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Here's why most Canadians are planning a 'staycation' over the holiday season

Do I stay or do I go?
Many Canadians are travelling despite rising cases of the recently-identified Omicron variant, but a survey finds that most of them plan on staying local.

Are you planning on taking off on a tropical vacation during the holiday season?

While many people continue to travel outside of Canada despite rising cases of the recently-identified Omicron variant, a new survey finds that most residents plan on staying local this year. 

A new survey by ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion reveals the majority of working Canadians say they will take time off over the holidays, but don't plan on travelling.

Additionally, the survey found "the 'time off tax' Canadians incur, an indicator ADP Canada reports on annually, has significantly decreased for the first time in four years."

Canadian workers are slowly returning to pre-pandemic vacation habits, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents stating that they will be using all their allotted vacation time for 2021. "This marks an increase compared to 2020, where one-in-five (20 per cent) used their vacation days but remains well below pre-pandemic levels."

Report authors note that employees have also used less time "preparing for their vacation" and playing catch up on work when they return from their trips. In 2021, workers spent roughly 21 hours of extra work preparing for their vacation and playing catch up, which was 13 hours less than reported in 2020. 

"The uncertainty around the pandemic, coupled with the blurring of work and home life, left many employees in a situation where they were not taking vacation time last year," said Heather Haslam, of ADP Canada. 

"We're finally starting to see Canadian workers eager to take time off, which not only helps achieve a better work-life balance but significantly contributes to preventing burnout."

Photo via ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion

'Tis the Season for a 'Staycation'

The majority of Canadians plan to take a break over the holiday season, with three-quarters (75%) of workers surveyed planning to take time off—but travel is still largely off the table for most respondents. 

"Taking time off is about more than getting away," added Haslam. "When employees take the time to relax and distance themselves from work, they come back feeling refreshed and recharged, which can directly translate to their productivity and quality of work. Employers need to make sure everyone takes the time to press pause and disconnect – especially those who start to show signs of fatigue."

Canadians are permitted to travel outside of the country over the holiday season, but the federal government stresses that the rapid spread of the recently discovered Omicron variant poses an imminent threat to public safety.

The Government of Canada now advises against all non-essential travel outside of the country until further notice, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday (Dec. 15) in Ottawa.

Find out everything you need to know about Canada's new travel rules HERE.

Disclaimer: Vancouver Is Awesome does not support travel during the non-essential travel advisory. Many foreign governments are implementing strict travel restrictions due to the spread of the Omicron variant and international transportation options may be limited. As a result, you may have difficulty returning to Canada.