With the end of summer nearing, and COVID-19 restrictions starting to loosen across the country, more Canadians are searching for ways to get out and explore. In Canada, searches for road trips and local travel are up, while globally, searches for "staycation '', '' beach rentals '' and '' cabins for rent '' have grown by over 100% year over year, as many look for travel ideas closer to home.
Over the past three months, the spike in searches for road trips cover some of Canada's most beautiful settings like Vancouver Island in British Columbia and Gaspésie in Québec . Top searched questions around road trips in the past two weeks include:
- What to bring on a road trip?
- How to plan a road trip?
- What to do on road trips?
- How long does a typical road trip across Canada last?
- How to road trip across Canada?
With one of the longest drives across Canada taking at least 90 hours (Cape Spear in Newfoundland to Atlin, British Columbia), domestic explorers are also looking into where they can rest their heads and relax before the next leg of their trip. Searches for "hotels open in" have grown globally by over 100000% year over year. Top rising hotel destinations in Canada over the past two months include:
- Kelowna, BC
- Banff, Alberta
- Jasper, Alberta
- Osoyoos, BC
- Penticton, BC
- Tofino, BC
- Mont-Albert, QC
- Canmore, Alberta
- Whistler, BC
- Prince Edward County, ON
Because the impact of COVID-19 on destinations can vary, it's important to stay up to date on the latest travel-related information for places you may want to visit. “Canada's tourism industry is working tirelessly to ensure Canadians know what new measures are in place for their protection,” says Gloria Loree, Chief Marketing Officer of Destination Canada. "From small to large businesses, we're seeing extraordinary work being done to ensure enjoyable and safe experiences." If you're planning to travel soon, here are a few updates to help you make travel decisions with confidence.
Get travel related updates about a destination
When you search on Google for information like hotels, flights or things to do, you already see when there's a COVID-19 travel advisory or restriction for your destination. And, we recently introduced driving alerts to notify you about COVID-19 restrictions along your route in Google Maps. As restrictions and advisories begin to lift, we're adding information about travel resuming in a specific destination on Google Search. You'll now see the percentage of flights operating and open hotels with availability based on Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week. When you visit google.com/travel you'll also see trendlines for flights and hotel availability as well as links to additional local resources, including the number of COVID-19 cases, at the top of the page.
Find hotels and vacation rentals with refundable rates
Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, people often want flexibility when making travel plans. Many hotels and vacation rentals now offer free cancellation to give travelers more confidence when planning trips. Search for a hotel, and later this month a vacation rental, on google.com/travel and filter to see only rooms or properties with free cancellation policies. Tap on a specific listing to see more details.
We'll continue to share the most relevant information so you can make informed decisions and travel safely when the time comes. If you do have travel plans coming up we encourage you to check Public Health Agency of Canada to understand the potential health risks when traveling and recommendations on how to reduce them.