Who Gets the Most Vacation Time and Who Takes the Least?

Worldwide, workers don't use 20% of their vacation days, according to Expedia's recently released 2015 Vacation Deprivation study. That amounts to a median average of foregoing five days of rest and recuperation out of an average of 25 possible days.

Worldwide, workers don’t use 20% of their vacation days, according to Expedia’s recently released 2015 Vacation Deprivation study. That amounts to a median average of foregoing five days of rest and recuperation out of an average of 25 possible days. Expedia analyzed the vacation habits of 9, 273 employed adults in 26 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America.

Why would you ever not take your job-given vacation time?

• 19% of workers globally want to “bank” their time off this year so as to have more time off next year.

• 19% cite their too busy work schedules.

• 17% blame the unused days on money concerns.

• 7% feel they will be perceived negatively by their bosses.

Cultural expectations come into play when considering vacations. Offending the boss by going on a holiday is most prevalent in South Korea, where 18% of workers worry about their bosses’ reactions, followed by 13% of workers in India. What nationality is least fearful of ruffling their supervisors’ feathers by vacationing? Those in Finland; just 1% of workers cited such anxiety.

Europeans rate as the least-deprived vacationers. With 30 days a year of paid leave offered to workers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, most stay out of the office between 28-30 days. Italians and Swedes, however, use only 25 of their 30 days.

Vacation deprivation isn’t just a matter of time off; it can be a state of mind. Some 53% of American workers feel “very or somewhat vacation-deprived” but Americans use only 11 of their average 15 days off. Similarly, South Koreans are offered 15 days off, but take only six per year. Despite this self-inflicted deficit, 57% of South Koreans claim to feel “very or somewhat vacation deprived,” a statistic Expedia feels is not far from the global average of 53% of all workers feeling vacation-deprived, no matter what constitutes their vacation package.

Yes, even some of those Europeans with a fat block of 30 paid days out of the office feel like they need more vacation time. Interestingly, workers in the United Arab Emirates typically take all of their 30 days off, yet 76%, the highest number in the study, feel “very or somewhat vacation deprived.”

How do workers spend their time off? Globally, 51% go on short vacations and long weekends versus 32% who opt for one long holiday. In America, 59% take small vacations while 26% save up for a long trip.

As workers, we contradict ourselves. While 53% of workers worldwide feel vacation-deprived, 69% of workers worldwide, and 71% of Americans would choose a pay raise instead of more vacation days.

What would you choose—more vacation or money? Do you take all of your time off? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.