The rat race: 34% of Americans don't use up vacation days

I need a vacation! But apparently not everyone feels that way. A recent poll by Expedia.com found that 34% of Americans don't use all of their vacation days each year. When they do take time off from the job, 24% still check their work email or voicemail. Furthermore, 30% of workers experience work-related stress during vacations.

Expedia's annual vacation deprivation survey shows that some of the reasons people don't use up their vacation time include a spouse not being able to get away from their job, receiving money in exchange for unused vacation days and having to schedule time off in advance. Of people polled, 19% said they had canceled or postponed their plans to vacation because of their job.

The poll also found some differences in how men and women deal with time away from the job. About 40% of women said they feel guilty when taking time off, compared with 29% of men. Also, men (12%) were more likely to take two full weeks off from the job, compared with only 8% of women.

The survey compared the amount of vacation time taken in different countries. France led the pack with employed adults taking an average of 36 vacation days each year. Of all countries polled, U.S. workers receive the smallest number of vacation days (13) and on average use up only 11 of them. The Japanese receive an average of 15 vacation days, but 92% of workers don't use all of them.

Although the British receive fewer vacation days than other European countries, they are the least likely to give back the time they earn. The poll found that 79% of British workers use up all their vacation time, followed by 78% of the French, 77% of Spaniards and 76% of Germans.


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