Be it by plane, car or otherwise, Canadians made 5.1 million trips outside the country in December, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada.

The figures mark the first time since March 1994 that monthly travel abroad exceeded five million trips, suggesting that Canadian wanderlust is alive and well.

By comparison, StatsCan reports that Canadians made 1.5 per cent fewer trips outside the country in November.

When it came down to choosing an international destination, data shows that many Canadians favoured travelling over land, rather than overseas.

Almost half of the trips abroad in December involved same-day car travel to the United States, according to the StatsCan report.

Additional numbers show it was a banner month for Canadians heading south of the 49th parallel:

  • Canadians made 2.5 million same-day car trips to the U.S.
  • The number of same-day car trips was up 4.2 per cent, the highest monthly level since May 1998.
  • In total, travel by Canadians heading to the U.S. rose 2.2 per cent.

The same, however, cannot be said for travel to countries other than the U.S. Travel to other countries abroad fell to 761,000 trips, a decrease of 2.3 per cent from November.

Gains were modest when it came to the number of tourists who wanted to travel to Canada in December.

StatsCan reported just over 2 million trips from international visitors in December, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the month before.

Visits from Americans residents, specifically, increased 1.5 per cent to more than 1.6 million trips. Statistics Canada attributes this to a rise in same-day car trips.

While U.S. visitors were keen to make Canada a road trip destination, many didn't want to stay the night. There was a 0.4 per cent decline in overnight travel from Americans.

Meanwhile, the data shows overseas residents made 389,000 trips to Canada in December, the highest level since September 2008.

  • In total, travel from overseas residents rose 1.3 per cent
  • Travel from India increased 12.5% to 15,000, the highest level the country has on record.
  • Travel from the Netherlands declined 7.7%, marking the largest decrease.