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Vacations, a Prescription for Health and Happiness, Expedia.ca's Annual Vacation Deprivation(R) Survey Finds

Despite Reporting an Increase in Vacation Deprivation, Canadians Feel Vacations Are Hugely Important to Their Overall Well-Being

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - July 23, 2014) - A national survey from Expedia.ca, Canada's leading online travel provider*, finds vacations are viewed by Canadians as medicine for the body, mind and soul, with 93 per cent of respondents saying they feel relaxed and rejuvenated when they get home from a vacation. Eighty-seven per cent say they feel closer to their partners or their family, and 78 per cent report being more focused at work after a vacation.

VACATIONS = HEALTH, STRESS RELIEF AND HAPPINESS
Taking a vacation is key to making us happy, with the survey finding 80 per cent of respondents associate vacationing with their overall happiness and half as many (42 per cent) saying it impacts their happiness "a great deal" (a 10 per cent increase from last year's Expedia.ca Vacation Deprivation® Survey). Vacationing was chosen as the number one experience for generating happiness (by 48 per cent of respondents), far more than finding money (16 per cent), getting a tax refund (13 per cent), being told you look younger than you are (8 per cent) or even celebrating your birthday (7 per cent).

Dr. David Posen, stress specialist and author of Is Work Killing You?, isn't surprised by the survey results and reaffirms the important health benefits of taking a vacation.

"We really feel the physical and mental benefits of even a brief getaway," said Dr. Posen. "Vacations can lower blood pressure and ease stress and tension in the body. They give us the time to reconnect with spouses, partners, family members and friends, and we return to work rejuvenated and better able to focus -- and all of that translates into stronger feelings of well-being. Vacations are a prescription for health, stress relief, more energy, improved productivity and overall happiness."

VACATION DEPRIVATION ON THE RISE
But despite the benefits of taking time off work, the survey found vacation deprivation -- defined as not having enough vacation time or not using some or all of one's vacation allotment -- is creeping upward this year. On average, Canadians say they'll take 15 vacation days this year, down from 17 days last year.

Furthermore, nearly one in five (18 per cent) say they won't take all the vacation days they are entitled to in 2014, and 13 per cent say they'll take less time off this year than last (up from nine percent in 2013). The majority of those feeling vacation deprived (59 per cent) say it's because they don't get enough vacation time. In fact, Canadians say they need, on average, an additional eight days to be satisfied with their yearly vacation allotment (for a total average annual allotment of 24 days).

"Vacation deprivation is clearly on the rise," said Sean Shannon, Managing Director of Expedia Canada. "Roughly half of Canadians surveyed (48 per cent) report feeling somewhat or very vacation deprived, up from 40 per cent who felt that way last year. At Expedia.ca, we understand the positive benefits of travel and the importance of getting away from the day-to-day routine as an opportunity to relax, recharge and rejuvenate."

WORK INTERFERES WITH VACATIONS
Work demands often play a role for not using all of one's vacation time -- almost four in ten respondents (37 per cent) say they have cancelled or postponed vacation plans because of work.

Further, when we do get away, we're having an increasingly hard time disconnecting from the office. Thirty-eight per cent say they regularly or constantly check work email and/or voicemail while on vacation -- up from 27 per cent last year.

WHAT WE'D GIVE UP FOR MORE TIME OFF
The survey found 90 per cent of Canadians would be willing to make sacrifices for more vacation time. In exchange for one more vacation day a year:

  • 56 per cent of respondents would give up video games for a week
  • 46 per cent would give up alcohol for a week
  • 43 per cent would go without TV for a week
  • 36 per cent would be willing to give up their mobile phone for a week -- although those under 35 are less willing to forgo their smartphones
  • 36 per cent would give up coffee for a week -- however this would be a harder sacrifice for those age 55 and over

EXPEDIA.CA OFFERS SOLUTIONS FOR CANADIANS LOOKING TO FILL THEIR VACATION PRESCRIPTION
Save money when travelling this summer by bundling your flight and hotel together through Expedia.ca for savings of up to $500. And if you book during the Expedia.ca summer sale, you can save up to 50% off hotels worldwide -- letting you travel wherever your heart takes you this summer.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY
This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia.ca by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm, among 1,001 Canadian adults aged 18 and older who are employed or self-employed. Surveys were completed between June 6 and June 16, 2014. Sampling quotas and post-hoc data weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of employed Canadians in terms of age, gender and region. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

ABOUT EXPEDIA CANADA
Expedia.ca is the nation's most-visited 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. © 2014 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-5030 

* Source: comScore Media Metrix, Canada, Online Travel Agents category, Jan - Dec 2013

For More Information:
Jess Leach
Veritas Communications
Email contact 
416-955-4595

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