Survey: Americans are Vacation Deprived, French Aren't

Expedia.com®, an online travel agency, recently commissioned its seventh annual Vacation DeprivationTM survey. Once again, Americans were found to have the worst vacation privileges among all countries surveyed. Despite reporting an average of two more vacation days this year than in 2005 (14 days received on average in 2007 versus 12 days in 2005), 35 percent, or an estimated 51.2 million Americans, will not use all of their vacation days. In fact, they'll leave an average of three vacation days on the table this year, which calculates to U.S. employed adults giving back a total of more than 438 million vacation days in 2007.

It's not that Americans don't see the value in vacation. More than one-third (39 percent) reported they feel more productive and better about their job upon returning from vacation. But the survey found that work responsibilities can be a deterrent to taking vacation, with 19 percent of U.S. adults responding that they've cancelled or postponed vacation plans because of work. Additionally, almost one quarter (23 percent) report that they check work email or voicemail while vacationing, compared with only 16 percent in 2005.

"Spending quality time with friends and family away from the daily grind is good for all of us, and has been proven to yield incredible health and wellness benefits, as well as recharge our work batteries," said Ted Jansen, vice president, retail, Expedia.com. "Americans should take a cue from their foreign counterparts and relish the vacation they work so hard for."

This year, Expedia.com analyzed the vacation habits of employed workers in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and, for the first time, Spain. Among the countries surveyed, Americans receive the fewest vacation days on average per year, earning only 14 days, compared to 24 days in Great Britain, 26 days in Germany, 30 days in Spain, and 36 days in France.

When it comes to making vacation a priority, employed women fare slightly better than their male counterparts. Thirty one percent won't take all of their vacation days, compared to 39 percent of men. Men are also more likely to feel guilty about taking time off from work (39 percent versus 30 percent of women). For complete survey results please visit http://www.expedia.com/vacationdeprivation.

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