Expedia.com recently commissioned its fifth annual 'Vacation Deprivation' survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R), and uncovered that Americans are likely to give back more than 421 million vacation days in 2005, with each employed U.S. adult anticipated to leave an average of three vacation days on the table this year. In fact, nearly a third (31 percent) of Americans reported that they do not always take all of their vacation days, despite almost half (48 percent) admitting that they come back from a vacation feeling rested, rejuvenated and reconnected in their personal life.
'Americans' state of Vacation Deprivation is unfortunately becoming a disturbing trend -- one with a definite price tag,' says Kari Swartz, Expedia.com product manager for leisure travel. 'This year alone, the value of the vacation days that Americans are projected to give back is estimated at almost $54 billion.'
This year for the first time, Expedia(R) expanded its popular survey internationally and reached out to the working populations of Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands to uncover how they utilized their vacations. Compared to other countries included in the survey, Americans' vacation attitudes and habits definitely stood out as an anomaly. For example, U.S. workers received the least amount of vacation days (12 on average), were most likely to work over 40 hours a week (35 percent), and tied with Canada for giving back the most vacation days per person (3 days on average). This paints a very bleak picture that hopefully will inspire Americans to adopt the more healthy vacation habits demonstrated by the other countries included in the survey:
• France wins the distinction for being the vacation champions, with each employed adult receiving an average of 39 days and with nearly half (45 percent) taking at least one 3-4 week vacation a year.
• German workers are vacation lovers too, receiving an average of 27 vacation days, with 56 percent reporting that they always take all of their vacation days.
• Employed workers in the Netherlands receive an average of 25 vacation days each year, with the majority (62 percent) planning on taking at least one vacation lasting up to two full weeks.
• Adults employed in Great Britain may receive the least amount of vacation days in the European countries surveyed (23 days), but they definitely appreciate each and every vacation day ... and then some, with 40 percent saying that they'd sacrifice a day's pay to get an extra day off.
• Employed Canadian adults receive an average of 20 days of vacation -- easily beating out their neighbors to the South. And more than half (54 percent) use all of their vacation days.
So, when Americans do get around to vacationing, what do they do? According to the survey, it's all about the family: Almost a third (31 percent) say that they spend most of their vacation time traveling with their immediate family and 27 percent say that they visit out of town family and relatives. Plus, 38 percent of U.S. adults anticipate using the majority of their vacation time for 2005 by taking one full week and then using the remaining days throughout the year.
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