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CIBC Poll: Canadians escaping the cold for March Break vacations

Poll finds Canadians to spend an average of about $2,300 on March vacations this year

TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll conducted by Vision Critical finds that winter-weary Canadians looking to escape this year's record-cold temperatures plan to spend an average of about $2,300 on their March Break vacations. More than half of those travelling (56 per cent) will be vacationing outside of Canada.

Highlights of the poll include:

  • 12 per cent of Canadians say they are planning a March vacation, with an average cost of $2,328.
  • Despite the falling loonie, more than half of March Break travelers (56 per cent) prefer to go outside of Canada, with the U.S. a top destination for 35 per cent and international travel preferred by 21 per cent.
  • 21 per cent of March Break travelers are traveling within Canada, and 26 per cent are staying even closer to home by traveling within their province.

"March Break likely can't come fast enough for Canadians this year given the harsh winter weather most of us have seen," says Steve Tyers, Vice President, Card Product Management, CIBC. "It can be costly to get away in March, especially if you're traveling outside of Canada, so using rewards such as travel points can really help cut expenses."

The bank noted a recent increase in clients using their travel rewards to book March break vacations. "We're certainly seeing this trend with CIBC's Aventura travel rewards credit card clients, with a spike in the number of clients booking their March Break vacations with their Aventura Points," added Mr. Tyers.

Illness, Overspending Top the List of Travel Worries this March

When asked what they worry about when traveling, Canadians said getting sick or injured while on vacation (34 per cent), overspending (17 per cent), losing their money or credit cards (14 per cent), and flight delays or cancellations because of bad weather (13 per cent) were their top travel concerns.

"Vacations should be worry-free, and knowing that you are protected against travel concerns can certainly ease your mind so that you can enjoy your vacation," says Mr. Tyers. "Look for protection against these travel concerns. For example, the new CIBC Aventura card has a number of travel insurances and benefits to protect you in the event of the unexpected, which can save you time and money while you are away."

To make the most of your March Break vacation plans, CIBC offers the following tips:

  • Protection: Make sure you understand the travel protection you may already have in the event of illness, flight cancellations or delays, and other travel concerns. Many credit cards offer insurance to protect you and your family, such as travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, lost baggage, car rental collision/damage.

  • Spending: Access benefits you have on your credit cards to stretch your vacation budget further. For example, your credit card may have features such as reward points to pay for flights, hotels and other travel-related expenses, and discounts on travel-related items such as car rentals. Some credit cards offer free budgeting and tracking tools. For example, the CIBC CreditSmart tool you can set and track your spending, and set up Alerts that remind you when you get close to your limits. And contact your credit card company to alert them that you are traveling. Advance notice to your credit card company on your travel plans can help ensure your credit card charges go through and you have use of your credit card for your vacation.

  • Losing your money or cards: Keep your cash and cards secure, and have a back up form of payment. Carrying a back up payment card or cash can help if you lose your primary method of payment. Be sure to keep them separate and in secure locations, and have important phone numbers written down separately in the event you lose a credit or debit card.

KEY POLL FINDINGS

Percentage of Canadians who are traveling on vacation for March Break, by region:

National         12%
Atlantic Canada        9%
Quebec         13%
Ontario         11%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan     17%
Alberta          12%
British Columbia        15%

Top concerns when travelling (among Canadians with travel concerns):

Someone gets sick or injured on our vacation        34%
We overspend on our vacation          17%
We lose our money or credit cards     14%
Our flight is delayed or cancelled because of bad weather     13%
Our travel plans need to be cancelled before our vacation        7%
Our luggage is lost        6%
Our travel plans get interrupted during our vacation        4%

From February 20 to February 21 2014 an online survey was conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of CIBC among 1,511 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. Sample sizes for regional groups under Key Findings are smaller than typically reported and provided only as reference data.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

 

SOURCE CIBC

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