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Escaping the Canadian winter

Do you escape the winter months?
Do you escape the winter months?

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

January 6, 2012 — Winter is far from over and that has many Canadians eager to head to a sunshine destination.

The winter season can be a long one for some Canadians
The winter season can be a long one for some Canadians

Although most regions across the country have managed to avoid the wrath of winter so far, travel experts say January is still a popular month for booking vacations to sunshine destinations.

That's partly due to the anticipation of colder temperatures, snowstorms and a lack of sunshine. Some even suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD, which can make a typical winter extremely challenging.

So to escape the frosty months, several people pack their bags and head to a warmer destination.

“I have to go away in January. I'll never make it through the winter without going,” says one traveller we caught up with at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. “I go to get away from any signs of snow and the 40 below weather,” said another anxious traveller ready to head south.

January- March is a busy time for booking vacations to sunshine destinations
January- March is a busy time for booking vacations to sunshine destinations

Lisa Vincent, Manager of Travelpath in Burlington, Ontario says the agency definitely starts to see a spike in vacation sales in January.

“Most people that call to book a vacation usually say, 'I'm tired of the cold, I'm tired of the dreary weather' and they're usually over the hustle and bustle of Christmas,” notes Vincent.

“Students in University and College have their reading weeks come up in February and then you've got March Break so a lot of families book their vacation in March as well.”

Vincent adds that bookings to Caribbean destinations usually start to die down by mid March, when the spring season begins to move in and residents gear up for summer weekends at the cottage.

According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, there will be about a 14 percent increase in Canadians travelling outbound in the next couple of years, with the majority of the destinations being to the Caribbean.

Because this is such a busy time of year for holiday travel, officials recommend to leave yourself plenty of time at the airport. Toronto's Pearson International Airport for example, sees around 500,000 people travelling through March Break.

Be sure to also check back with The Weather Network to track your flight, find forecast details for your destination, or any additional travel information that you may need.

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