Research shows that taking a trip has numerous benefits on one’s well-being. Not only can just planning a vacation make you happier, but 53% of employed American adults come back feeling refreshed after a trip. That often results in higher levels of productivity, creativity, and overall job satisfaction. But a new poll has found that 43% of Americans aren’t going to be taking a vacation this summer — and the number one reason is that they simply can’t afford it.
The poll, conducted by the Associated Press, found that a huge portion of working Americans won’t be able to take a summer vacation, with 49% of those respondents citing that cost was the barrier. Around 11% said they couldn’t take the time off from work, and 3% said they simply don’t like to be away from their jobs. In addition, 41% of all respondents said they don’t get any paid time off from their employers to use for vacation purposes. Young and lower-income workers, in particular, are less likely to get PTO.
And even if they do get time off, Americans aren’t using all of it. Approximately 14% of workers who get paid vacation time from their work didn’t use any vacation days they had available. Around half of the workers with paid vacation used most or all of their entitled days in the last year.
However, research has found that Arizona residents seem to value time off a little bit more than the rest of the nation. The U.S. Travel Association’s Time Off initiative just released data that shows Arizona ranks third on the list of states with the least unused vacation time: here, 41% of employees leave vacation time on the table.
That sounds like a lot, but not when compared to the rest of the nation. In Idaho, 78% of employees don’t use all of their vacation days. New Hampshire and Alaska have extremely high rates of unused vacation days. In metro areas like Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, CA, 64% of workers don’t take all of the vacation time they’re entitled to.
In the last year alone, American employees gave up $66.4 billion in vacation days they couldn’t take. That time can’t be rolled over or paid out, which means a typical employee lost $604. And 17% of workers across the nation say that their employer gives off mixed or negative messages about employees taking time off.
Americans are currently experiencing record levels of stress, and experts say that taking a break is vital to overall health. So if you have vacation time coming to you, try your hardest to take it. And don’t be tempted to take work with you if you go.