Oh, the holidays! No less comfortable for those with young children, added this year to the stress of not making enough, budgets squeezed by inflation.
• Read more: Tourism: Welcome to Summer Vacation Hell
Already, in June, Quebecers said they were going to increase their vacation budget by 22% over last year, from $1,323 to $1,687.
If this is of course an average, courtesy of a CAA-Quebec survey.
That said, the numbers don’t lie: Everything costs more, including vacations.
Quickly hit the $1000 milestone
“Today, you go for two days with one or two nights, it’s hard even in Quebec for less than 1000 dollars”, launched Guillaume Begin, who came from Beauce with his family to Hemingford’s Park Safari. Last week in Monteregi.
It’s hard to believe when you look at hotel room prices: $561 per night at the typical Hilton in Quebec, for example. It is a room for four people with two beds the queen.
In Montreal, surprisingly, the same room at the Hilton costs $268 a night.
Everyone is in the same boat
Add to that the exorbitant price of gasoline, which is more expensive in Quebec than anywhere else in North America, especially our neighbors in Ontario.
“People are going to make two stops on the itinerary instead of the planned four,” a CAA-Quebec spokeswoman said earlier this week about the 2022 vacation.
There again, we have no trouble believing when we look at pump prices, which average $193.3 for regular gasoline on Quebec soil.
But whether you’re sleeping in a hotel or driving, everyone’s in the same boat.
The median annual income for a family with at least one child in Quebec in 2019 was $94,040.
This figure has not changed in three years compared to inflation.
So Quebecers must do more with less, and not as much on the holy summer vacation.
All that remains is to wish them luck!
A visit to the safari park costs around $300
Photo by Francis Hallin
Andreane Richer is a civil servant and mother who lives in Repentigny, Lanaudière. He chose Park Safari in Hemingford, Monteregi to cut costs. In fact, it provides various entertainment at one and the same place.
Gasoline, food, tickets… forced families to stretch their budgets by $200 to $300 to go see animals on park safaris, more and more families are feeling the financial strain.
“Everything’s grown, so you don’t want to, you have to cut somewhere, so the holidays, you have to come and play a little bit on it,” said Ilanka Moreau, on vacation during her son, Jayden’s daycare vacation.
“Just going to dinner at Park Safari, two people and a two-and-a-half-year-old child will definitely cost $70,” he observes under the blazing sun.
Beside him, in the crowded Park Safari parking lot, his partner Guillaume Begin, who took a two-day vacation with his small family, is already thinking about going to bed to make sure he doesn’t go into the water during the night.
“Before, we could find rooms for $100, $150, $179, but now under $200, it’s very rare to find anything,” he noted.
At Park Safari, children under the age of two can enter for free, but you’ll pay $14.99 for children (ages 2-3) and $31.99 for ages 4-12. For teens and adults, it costs $48.99 per person
“With entry, gas and food, we must be close to $250,” shared Andrean Richer, a pregnant civil servant from Lanaudiere, whom we reached at the entrance to the park near the musicians.
To cut costs, the mother of the family opted for Park Safari as this place offers a variety of entertainment at the same place.
“We try paid places for the kids, like here where there is water and activities like the zoo,” the family’s mother shared.
A little further, Mohamed Ruisi, with his wife and three children, calculated his departure for a few hundred dollars.
“With food, gas And all, it’s a $300 release. It’s a lot of money,” concludes the man, who says he’s seen prices explode everywhere.
Fag gets it, but not the rest
Photo by Francis Hallin
Sylvain Rathe, who owns a market in the small town of Saint-Philippe, doesn’t think his customers are any closer to their pennies than before.
An owner of a market in Saint-Philippe, Montregi, has noticed a decline in recent months as more people spend their holidays before coming home to spend their money, except for cigarettes.
“People are spending like never before. If they feel like buying beer, they buy beer,” sums up Sylvain Rathe, owner of the simple-looking market in Saint-Philippe at the RCM in Roussillon.
“The only area where I feel a decline is cigarettes. They are expensive. People are more cautious,” shared the man who runs a business with five campsites in the heart of the city.
The trend is confirmed
The giant Couche-Tard noticed this too, as Le Journal reported last month: With inflation, smokers tend to turn to banned cigarettes.
“In Canada, we’ve seen a little more pressure in the cigarette segment. There seems to be a shift due to the black market,” noted its chief financial officer Claude Tessier.
According to Couche-Tard, there may also have been a slight increase in tobacco consumption during the epidemic, which has now dissipated.
However, despite not gasping for cigarettes, Sylvain Rathe’s market on the rue Édouard VII in Saint-Philippe swarms with holidaymakers, who move like lightning to buy McCain cakes, pates and his “Pizza Quebec”.
“I don’t see many people saying: I’ll take the cheapest. They are still on their way”, observes the man between the two orders.
At the checkout, between sunscreen, aloe and caps, the owner of the neighborhood grocery store, who took over the business in 2001, gives no impression that vacationers are more restrained than ever.
Consumers do not deprive themselves of a 30 cent or 40 cent increase in the price of a can like peas.
“It’s not long, a small purchase of $60 or $65, bacon, eggs, cereal. No effect. I think people continue as per their habits,” concludes the businessman.
Last May, the Association des Marchands Dépanneurs et Épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ) said it was disappointed that the Trudeau government’s budget contained no specifics to limit fees charged to merchants for large credit card transactions.
Holidays are much less rich in activities, for lack of means
Photo by Helen Schaff
Eric Barnache and Audrey Jack spend the summer season at a campsite in Monteregi with their respective families. This year, inflation has forced them to change some practices, including reducing their stay.
Less sightseeing, less restaurants, less time… When everything costs more and vacation budgets don’t stretch, families have no choice but to do less than usual.
With gasoline prices skyrocketing, Eric Bernachez considers himself lucky to find his spot every summer at a campground in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montregi.
“It’s cheaper than traveling outside,” explains a maintenance worker at the Société des Transports de Montréal Here, we’re good, it avoids weekends in Pointe-Calumet or Saint-Sauveur that would cost more. »
This year, Laval’s father will have to cut back on some vacation expenses while prices have risen.
“At five o’clock in the restaurant, it’s $150. Before, we used to do two restaurants a week, now it’s like one every two weeks,” Camper commented.
A CAA Quebec survey, conducted to determine the travel intentions of Quebecers in the spring, shows that Eric Bernachez and his family are far from alone in this situation: 43% of Quebecers say that the increase in gas prices will affect their vacation.
Nicolas Ryan, director of public affairs at CAA Quebec, indicated that “the desire to travel is strong this year, but there are changes in the distance of the itinerary, travel once to the destination and spending on food and entertainment”.
The rest of the year
And to continue to afford vacations, they will “deprive themselves a little” for the rest of the year.
Eric Barnachez said he and his family will go to the movies less often and go out less with family or friends to compensate.
Laval resident Audrey Jacques also spends every summer at the campsite. When she hears her friend sitting next to her talking about going for a walk, the young mother says with a certain nostalgia: “Family lunch on Sunday was like an event. But we’re not going there anymore. Whether we are on vacation or not, everything has increased, so we have to reduce”.
Going away for a short time
Another family tradition that the daycare teacher regrettably had to cut was Summer Week, her husband’s home region.
“We leave for less time because of the price of petrol. Budget not passed with inflation, two days off. We will be gone for five days instead of a week,” she explains.
This Saturday, they will therefore leave for Carleton-sur-Mer with their three- and five-year-old children. Eight hours on the road without the usual overnight stop at Rivière-du-Loup. They will thus save two nights in a hotel and, in spite of everything, treat themselves to a boat trip around Rocher Perce.