Do Americans really want to unplug when they go on vacation? Digital detox packages and Wi-Fi-free rooms have been buzzed about for years as we’ve become increasingly connected. But is that what travelers really want?

The Tethered Vacation looks at employee behavior and attitudes when it comes to bringing the office on vacation. It turns out the out-of-office message may just be a front.

Here are three numbers you need to know:

78 percent
For some people, having the peace of mind that their cubicle isn’t on fire helps them to better enjoy the moment. Project: Time Off’s survey found that 78 percent of employees want to have access to work if they choose to. In practice, most vacationers check-in with work occasionally (46 percent) while smaller percentages (27 percent) are logging on frequently or taking the step to disengage entirely.

One in five
Nearly one in five employees (19 percent) rank vacation as the top benefit from their employer—second only to health care (36 percent). Vacation beats out retirement plans (17 percent), flexibility (15 percent) and even bonuses (five percent). Now we just need to inspire Americans to use more of the vacation days they negotiate so hard to earn.

23 percent
The added pressure technology has brought to our working lives transcends generation—and Millennials and Gen Xers are more similar than you might assume. While Millennials may be the work martyr generation, it is actually Gen X that is least likely to unplug on vacation (23 percent compared to 28 percent of Millennials) and say they feel more comfortable taking time off knowing they can connect to work (82 percent, compared to 77 percent of Millennials). While Millennials (32 percent) slightly edge out Gen X (29 percent) as the most connected employees—those who check in frequently.

The numbers show that perhaps the unplugged vacation was merely a fad. It’s up to the travel industry to provide vacation ideas and experiences that get American workers forgetting about the mountain of work awaiting them and enjoying the moment right in front of them. Interested in learning more? Read the full report.

The growth of domestic travel is central to U.S. Travel’s overall mission. We support policies to improve travel infrastructure and national parks, among others, and foster programs and research that encourage increased domestic travel.

In the fall of 2018, U.S. Travel folded its domestic leisure-focused Project: Time Off initiative into an expanded public affairs portfolio, enhancing the association’s advocacy and research on domestic travel. Analysis that informs and advances this area of focus—including tracking America’s vacation usage and its benefits to travelers—is included in U.S. Travel’s research and messaging platforms for our members’ use and in support of activations such as National Plan for Vacation Day.

U.S. Travel

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