Capital One Survey Finds Higher Income Levels May Mean A Less-Than Relaxing Holiday

Compared to Men, Women Prefer to Vacation With a Friend Over a Spouse

Toronto, ON (July 21, 2010) – While 71% of Canadians take a vacation to relax and disconnect from their day-to-day life, the unfortunate reality is just as many of them (72%) experience some form of stress planning their holidays. The Capital One Aspire Travel Survey ( found that three-quarters of women (76%) say they’ve felt some stress when planning a vacation compared with only 68% of men. Surprisingly, the survey found that stress levels appear to go up for people in higher income brackets. On average, 75% of Canadians with an annual income over $50 thousand have more stress when planning a vacation than Canadians who earn under $50 thousand (69%).

“Canadians want to relax on their holidays and they are looking for products that make booking and going on vacation easier,” said Laurel Ostfield, Spokesperson, Capital One Canada. “By offering flexible redemption options, Travel Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation and Baggage Delay Benefits, the Aspire World MasterCard gives cardholders the peace of mind that they are looking for.”

When it comes to choosing vacation companions, the survey identified some unique differences between genders. While men and women are equally interested in taking a vacation to relax, men are more interested than women in bringing their significant other with them (68% versus 45%). In fact, 21% of women want to bring friends, compared to 13% of men, and are twice as likely to want to bring their children with them than men (21% versus 10%).

“To reduce your stress when planning your trip, think carefully about the interests, financial status and physical ability of the person you want to go with, otherwise the wrong match could end up ruining your holiday,” said Loren Christie, Travel Expert for CTV’s Canada AM. “Whether it’s your spouse or your best friend, you don’t want to miss out on an adventurous outing because your travel partner couldn’t keep up, or blow your budget because your companion will only stay at five star hotels.”

It all changes, however, when it comes to golf vacations, where men (15%) are more than three times less interested in a golfing vacation with their significant other than compared to women (52%).
For both men and women, planning vacations with other family members compared to friends and children caused the most stress (60% for men and 70% for women), suggesting that people should think twice about taking their in-laws on vacation with them.

The Capital One Aspire Travel Survey also found:

• 77% of Canadians took their vacations in Canada over the past year

• Europe is the ideal destination of nearly a third of Canadians (31%), but there is a disconnect (likely financial) between where respondents take their vacations and where they would prefer to take them since only 8% of Canadians went to Europe in the last twelve months

• Most Canadians (42%) spent $1,000 or less on their last vacation

• 72% of Canadians surveyed have never used a loyalty rewards program to pay for part of their vacation

• Atlantic Canadians are the least stressed when it comes to planning their vacations (64%), compared to Ontarians who top all provinces with 74% saying they felt some stress

Travel expert Loren Christie offers the following tips for a stress-free vacation:

• Do your research – Check travel websites and talk to friends for recommendations and deals on everything from where to go, how to get there, and what to see.

• Use a flexible rewards programs – Look for a program with the flexibility to choose any airline, with no blackout dates, seat restrictions or unexpected redemption fees so you can build the vacation of your choice.

• Make a budget – Figure out ahead of time how much you want to spend and keep track of your receipts. Calculating your costs at the end of each day is a great way to stay on track to avoid any unexpected financial stress.

• Make sure you and your travel partner are on the same page – All the planning in the world won’t help if you only want to lie on the beach and your companion insists on sightseeing.

About the survey

From June 25 to June 30 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,021 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
About Capital One
Located in Toronto, Ontario, Capital One has offered Canadian consumers a range of competitive MasterCard credit cards since 1996, when the company first introduced the Platinum MasterCard in Canada. Capital One Canada is a division of Capital One Bank, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia (NYSE: COF).