Which Country's Citizens Take the Least Amount of Vacations in the World?

Which Country's Citizens Take the Least Amount of Vacations in the World?

By Somewhere Beyond Vacations, Jun 24, 2024

The answer to this question, unfortunately, may not surprise you. According to Expedia's 24th annual Vacation Deprivation Report, released last week, roughly half of Americans don't plan on using all their time off this year (53 percent), despite receiving just 12 days off annually—the fewest of any country surveyed.

Expedia has been analyzing time-off trends around the world for 24 years. While American vacation deprivation (defined as the feeling of not having enough time off) has now hit an 11-year high at 65 percent, rates are down in many other parts of the world. It's clear that working adults in the U.S. (and the travel industry itself) could benefit from adopting some of the time-off strategies and attitudes from other countries. Here’s a brief comparison:

Japan: American and Japanese workers take a similar number of days off each year (11 and 12, respectively), but surprisingly, Japan boasts the lowest vacation deprivation levels in the world (53 percent). This could be attributed to Japanese workers taking more frequent, short vacations and prioritizing relaxation during their getaways.

France: No one vacations quite like the French, taking the most days off in the world (29)—2.5 times more than Americans. Culturally, there is an emphasis on the fundamental right to rest, as more French workers view vacations as a basic right (93 percent vs. 83 percent of U.S.).

Hong Kong: Hong Kong was the only market surveyed where respondents didn't leave vacation days unused but took more time off on average than they were allocated. Fifteen percent vow to do it again in 2024, the highest globally.

"We may not be able to control how many days off we get, but the research begs the question: What can we learn from other countries that will help Americans break this horrible habit of not using the time off we do have?" said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. "In Japan, people take time off every month instead of just twice a year. For the French, not even a full month of vacation feels like enough time. Clearly, there's a lot for the U.S. to borrow from, whether it's spreading your PTO throughout the year or prioritizing rest on your next vacation."

Expedia first commissioned Vacation Deprivation in the year 2000 to examine the work-life balance of people worldwide. The annual study is currently in its 24th year and was conducted online among 11,580 respondents across the U.S., UK, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The survey took place from March 26 to April 3, 2024, on behalf of Expedia by Harris Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. Responses were gathered using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels.

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