America’s vacation behavior is changing—and for the better.
Employers are showing signs of having more encouraging vacation cultures, and employees are feeling more confident about using the time they earn. There is still a long way to go, with more than half of Americans leaving vacation time on the table. In analyzing how vacation time was spent, the data shows an unmistakably strong correlation between travel and happiness that forces the question, does the function of the time or the time itself have a greater impact?
Total unused vacation days annually
American workers accumulated 705 million unused days in 2017, up from 662 million days the year before.
American employees with unused vacation time
52 percent of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017.
Average number of vacation days taken in 2017
Americans used nearly a half-day (.4 days) more of vacation than the previous year, bringing the national average up to 17.2 vacation days taken per employee.
Vacation days get forfeited annually
In 2017, Americans forfeited 212 million days, which is equivalent to $62.2 billion in lost benefits.