Did you use all of your vacation time each year? I know we certainly don’t have an issue using ours. As fast-paced and crazy as our lives are, we definitely need the time away to spend some quality time together and connect in a way you can’t during the typical 9-5 routine. There is always this chore that needs to be done or this project that needs to be finished. It’s never-ending. I can see why it would be even more important and necessary for families to get away together as a group with some mom and dad time built-in (or maybe even a second get-away).
Most people know how important is to take vacation time, but a new survey from Expedia finds that American workers typically leave four full days of vacation on the table each year – averaging just 11 of the 15 days available to them. Multiply that by the 122 million full-time workers in the country and it works out to 500 million days left unused. Put another way: Every year, we collectively ignore more than 1.3 million years of available vacation.
In another series of consumer surveys conducted by travel website Skift, half of the American workforce left a total of 169 million vacation days on the table in 2014. So what’s keeping us at our desks? Well I decided to do some research and fouled these following reasons to be the biggest culprits of us remaining chained to our desks:
Travel Association reports that four out of 10 workers left their vacation days unused due to the fear of more work or of being replaced when they returned from their time off. Women and young workers were especially guilty of this, as they took fewer vacation days than men and their older co-workers, respectively, though Americans as a whole have always tended to be bad at taking time off. That being said, those who earned higher incomes had a lot less trouble taking time off. In fact, Americans making more than $150,000 used most, if not all of their vacation days.
Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, a financial service provider, says “Vacations tend to suck up money. They tempt people to spend more, save less and take on more debt. By forfeiting some of their vacation days, Americans are trying to eliminate the temptation to spend money,”
According to a recent survey conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by the Radisson hotel chain, heavy workloads and the struggle to pay for travel were some of the primary reasons workers decided not to take more time off.
Business Insider did a study and found that many workers see their managers or colleagues skipping vacations and feel guilty about taking time off themselves. They don’t want to look like they’re not a team player or a slacker.
People also worry that they may need to use the time away from the office for, say, a family emergency or some other unforeseeable event. About 40% of employees in a poll by Creative Group, parent company Robert Half International, said they’re “saving vacation time in case they need it” for some future purpose other than unwinding.
Are you one of those people that never take a vacation? If so, please check out the list below of the benefits of taking a vacation, and use some of those earned hours. Even if it’s only a 3 or 4 day weekend, get out there and enjoy some free time. There’s still a little bit of time left in 2021! Don’t let them go to waste, you’ve earned them. If money is an issue, check out my post for some Money Saving Tips.
- Better physical health
- More productivity
- Closer family relationships
- Newer perspectives
- Increased mental power
- Lower chance of burnout
- Improved mental health
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