All signs point to a banner summer for the travel industry, but because of the nation’s “Vacation Deprivation” mindset, millions of working Americans likely will linger at the office instead of lounge by the pool. According to the fourth annual survey by Expedia.com
, at least 30 percent of employed adults give up vacation time they’ve earned. In the process, Americans are handing back 415 million vacation days to their employers. On average, every employed American misses out on three days of vacation, up 50 percent from the two days they each forfeited in 2003. Results also suggest that “working vacations” are standard, with a third of respondents (32 %) checking office voicemail or email while away on holiday.
But hope lies in the Midwest! Expedia®‘s survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, reveals Midwesterners outshine the rest of the nation when it comes to maintaining work/life balance. According to the survey results, Midwesterners are the least likely to:
Work more than 40 hours per week- only 46 percent do, compared to 51 percent of national respondents;
Forgo vacation- less than a quarter (24 percent) leave vacation time on the table, compared to 30 percent nationally;
Cancel or postpone vacation due to work - 30 percent would, versus 38 percent of national respondents; and
Check voicemail or email on holiday - 22 percent do, versus 32 percent of national respondents.
“We take our hats off to the heartland for successfully balancing pressures at the office with the realization that leisure time is important, too,” said Stuart MacDonald, senior vice president of marketing and packages at Expedia.com. “Expedia has seen a growing trend of Americans leaving more and more vacation on the table. Summer’s here and we can’t imagine a better time to make vacationing a higher priority on everyone’s to-do list.”
“Expedia’s recent Travel Quotient quiz showed that most Americans consider themselves to be Intrepid Explorer-type travelers, but it seems as if many of them aren’t exploring anything but their offices,” said Joe Robinson, author of “Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life”(www.worktolive.info). “Our lack of vacationing as a nation has far-reaching implications both economically and socially, and could potentially put the well-being of millions of Americans at risk.”
To see full survey results go to www.expedia.com