Canadian locals, great food, comfy bed and WiFi - are the key ingredients to a happy vacation, survey finds

  • Canada was voted second (33%) for having the friendliest and happiest locals, just behind Australia (35%)

  • Eight out of ten people say a comfortable bed, a picturesque view (60%), and free WiFi (52%) are the keys to vacation happiness

  • A third (33%) say staying in an apartment or home with locals makes them happiest, while a quarter (24%) say meeting new people on vacation makes them happy

TORONTO – December 15, 2016 – Canadians have always had a reputation for being nice and now it seems they might just be the key to making your next holiday a success.

A recent survey commissioned by[i], the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choices of places to stay, revealed that it’s the locals that can immediately affect our happiness on vacation. A third (33%) said staying with locals makes them happiest, and a quarter (24%) say meeting new people makes them happy. And this happiness is obviously infectious, with almost half (47%) saying they get along better with their partner and family when on holiday.

Canadians ranked second globally for having some of most cheery and relaxed locals. Topping the charts only slightly was our commonwealth friends down under in Australia (35%) and falling in at third were the Italians (29%).

Top 10 countries with the happiest and friendliest locals:









United States








New Zealand




Shawn Achor, BA, MA, Harvard, one of the world’s leading experts on happiness, NY Times bestselling author and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology explains:

“Over a decade of research proves that mind-set and happiness are incredibly contagious. You don't even have to say a word to affect someone else with your optimism. If you find yourself around positive people, you have an increased likelihood of experiencing the world in a positive way as well, which is why friendly locals can have such a significant impact on travel experiences. In addition, this is why we should be encouraged to do rejuvenating activities like go travelling, because when we are more positive, it is easier for other people around us to choose to be positive as well. Scientifically happiness is an interconnected choice.”

Travel happy

After the initial happiness boost of seeing their accommodation for the first time and a fantastic, welcoming reception (38%) there are many holiday elements that people say keep their happiness levels on a high. A quarter (25%) immerse themselves in the local culture, half (48%) say eating delicious food is a winning ingredient for a happy holiday and almost half (45%) say breath-taking scenery is top of their list.

Top 10 ingredients for the happiest holiday:

Delicious local food


Perfect weather


Breath-taking scenery


Amazing accommodation


Smooth travel


Travelling with a partner


Travelling with family


Ticking off a new country


Immersion in the culture


Sleep happy

Of course, it’s not just where you go or what you do that makes for a happy holiday. Where we lay our heads has significant impact on how happy we feel when away. When it comes to accommodation the research reveals a comfortable bed is top of the list for keeping us happy when on holiday (80%), closely followed by a picturesque view to wake up to each morning (60%).

Top 10 accommodation requirements for a happy holiday:

A comfortable bed


A picturesque view


Free Wi-Fi


Nice toiletries


Soft pillows


Great room service menu


Waterfall shower


Complimentary bottle of wine on arrival


Coat hangers and wardrobe space


Mood lighting


“Our travels make the more mundane aspects of our daily lives worthwhile, so it’s important they live up to our high expectations. The research shows just how much emphasis people place on the people they meet and experiences they have when they go away to make the perfect trip. At we know that there are certain key comforts that are a must for any traveller; from a comfortable bed, to the perfect view or just simply being able to access free Wi-Fi. That said, every traveller has their own unique wants and needs. With over one million properties worldwide, 30 different property types to choose from and more than 102 million verified reviews from guests, makes it easy for travellers to find their ‘holiday happy’,” said David Mau, director of product,


About is the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations online. It guarantees the best prices for any type of property – from small independents to five-star luxury. Guests can access the website anytime, anywhere from their desktops, mobile phones and tablet devices, and they don’t pay booking fees – ever. The website is available in over 40 languages, offers over 1M hotels and accommodations including 512,000 vacation rental properties and covers over 95,000 destinations in 227 countries and territories worldwide. It features over 105M reviews written by guests after their stay, and attracts online visitors from both leisure and business markets around the globe. With over 19 years of experience and a team of over 13,000 dedicated employees in 184 offices worldwide, operates its own in-house customer service team, which is available 24/7 to assist guests in their native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience.

Established in 1996, B.V. owns and operates™, and is part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN). Follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, like us on Facebook, or learn more at

[i] Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people from each of the 17 markets who had taken at least 1 domestic or international holiday in the past year. In total, 17,157 respondents (18yrs +) were surveyed from the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Data was collected from 9 September to 4 October 2016.