Do you miss vacation? You’re not alone. Are you going to take full advantage of your time off this year? Then, you’re also not alone. For the first time in more than two decades, Expedia’s Annual Vacation Deprivation study shows, people are more motivated than ever to pack their bags and hit the road.
Cue the daydreaming about far-off destinations and weekend getaways. Whether it’s adventuring in a tropical location, seeking out a destination untraveled, reuniting with family and friends separated by distance, or simply having time to sit back, relax, and recharge, it appears people are finally ready to take that step this year.
Over the years, the Vacation Deprivation study examined the work-life balance trends of working adults across the globe to bring awareness to the many, many vacation days that go unused. While Vacation Deprivation levels have continued to rise, this year’s study found that globally 81% of people not only value vacation days more than ever, but plan to use more of them. Yes, people are finally ready to take their hard-earned vacation days and use them on life experiences. And we are here for it.
With this new-found appreciation for our favorite employer benefit – could this be the end of Vacation Deprivation as we know it? It’s possible. Just take a look at the U.S. where respondents say they plan to take an extra working week (five whole days!) of vacation some time in 2021.
Let’s talk about some of the surprising (but also, not so surprising) study findings:
- Fewest Days Received, Most Days Left on the Table: Not only did U.S. employees take the fewest number of vacation days (8) in 2020, they also received one of the fewest number of vacation days (13) when compared to other countries surveyed.
- Too Busy for Vacation: Although 92 percent of people believe regular vacations are important for general health and well-being, over half (53%) report that they have been so busy at work it is difficult to use all their vacation days.
- Time Between Vacations Has Grown: One in four (26%) U.S. respondents noted they haven’t taken a vacation in over a year, compared to 16 percent in 2019.
- Using Vacation Time, but Not for Vacation: 47 percent used at least one vacation day in 2020 to care for a sick family member or in lieu of childcare.
- More Cancelled Trips: 42 percent cancelled one or more trips last year due to COVID-19.
Bucket lists are calling. As the hope to be able to travel in 2021 grows, Expedia is already seeing an uptick in people searching for where their next vacation will take them. For spring getaways, Expedia data shows that Americans are searching for warm weather and beaches. These are the destinations garnering the most interest for March and April escapes* with some of our favorite VIP access properties:
Riviera Maya/Playa del Carmen/Tulum
- Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
- Nizuc Resort and Spa
- The Royal Sands All Inclusive Resort & Spa
Puerto Vallarta/Nuevo Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit
- Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa
- Hotel Mousai Puerto Vallarta
- Marival Distinct Luxury Residences All Inclusive
- Grand Solmar Lands End Resort And Spa
- Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences
- Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort
*Top destinations based on Expedia.com lodging searches as of January 8, 2021 for stays taking place in March and April 2021.
With COVID-19, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest travel guidance and restrictions. Find out what to expect, how to find flexible travel and other information on our COVID-19 travel guide page: Expedia.com.