: More than anything else, Canadians buy new clothes (55 per cent of respondents) when preparing for a beach vacation while forty-two per cent get a haircut. One in four women (24 per cent) say they exercise more (only 18 per cent of men do) before hitting the beach, while one in five women go on a diet (19 per cent, compared to 12 per cent of men).
- Posting photos: Most of us post pics of scenery (73 per cent), day trips (62 per cent) and having fun on the beach (55 per cent) -- but only one in five (22 per cent) will post bathing suit selfies.
- Most of us travel with a spouse or partner (45 per cent) or family (33 per cent) -- Quebecers are notably three times more likely than residents of the rest of Canada to travel on their own.
- And how are Canadians booking their trips down south to escape winter? Online is the preferred method of Canadians for booking a beach vacation, with 54 per cent heading south through the click of a mouse.
Expedia.ca offers solutions for Canadians who want to escape the winter
For Canadians who need a break from the cold, Expedia.ca's annual Escape Winter™ Sale offers countless beach vacation options to warm, sunny destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and other locations around the world. Vacationers can enjoy up to 50% off their stay when they book select hotels and vacation packages and travel before March 31, 2014, and their trip is also backed by the Expedia.ca Best Price Guarantee.
From December 5th to December 6th, 2013, an online survey was conducted among 1,004 randomly selected Canadian adults aged 18+. The margin of error -- which measures sampling variability -- is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender and region (and language in Quebec) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
ABOUT EXPEDIA CANADA
Expedia.ca is the nation's most-visited and full-service online travel provider. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia.ca offers the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, and travel insurance. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response.
Follow Expedia.ca on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and download the free Expedia Mobile App.
Expedia, Expedia.ca and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-5030