If you find yourself piling up vacation days that you never end up using, you’re not alone. A recently released report by Expedia reveals that American workers receive 14 vacation days on average and only use 10. This translates into 653.9 million unused vacation days across the country in 2018.
It makes sense, then, that this 18th annual Vacation Deprivation study found that global vacation deprivation is on the rise, with the U.S. taking the fewest number of vacation days worldwide in 2018, along with Japan and Thailand.
Why aren’t we taking our full vacation time? According to the report, a big factor is finances: More than half (54 percent) of Americans who haven’t vacationed in the last six months felt like they couldn’t afford a trip — a metric beat only by South Korea.
Other inhibitors included the desire to bank vacation days (23 percent) and the inability to get time off (17 percent).
The study also pointed to the benefits of taking vacation, even a short one close to home. Long and short vacations alike made people feel more confident in their ability to solve problems, as well as more hopeful and outgoing.
For this reason, it is recommended that employees take full advantage of their vacation days and stay disconnected and relaxed while they do so. And you don’t need to spend weeks on the beach to do so.
“Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can significantly improve quality of life,” Nisreene Atassi, global head of communications for Brand Expedia, said. “Aim to schedule a staycation or add an extra day onto a holiday weekend in between longer trips to get the best of both worlds.
“Whether it’s a family vacation or a solo escape, set rules about how often you’re allowed to check email and try not to over schedule your days,” she added.
Expedia commissioned the Vacation Deprivation in 2000 to collect data about the work-life balance of Americans. The study has since grown to encompass 19 countries. In September 2018, 11,144 employed adults were asked about work-life balance by Northstar, a global strategic research firm.
To read more about the results of the report from this year and previous years, visit the Expedia Viewfinder blog.