Vacation deprivation is prevalent among global workers, found Expedia. According to its 18th annual Vacation Deprivation study, workers in America took the fewest number of vacation leave in the world in 2018, alongside Japan and Thailand. Receiving 14 vacation days but only using 10, statistics showed that American vacation deprivation level was at a five-year low.
Surveying workers in 19 countries across the globe, Expedia’s report uncovers new attitudes and behaviours driving vacation deprivation and digs deeper into the positive effects of taking time off on mental health and self-image. Among notable findings of the study revealed that more than half (58 percent) workers globally describe themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived, indicating an increase from 53 percent in 2017 and 49 percent in 2016. In the U.S., Gen Z and millennials (18-34) receive two less days on average (12) than any other age group and feel the most deprived (68 percent).
Financial considerations are increasingly becoming a factor for Americans for not taking the vacation days awarded to them. About 54 percent respondents felt that they cannot afford a trip (up 11 percent from 2017), this number is higher than any other country surveyed except South Korea. Besides finances, other factors that hinder workers from taking vacation days include the desire to bank vacation days (23 percent) and inability to get time off work (17 percent).
Global head of communications for Brand Expedia Nisreene Atassi said, “One of the leading reasons people don’t use their vacation days is that they’re saving them for a big trip, which means they’re going longer and longer between vacations. Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can significantly improve quality of life. 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.”
Taking vacation is known to boost self-esteem and confidence, but how long does one need to get away to reap the benefits of vacation? The study uncovered good news for those scarce on funds or time. First, whether taking a long vacation (week or more) or a short one (2-3 days), post-trip people liked themselves more, felt more confidence in their ability to solve problems and felt more hopeful and outgoing. Second, longer vacations seem to yield slightly better outcomes, with each positive result seeing a roughly 10 percent boost compared to the 2-3-day trip.
On this matter, Atassi said, “A wellness-centric trip doesn’t have to mean a spa or yoga retreat, although those are popular options. For most of us, recharging simply means we need to disconnect and slow down. 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 overschedule your days.”