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Canadians ditching summer vacations in response to COVID-19 pandemic, survey finds


For Heather Greenwood Davis, jet-setting is not only a way a life but a way of making a living. For nearly two decades, she has travelled all over the world as the blogger behind and a travel writer for various publications.

“I started writing about travel when I was pregnant with my oldest. That was 18 years ago. We decided then that we weren’t going to wait for travel; we were going to take the kids wherever it was we wanted to go, ” Greenwood Davis said.

That is, until March, when the Canada-U.S. border closed and various governments restricted Canadians’ mobility in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Is it safe to go on vacation this summer? Experts break down travel options

Greenwood Davis has never spent so much time at her Markham, Ont. home. While she has cancelled numerous trips — including a quick visit to Atlanta and Charlotte and a month-long family adventure to B.C. — the travel limitations haven’t stopped her from dreaming of quick getaways close to home.

“As the summer progresses, we are looking at Prince Edward County and the 1000 islands, Thunder Bay – I’ve never been to Thunder Bay.”

Rather than adjusting their travel plans, some Canadians are forgoing travel altogether.

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A survey conducted by The Vanier Institute of the Family found 59 per cent of adults living with children had to change travel plans due to COVID-19 and 72 per cent of parents reported it was “unlikely” they would take a vacation in 2020.

“First of all, historically — pre-COVID — people would go on vacation in order to spend time with their families. They have had an abundance of time with their families in the last few months and so that draw is not there,” said Nora Sprinks, CEO of The Vanier Institute of the Family.

“And then there’s all the sort of obvious ones: financial insecurity/instability, needing to be close to home in order to manage all the things related to COVID or returning to place of employment or returning back to school in the fall.”

Spinks says Canadians typically make family decisions based on choice and circumstance and the pandemic has created limitations on both of those things.

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