28% of recent travelers have previously incurred debt in order to afford a holiday.
Faced with inflation, Canadians continue to reassess their budget and make difficult financial decisions. However, according to a national survey conducted by Montreal-based company FlightHub Group among 2000 Canadians, an astonishing trend is emerging: travel is being prioritized at the expense of essential spending. About 48% of Canadians have had to make cuts to their budget in order to take a trip they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
Inflation poses a budget dilemma for Canadians as they grapple with rising prices
Among those who have flown at least once in the last two years, 57% said they have had to cut non-essential expenses to afford a trip this year. This percentage, highest in the province of New Brunswick (77%) compared to the rest of Canada, highlights the exceptional need for escape and the shifting prioritization of spending.
Despite being perceived as non-essential at first thought, travel has become a relatively protected expense for Canadians. According to the survey, more than one in four Canadians (28%) who cannot afford to travel have resorted to financing their trips using credit cards.
This surprising practice contrasts with the decrease in essential daily expenses such as groceries. In fact, 41% of Canadians, regardless of age, who have tightened their belts for a trip, stated that they reduced their daily grocery expenses to afford a travel experience they wouldn’t have been able to enjoy otherwise. This year, during a period of inflation, it highlights the need for more affordable travel solutions.
Chris Cave, CEO of FlightHub, states, “Even amidst challenging economic times, the desire to explore and connect with the world remains a fundamental aspect of the human spirit. Travel has the remarkable ability to transcend financial concerns, providing a unique and enriching experience. Travel is an investment in oneself, and we are dedicated to providing every individual with affordable options.”
Furthermore, on a national scale, 57% of Millennials have made compromises to fulfil their desire to escape, such as reducing outings to restaurants, theatres, or concerts. Generation Z stands out as well, with 69% of them willing to make concessions, such as working extra hours, to make their travel dreams a reality.
Marc Ghobriel, CFO of FlightHub, adds: “This year, we are seeing a number of changes in travel behaviour among our customers. Generation Z, for example, is booking more flights than Boomers, and is more attracted to international destinations such as Manila, London and Paris. Whether Canadians want to travel alone, with family, with friends, domestically, or internationally, at FlightHub, our priority remains to ensure our online platform allows everyone to travel without breaking the bank, especially during this period of economic uncertainties.”