Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Costa Rica for a two-week vacation with his family.

The Prime Minister’s Office says the family is returning to the same place where they stayed over the Christmas holiday in 2019 and that they are paying for their own accommodations.

The prime minister must fly on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane for security reasons — even for personal travel — and the family’s flights on the last trip to and from Costa Rica cost the government about $57,000, without thousands more spent on flight crews’ stay in San Jose.

That said, there have been exceptions to those flight rules. Earlier this summer, for example, Trudeau flew on an RCAF aircraft to Munich, Germany to participate in the G7 summit but he was flown to the summit site in the Bavarian Alps on a German police helicopter. That exception was cleared with the the appropriate authorities according to senior PMO aides.

Story continues below advertisement

But in 2017, Trudeau used an RCAF jet to fly from Ottawa to Nassau, The Bahamas and, from there, flew on a private helicopter to the Bahamas island owned by the Aga Khan. Trudeau did not clear that flight with the appropriate authorities. That flight along with the free vacation he received from the Aga Khan was subsequently found by Parliament’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to be a violation of federal conflict of interest laws.

The PMO says it consulted with the office of the ethics commissioner about the coming holiday.

The PMO says Trudeau will get regular briefings while he is away.

– with files from David Akin

© 2022 The Canadian Press