Canadians among top anticipated travel spenders for 2024

Photo: courtesy American Express

American Express Travel’s 2024 Global Travel Trends Report reveals that Canadians rank as the second highest global market for anticipated average trip spend and prioritize spontaneous, bucket list, and once-in-a-lifetime vacations.

A summary of the Canadian findings from the report is as follows:

  • Extended bucket-list trips are on the rise: Canadians are looking to take longer trips than the global average, visiting multiple countries in a region or taking expedition/remote trips.
  • Canadians are willing to spend unless a travel hack can help them save: Travelers are eager to foot the bill to get the most out of their trip but lean on travel hacks for cost savings and upgrades.
  • Spontaneity, solo travel and self-love drive travel desires: Canadians are leaving room for spontaneous exploration, exploring for self-fulfillment, and looking to escape the chaos of daily life with solo trips.

Extended bucket-list trips are on the rise.

  • 1-in-3 (33%) of Canadians are planning a trip for a significant journey (e.g., bucket list trip, dream vacation).
  • The most common types of trips Canadians consider to be a ‘dream vacation’ or major trip include multi-country tours within a region (66%), expedition cruises (32%), adventure travel (29%), and wellness retreats (23%).
  • Among Canadians planning to take a trip to visit multiple countries in a region, 70% plan on visiting Europe.
  • Canadians planning on taking a trip in 2024 are making the most of vacation time, with 1–2-week trips (45%) and week-long trips (44%) being most common, compared to week-long (47%) and weekend trips (41%) being most popular among global responses.

Canadians are willing to spend unless a travel hack can help them save.

  • Over one-third (36%) of Canadians plan to spend more on travel than last year.
  • Globally, Canada ranks the second highest market for anticipated highest average spend for leisure trips at an average of $8,824.
  • Increased spending is balanced with a range of ‘travel hacks’ to save money on travel:
    • 44% will travel during off-peak seasons.
    • 41% will use credit card points to pay for flights/hotels.
    • 20% will book through companies that offer complimentary hotel benefits (e.g. room upgrades, hotel credits)
  • 85% of Canadian Adults agree they are interested in finding flight deals to spend more on accommodations or upgrades.

Spontaneity, solo travel and self-love drive travel desires

  • Some Canadians book travel spontaneously, while others find spontaneity at their destination:
    • Over one-third (37%) of Canadians took a last-minute trip in 2023, with even more (43%) interested in taking one in 2024.
    • Planning timeframes are short, with nearly half (47%) booking two weeks in advance or more.
    • While at their destination, Canadians prefer to leave dining plans (61%), excursions/activities (39%) and shopping (35%) to be spontaneous.
  • Over half (54%) of Canadians plan on travelling solo more often or about the same in 2024. Of those Canadians, 53% are Millennials and Gen-Z (compared to 59% of all Global Adults).
    • Of those planning solo travel in 2024, 59% of Canadians plan to take a “treat yourself” solo trip centred around self-love.

Click here to download the complete American Express Travel 2024 Global Travel Trends Report