According to the aptly-named "Vacation Deprivation" survey from the online travel site Expedia.com, conducted by Harris Interactive and Ipsos Reid, Americans are, well…vacation deprived.
Compared to workers in other Western countries, US workers earn the least number of annual vacation days and they are the most likely not to use even those few days. In fact, it is estimated that Americans will pass up more than 574 million earned-vacation days in 2006.
The survey found that one third (33%) of Americans do not always take all of their vacation days, despite more than one-third (36%) reporting that they feel better about their job and more productive upon returning from vacation.
"Vacation deprivation in America is at an all-time high," said Sally McKenzie of Expedia.com. "There are incredible health and wellness benefits associated with time off from work. Americans should take a cue from their foreign counterparts and relish the vacation they earn."
To that point, Expedia.com analyzed vacation habits among workers in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France and Australia. Compared to the other countries, at 14 vacation days per year on average, Americans are given fewer days than all the other workers in the study.
Throughout the six years that Expedia.com has conducted the Vacation Deprivation survey, though the US has long-held the dismaying distinction of being the country with the worst vacationing habits, this year the figures were even worse than usual.
On average, Americans are leaving four vacation days on the table this year. That is an extra day of vacation lost in 2006 compared to 2005 (4 days lost versus 3 days) and that is despite an increase in average vacation days received (14 days in 2006 versus 12 days in 2005).
In addition, 19% of US adults said they have cancelled or postponed vacation plans because of work.
Naturally, being in the business they are in, "Expedia.com believes that everyone deserves a great vacation."