May 15, 2013 12:17 ET

Canadians Plan to Stretch Vacation Days by Booking Holidays Around Summer Long Weekends

Expedia.ca research finds most Canadians love summer long weekends for a quick getaway and are open to the idea of taking a spontaneous vacation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) - Although summer doesn't officially start until June 21, according to a recent survey by Expedia.ca™, most Canadians (58 per cent) consider May's Victoria Day long weekend to be the start of the season. The survey conducted by Canada's leading online travel provider also found that Canadians view the four national summer long weekends as an opportunity - or perhaps an excuse - to travel, with 66 per cent of respondents stating they take advantage of at least one long weekend over the summer to go on holiday.

The survey also uncovered that when planning summer vacations, more than half (54 per cent) of respondents said they will 'always' or at least 'sometimes' try to strategically book around long weekends so they can enjoy more time off without using allotted vacation days from their employers.

"Canadians deserve to make the most of the summer and their long weekends after enduring another winter, and we agree with the 64 per cent of respondents who said that long weekends offer a good opportunity to take a short holiday," said Sean Shannon, Vice President and Managing Director for Expedia Canada. "With only 25 per cent of Canadians saying they have definite plans this upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, our Spontaneous Summer Sale offers Canadians one more reason to pack up and get away with 50 per cent off select hotels at top destinations worldwide. Expedia.ca is celebrating the unofficial start of summer with deals perfect for travellers who are thinking of spending an extended weekend exploring a new city, relaxing on a beach or doing something a little more adventurous."

Popular Destinations for May 2-4 Vacationers

Where would Canadians most likely to go over a long weekend if they had the opportunity? According to the survey, 60 per cent would choose to stay within their home province, 12 per cent would travel outside of their own province but stay within Canada, while nearly the same (14 per cent) would go to the US as they would to an international destination.

Based on hotel bookings made on Expedia.ca* for this upcoming long weekend, popular domestic destinations for travel include Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Banff, Toronto and Niagara Falls. Those travelling south of the border are heading to Las Vegas, New York and Seattle.

Expedia.ca's Spontaneous Summer

Long weekends provide a great excuse to take an unplanned vacation, but just how spontaneous are Canadian travellers? When it comes to taking a spontaneous trip whereby in just a matter of days they research, book and leave on a vacation 55 per cent of respondents stated they were 'very' or 'somewhat' open to the idea, although only 25 per cent of respondents stated that they have actually done so. "Travel and planning go hand and hand, but sometimes, the best vacations are the one decided on a whim," said Shannon. "Our survey showed the majority of Canadians are open to a spontaneous summer holiday, which is a great way to add excitement to a long weekend or as a way to discover new and exciting places that may have been on a travel bucket-list for a few years. We hope our summer sale offering will entice Canadians to do just that."

This summer, Expedia.ca is encouraging Canadians to embrace Spontaneous Summer Getaways with a Facebook contest launching tomorrow in advance of the Victoria Day long weekend which will give their fans the chance to win an unforgettable getaway for two for the long weekend. The first three cities highlighted in the Spontaneous Summer Getaways program are Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. For more information on the Spontaneous Summer Getaways contest visit www.facebook.com/expediaca or visit expedia.ca for all Spontaneous Summer Sale deals.

*Based on stand-alone hotel and package bookings made on Expedia.ca as of May 10th, 2013.

Survey Methodology

The results quoted in this press release are taken from "Expedia.ca Summer Sale" survey using Google Consumer Surveys between April 30th and May 14th, 2013. Each question sampled at least 1,000 unique, randomly sampled internet users across the Google Consumer Surveys publisher network. The average margin of error is +/- 4%.

About Expedia Canada

Expedia.ca is the nation's most-visited full-service online and mobile travel site. 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 trip 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.

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