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Americans Are Increasingly Vacation Deprived - Insights from Expedia's Latest Report

TL;DR intro

  • Americans are increasingly vacation-deprivedwith 53% not planning to use all their time off. This trend highlights a growing issue of work-life balance in the U.S.
  • Vacation Deprivation in the U.S. is at an 11-year high at 65%.A significant portion of the workforce feels deprived of adequate vacation time.

Expedia's 24th annual Vacation Deprivation Report reveals a troubling trend: Americans are more vacation deprived than ever. Despite having just 12 days off annually, 53% of Americans do not plan to use all their vacation time this year. This level of vacation deprivation, defined as the feeling of not having enough time off, has reached an 11-year high of 65% in the United States, even as other countries report declines.

Global Lessons in Leisure

The report compares vacation habits across various countries, uncovering significant differences. While American and Japanese workers receive a similar number of vacation days each year (12 and 11 days respectively), Japan has the lowest vacation deprivation rate worldwide at 53%. In contrast, Americans are nearly twice as likely to go a year or more between vacations compared to the global average (32% vs. 18%).

Melanie Fish, head of public relations for Expedia Group brands, suggests that Americans could benefit from adopting vacation habits from other countries. "Although we can't control the number of vacation days, we can certainly learn from other cultures. Japanese workers, for instance, take frequent short breaks, while the French often spread their vacation time throughout the year."

Vacation Strategies from Around the World


Japan's approach to vacations offers valuable lessons:

  • Maximize Weekends: Japanese employees frequently take advantage of public holidays and school breaks to plan short, regular getaways, reducing the need to use their limited paid time off.
  • Focus on Relaxation: Unlike Americans, who often fill their vacations with activities, 84% of Japanese travelers prioritize rest and relaxation, contributing to their lower vacation deprivation rates.


The French have a unique approach to vacations that could be beneficial for Americans:

  • Distribute Vacation Time: Instead of saving up for one big annual trip, French workers tend to spread their vacation days throughout the year, reducing the stress and expense associated with a single extended vacation.
  • Value of Time Off: Despite having a month off annually, 69% of French workers still feel vacation-deprived. This is because they view time off as a fundamental right and essential for health and well-being, a perspective that could shift how Americans approach their vacations.

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Insights from Other Regions

  • Hong Kong: Workers in Hong Kong meticulously plan their leave, ensuring no vacation days go unused. In fact, many plan to take more days off than they are allotted in 2024, reflecting a strong pro-PTO culture.
  • Germany: Despite high vacation deprivation rates (84%), German workers are determined to use all their time off next year, with 77% planning to do so compared to 47% of Americans.

Fish notes that busy lives and the complexities of planning can often hinder people from taking full advantage of their vacation time. However, technological tools like Expedia's Price Tracking and Price Drop Protection can simplify the booking process, reducing stress and encouraging more frequent vacations.

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About the Vacation Deprivation Report

Expedia has been commissioning the Vacation Deprivation Report since 2000 to explore global work-life balance trends. The 2024 study surveyed 11,580 respondents from various countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Conducted by Harris Research Partners, the report has a margin of error of 1-4% at a 90% confidence level.

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