The title of this post certainly stands out. Americans Not Big on Vacations. .Last year, we looked at Americans’ vacation time compared with workers in other countries.

Americans Not Big on Vacations

Now, we further consider how many vacation days go unused in the United States.


Unused Days Off: Americans Not Big on Vacations

To sum things up. (1) On average, Americans get fewer days off than those in other countries. And (2) give up a lot of days off to which they are entitled.

For instance, consider this chart from Statista. In fact, as Niall McCarthy reports: “The U.S. remains the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation. Even though some companies are generous and provide their employees with up to 15 days of paid leave annually, almost one in four private sector workers does not receive any paid vacation, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.”

Americans Not Big on Vacations


In addition, according to Niall McCarthy for Statista:

“It might then come as a surprise to hear that U.S. workers managed to waste 768 million paid vacation days last year despite their miserable vacation allowance. The U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos published the data which showed that out of the 768 million unused days, 236 million were completely forfeited with $65.5 billion lost. 55 percent of American workers failed to avail of all their vacation last year. On average, people took 17.4 days off. Furthermore, Americans used just over half of their paid time off work for travelling .”

Americans Not Big on Vacations

3 Replies to “Americans Not Big on Vacations”

  1. As my view, a basic point of paid vacation in my mind is: large companies especially some famous groups like Amazon, Google, Apple and so on may very generous in employees’ well-being like paid vacations. As I know, one of my friend who work for Amazon said they have many paid vacations which could be used and easily to do it. On the other hand, little business prefer to stingy in the same situation. One of the significant reason for this maybe: little firms have less resource to provide paid vacation or on the other word, they need their employees to keep on working because their work cannot be easily replace temporarily, because they do not have sufficient staff to be used. Another reason maybe, in actually, employees in little business take heavily burden in working, they can hardly ask to their boss for even no-paid vacation, I have some friends who work in private firms complaint about their employers always refuse to their vacation requests.

  2. Personally I believe that it should be mandatory for companies to guarantee their employees some paid vacation time. These statistics prove that workers do not take advantage of what they are offered, so why wouldn’t companies offer it? I believe it allows for a healthy work environment, just knowing your employer cares about your mental health and making sure you are not over worked. My manager from my internship last summer explained to me that the company is now pushing people to make use of their paid off time and when they are on vacation, to not work remote. I think this is so important! They are an international company and like the stats show, other countries care strongly about paid vacation. I think it could improve peoples motivations, benefiting the employees and the company.

  3. The title is most definitely a strong bold statement. Though, the statistics back up the concept that Americans are not big on vacations given permanently forfeited days continue rise YOY. Nonetheless, I’m curious how much culture and societal perception play into Americans being not big on vacations. Perhaps the perceived “American Dream” achievement is pressurizing individuals to believe they need to work as much as possible. Even when PTO is offered. The chart, Vacation: Americans Get a Raw Deal, illustrating the time off in European countries may be attributed to the long established practice to take extended holiday time in August. Circling back to the American way, in some industries, it is hard to not turn on remotely when on vacation as I was one to frequently do that. However, it became a matter of changing my perspective of my work, time, values, and balance. It is rather alarming to read, “the U.S. remains the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation” health is wealth (mental and physical) which could correlate to driving great productivity.

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