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Cottage Commuting this Summer? Helpful Tips to Minimize Cries of “Are we there yet?”

MasterCard® PayPass survey reveals more than half of cottage commuters spend up to three hours on the road to escape the city

TORONTO, July 15, 2009 – Isn’t it ironic that driving away from the city to escape traffic can mean you’re driving right into it?  MasterCard PayPass today launched the Cottage Commute Survival Guide – a series of tips to help Canadians make the most of the inevitable slow drive to cottages, cabins and camping grounds across the country.

A new MasterCard PayPass survey reveals that 54 per cent of Canadian cottagers drive up to three hours to get to their summer destination, so it’s important to keep car mates from getting cranky and keep the pleas of “are we there yet” at bay. The guide offers tips on what to bring, games to play and how to cope with traffic.

“Ensuring your cottage commute is a safe and happy one is all about having a good strategy, which means packing what you need, checking the weather for optimal driving conditions and filling up your gas tank before you hit the road,” says Julie Wilson, Director, Public Affairs, MasterCard Canada. “Canadians know that getting more time to spend with their family and friends or just simply get away from it all is priceless.”

Are We There Yet?
Keeping your passengers and yourself entertained during the drive up to your country getaway isn’t an easy task, especially if you have a long way to go. Among those surveyed, Albertans have the longest commute in the country at 4 hours or more (44 per cent), followed by British Columbians (19 per cent) and Ontarians (17 per cent) who both take about 3 to 4 hours to reach the cottage.

From bumper to bumper traffic and bad weather to backseat chaos and getting lost, commuters face a number of obstacles on the way to the cottage. Tips from the Cottage Commute Survival Guide include:

  • Make those lists and check them twice
    From groceries and sunscreen to bug spray and antihistamines, make a list of all the things you’ll need to bring to make your stay at the cottage a dream getaway and not a summer nightmare.
  • Gas up!
    Fill up your tank before you leave to save some time and while you’re at it, make sure your tires are inflated.
  • Map it out
    Nothing can drain energy out of a road trip faster than getting lost. According to Cottage Commuters, men (11%) are more than twice as likely as women (4%) to get lost when heading to the cottage.
  • Unblock road blocks
    Only 50 per cent of surveyed Canadians heading to the cottage check to see if traffic and/or accidents will threaten to deflate their cottage commute. Check local traffic and weather reports for construction delays, accidents, congestion and thunderstorm warnings.

“Each year, thousands of like-minded Canadians head out onto our highways – and often come to a full stop,” adds Wilson. “This survival guide will safely cut down your cottage commute time so that you can fast-forward to the weekend. Of course, getting home is another story.”

To download the complete MasterCard PayPass Cottage Commute Survival Guide go to
www.mastercard.ca/paypass.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Harris.Decima on behalf of MasterCard Canada from June 11-14, 2009. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,006 Canadians ages 18+. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20.

About MasterCard PayPass
MasterCard PayPass continues to gain strong momentum worldwide. As of Q1 2009 there are nearly 55 million PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 146,000 merchant locations worldwide. There are currently PayPass programs in 29 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Canadians can currently use PayPass at Coca-Cola vending machines, Rabba Fine Foods, Cineplex Odeon, Tim Hortons, Petro-Canada, Pioneer Petroleums, McDonald’s Restaurants and Loblaw Companies stores across Canada.

® MasterCard PayPass is a registered trademark of MasterCard Worldwide.

For more information, please contact:

Olivia Yu
416-969-2718
oyu@environicspr.com