Ah, the holidays! Nothing less relaxing for those with young children, to whom this year will be added the stress of not having enough to do due to a budget squeezed by inflation.
The Journal of Montreal
• Also read: Tourism: Welcome to summer vacation hell
Back in June, Quebecers announced they would increase their vacation budget by 22% year-on-year from $1,323 to $1,687.
If this is an average, of course, courtesy of a CAA Quebec survey.
But the numbers don’t lie: everything costs more, including holidays.
The $1000 milestone was quickly reached
“Today you drive two days with one or two nights, it’s hard even in Quebec for less than $1000,” began Guillaume Bégin, who came to Parc Safari in Hemmingford in Montérégie with his family from Beauce last week.
Hard to believe when you look at the prices for hotel rooms: 561 dollars per night in the humble Hilton in Quebec, for example. This is a room for four people with two beds queen.
Surprisingly, the same room at the Montreal Hilton is worth $268 a night.
All in the same boat
Add to that the exorbitant gas prices, which are also more expensive in Quebec than almost anywhere else in North America, especially in our Ontario neighbors.
“People will be making two stops instead of the four planned on the itinerary,” a CAA Quebec spokesman said earlier this week of the 2022 vacation.
Again, we have no trouble believing it when we look at the price at the pump, which remains at an average of $193.3 for a liter of regular gasoline on Quebec soil.
But whether you sleep in the hotel or drive, everyone is in the same boat.
The median annual income for families with at least one child in Quebec in 2019 was $94,040.
Compared to inflation, the number has not changed in three years.
Quebecers must therefore do more with less, and never as much as during the sacred summer vacation.
All that remains is to wish them the best of luck!
A visit to the Safari Park, which costs almost $300
Photo Francis Halin
Andréanne Richer is a civil servant and mother and lives in Repentigny, in Lanaudière. She chose Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Montérégie to cut costs. In fact, it offers multiple entertainments in one and the same place.
Gas, meals, tickets… Families who are forced to increase their budget from $200 to $300 to see the animals at Parc Safari are feeling the increasing financial pressure.
The Journal of Montreal
“Everything went up, so you don’t want to, you have to cut somewhere, like the holidays, you have to come and play with it a bit,” says Ylanka Moreau, who is on vacation while her son Jayden is away from daycare.
“Going to Parc Safari just for dinner must cost $70 for two people and a two-and-a-half-year-old child,” she says under the blazing sun.
At her side, in the crowded parking lot of Parc Safari, her partner Guillaume Bégin, who has taken two days off with his family, is already thinking about going to bed so as not to end up in the water at night. .
“We used to find rooms for $100, $150, $179, but now it’s pretty rare to find anything under $200,” he points out.
At Parc Safari, children under the age of two are free, but you will have to pay $14.99 for infants (2-3 years) and $31.99 for 4-12 years. For youth and adults, it costs $48.99 per person.
“With admissions, gas and food, we have to make do with 250 dollars,” says Andréanne Richer, a pregnant Lanaudière officer, whom we spoke to at the entrance to the park near the musicians.
In order to reduce costs, the mother of the family chose Parc Safari because the place offers multiple entertainment options in the same place.
“We’re trying to do paid places for children, like here, where there’s water and activities like the zoo,” says the family’s mother.
A little further on, Mohamed Rouissi, accompanied by his wife and three children, also put his departure at several hundred dollars.
“With food, gas and all, it’s a $300 release. That’s a lot of money,” concludes the man, who says he sees prices exploding everywhere.
The fags get it, but not the rest
Photo Francis Halin
Sylvain Rathé, who owns a market in the small town of Saint-Philippe, feels his customers are no closer to their pennies than before.
An owner of a market in Saint-Philippe in Montérégie is still seeing as many holidaymakers as before spending their money at home, with the exception of cigarettes, where he has noticed a drop in recent months.
The Journal of Montreal
“People spend like they used to. If they want beer, they buy beer,” sums up Sylvain Rathé, owner of the Market, which looks like a general store, in Saint-Philippe, in the RCM of Roussillon.
“The only area where I feel a drop is in cigarettes. They are made expensive. People are more careful,” shares the man who has set up a business with five campsites in the heart of the city.
The giant Couche-Tard has also found this, as Le Journal reported last month: With inflation, smokers are more likely to resort to contraband cigarettes.
“In Canada we saw a little more pressure in the cigarette category. There seems to be a change due to the black market,” noted CFO Claude Tessier.
Couche-Tard says there may also have been some surges in tobacco use during the pandemic, which has since dissipated.
But despite the shortness of breath for cigarettes, Sylvain Rathé’s market on Route Édouard VII in Saint-Philippe is teeming with vacationers, who rush by to buy McCain cakes, pies and his “Pizza Québec”.
“I don’t see many people saying: I’ll take the cheapest. They’re still on the way,” observes the man between two orders.
At the checkout, between sunscreen, aloe and hats, the owner of the Kiez grocery store, who took over the business in 2001, has no impression that holidaymakers are any more reserved than they used to be.
Even if the cans, like the peas, have a 30 cent or 40 cent surcharge, the customers don’t rob themselves.
“It doesn’t take long, a small purchase of $60 or $65, bacon, eggs, cereal. There is no impact. I think people carry on according to their habits,” concludes the businessman.
Last May, the Association des Marchands Dépanneurs et Épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ) expressed disappointment that the Trudeau government’s budget did not include anything specific to cap the fees charged to merchants by large credit card transactions.
Holidays much less rich in activities, for lack of funds
Photo Helene Schaff
Eric Bernatchez and Audrey Jacques spend the summer season with their respective families at a campsite in Montérégie. That year, due to inflation, they had to change certain habits, including reducing the length of stay.
Fewer excursions, fewer restaurants, less time… When everything gets more expensive and the vacation budget is tight, families have no choice but to do less than usual.
The Journal of Montreal
With gas prices soaring, Eric Bernatchez is all the happier to have his spot at a campsite in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montérégie, every summer.
“It’s cheaper than going outside,” explains the maintenance worker at the Société des Transports de Montréal. Here we are good, it avoids weekends in Pointe-Calumet or Saint-Sauveur which would cost more. »
This year the father of the Laval family has to cut some holiday spending while prices are all rising.
“It made $150 at the restaurant at five. We used to do two restaurants a week, now it’s more like one every two weeks,” comments the camper.
A CAA Quebec survey of Quebecers’ travel intentions conducted in the spring shows that Eric Bernatchez and his family are not alone in this situation: 43% of Quebecers said that the rise in gas prices would affect their vacations.
Nicolas Ryan, director of public affairs at CAA Quebec, points out that “the desire to travel this year is strong, but there are changes in the distance of the itinerary, the trip once at the destination, and the expenses for food and entertainment “.
The rest of the year too
And in order to be able to continue to afford the vacation, be it for the rest of the year, which they will “do without a little”.
Eric Bernatchez says he and his family will be going to the movies less often and going out with family or friends less to compensate.
Audrey Jacques, a resident of Laval, also spends every summer at the campsite. When she hears her friend talking about trips next to her, the young mother says with a certain nostalgia: “The family dinner on Sunday was like a ritual. But we don’t go there anymore. Whether we are on holiday or not, everything has increased, so we have to reduce.”
Leave less time
The other family tradition, where the kindergarten teacher regretfully had to make cuts, is the summer week in Gaspésie, the region of origin of her spouse.
“Because of the price of gas, we shorten the time. With inflation, the budget did not pass, it took two days off. We will leave for five days instead of a week,” she explains.
This Saturday they will therefore be leaving for Carleton-sur-Mer with their three- and five-year-old toddlers. Eight hours on the road without the usual overnight stay in Rivière-du-Loup. This saves you two hotel nights and allows you to take a boat trip around Rocher Percé despite everything.