GLOBAL VACATION DEPRIVATION AT A TEN-YEAR HIGH, EXPEDIA REPORTS
Despite 72% of Americans feeling the impact of inflation, U.S. travelers say they plan to travel in 2023 “no matter what”
SEATTLE, April 27, 2023 — Today Expedia released its 23rd-annual Vacation Deprivation report, finding that global vacation deprivation levels have reached a 10-year high as working adults navigate inflation, workplace labor shortages and busy schedules. Despite these obstacles, a whopping 81% of travelers worldwide plan to take as many — if not more — trips in 2023, pledging to travel “no matter what.”
The 2023 report polled more than 14,500 people across 16 countries. Key findings on U.S. vacation deprivation include:
- Americans receive and take the fewest vacation days annually compared to the rest of the world. 63% of U.S. working adults report they are vacation deprived, up from last year (59%).
- More than half of U.S. (58%) and global (56%) respondents say their workplace or industry is battling labor shortages, making it challenging to take time off.
- Despite 72% feeling impacted by inflation, Americans continue to prioritize travel. On average, they are twice as likely to cut back on their grocery bills and dining out than consider postponing a vacation.
- Expedia flight data showing searches for summer getaways are up 25% year-over-year indicates Americans are on a path to reduce vacation deprivation in 2023.
- New Expedia tools including Price Tracking & Predictions help vacation deprived Americans reclaim their time off, as nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans say they find booking travel stressful in the search to find the best deal.
“Vacation Deprivation is feeling like you don’t have enough vacation time but it’s a sneakier, more complex syndrome than that,” says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. “Vacation deprivation is also not taking all the vacation time you’re entitled to because planning feels overwhelming. Expedia is really focused on making it easier for travelers to go, whether that's through flexible rates, price tracking for flights or member savings.”
To read more download the global 2023 Vacation Deprivation report here.
Notes to Editor
Visual Assets: Destination images, Global Vacation Deprivation report and infographics available for download.
Additional findings on the state of Vacation Deprivation in the U.S.:
- Millions of American vacation days go unused
- Americans continue to receive and take the least amount of vacation time in the world in 2022, receiving an average of 12 days but taking 11. This was over a week less (8.5 days) than the global average. Vacation deprivation rates this year (63%) are nearly on par with 2021 (64%), when Americans were still reeling from lockdowns and travel restrictions.
- Nearly half (45%) of Americans left vacation days on the table in 2022, while many used their vacation days for reasons other than a vacation: three-in-five (62%) used at least one day for personal appointments, while another 62% used an average of almost two vacation days in lieu of sick days.
- Financial reasons including the rising cost of living was the biggest factor preventing Americans from using all their vacation time, followed by workplace considerations. Labor shortages were the most common workplace obstacle, with many finding it challenging to get someone to cover their work (61%) or worried about their workload on their return (66%).
- Workers seeking flexibility from their employers
- Historically, Americans have received and taken around two weeks of vacation time or less annually since the Vacation Deprivation Report launched in 2000, and this year’s report shows that U.S. workers are ready for a change.
- Nine-out-of-10 vacation deprived Americans feel regular vacations are a basic right (91%) and essential to general health and well-being (92%). And while most Americans feel their employers are supportive of them taking time off, they still overwhelmingly wish their company would improve its time-off policies (72%) or even implement a 4-day work week (82%) to give them more time for appointments, errands and travel.
- The 2023 report also examined the impact of unlimited time-off policies, finding the U.S. workers that receive unlimited time off (12% of respondents) took an additional 3.5 days off in 2022 compared with the national average. They also reported significantly lower vacation deprivation levels (43% vs. 63%), a compelling argument for small changes making a large difference in attitudes.
- Americans continue to prioritize travel
- Looking ahead, U.S. travelers seem determined not to let economic worries hold them back this year, supported by Expedia flight data that shows searches for summer getaways are up 25% year-over-year.
- In fact, a mere 8% of Americans say they plan to take fewer vacation days out of worry about the economy or a recession. Most (62%) actually intend to take just as many trips if not more than last year, while nearly one in five respondents said they plan to travel “no matter what.”
- With all this to consider, it’s no surprise Americans want to be reassured that they are getting the best value when traveling: 66% of those that are vacation deprived also like to shop around for deals, with nearly three-quarters (72%) finding booking travel stressful as they wonder whether they’ve gotten a good deal. To help vacation deprived Americans reclaim their well-deserved time off, the latest Expedia app features have been designed with the traveler in mind. Using Expedia data, AI and machine learning, the in-app features include:
- Price Tracking & Prediction: View price history, receive alerts when prices fluctuate, and understand when prices are likely to change to help take the guesswork out of booking.
- Packages: Book airfare, hotel and car at the same time on Expedia, otherwise known as bundling, to instantly unlock savings.
- Trip planning boards: Launching in June, this collaborative tool takes the stress out of trip planning by allowing groups of travelers to plan the perfect trip together.
- Conversational trip planning: iOS users can use Expedia's new in-app feature powered by ChatGPT to make travel planning easier. Start an open-ended conversation in the Expedia app and get recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do.
About the research:
- Expedia first commissioned Vacation Deprivation in 2000 to examine the work-life balance of people worldwide. The annual study is currently in its 23rd year and was conducted online among 14,527 respondents across North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Commissioned from February 9 to March 3, 2023, on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, responses were gathered using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. Looking at the margin of error for the global average, a 1-4% difference is statistically significant at 90% confidence.
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