Summer Vacation Habits Across the Globe (Infographic)

Americans work hard, yet many let their earned vacation time go to waste. Let’s explore some of the reasons why many Americans don’t use all of their vacation time and compare our habits to other countries across the globe. Vacations can lower stress, improve interpersonal relationships and motivate us to be more productive at work.

An infographic about vacation habits.

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Work-life Balance and Vacation Time in the U.S.

Americans are stressed and under heavy pressures at work

  • 61% report that their jobs are a source of significant stress in their lives (1)
  • 50% have spent some of their free time working in order to keep up with job demands (2)
  • 66% report working at a high-speed pace and under tight deadlines at least half the time (2)
  • 31% find it somewhat or very difficult to adjust their work schedule to accommodate personal matters (2)

Stress, long hours and poor work-life balance deserve time off, but . . . (2)

  • In 2017, over half, 52%, of American workers left paid vacation days unused
  • 17.2: Average number of vacation days taken by Americans in 2017

Older generations are more likely to use their time(3)

  • 14.5: Average days used by millennials
  • 17.9: Average days used by Generation X
  • 19.8: Average days used by baby boomers

All this unused time adds up to a total of: (3)

  • 705M unused vacation days annually
  • 212M forfeited vacation days annually

Top three reasons for not taking time off (4)

  • Budget: 43%
  • Wanting to save up vacation days for a longer holiday: 30%
  • Not being able to get away from work: 22%

How does the U.S. compare across the globe (4)

Top 5 Countries for Vacation Days Taken
Country Vacation Days Offered Vacation Days Taken Unused Days
Brazil 30 30 0
Finland 30 30 0
France 30 30 0
Germany 30 30 0
Spain 30 30 0
Bottom 5 Countries for Vacation Days Taken
Country Vacation Days Offered Vacation Days Taken Unused Days
U.S. 15 12 3
Mexico 14 12 2
Singapore 15 10 5
Taiwan 14 10 4
Thailand 10 8 2

Benefits of taking time off (4)

  • Almost all Americans (94%) agree that vacation time is important for their health and well-being
  • 91% agree that vacations help them feel closer to friends and family
  • 96% of Americans say they return from vacation happier

Other benefits reported include:

  • 94% lower stress levels
  • 93% feeling better rested
  • 93% better health
  • 90% feeling closer to their partner or family
  • 68% feeling more relaxed at work
  • 60% better attitude at the office
  • 46% more productive
  • 40% more focused

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Sources

  1. http://www.apa.org
  2. https://www.rand.org
  3. https://projecttimeoff.com
  4. https://viewfinder.expedia.com