Why So Many Americans Skimp on Summer Vacation
Life + Money

Why So Many Americans Skimp on Summer Vacation

Warner Bros

Just over half of Americans are taking a family vacation this summer, but they’re still not using up the vacation time given to them by their employer.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said that they get paid off time at work, but only a third of them are using all of their available days, according to a study by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Only 17 percent of people use most of their vacation days, and 12 percent don’t use any.

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Of the 43 percent of Americans who aren’t planning to take a summer vacation, about half cite cost as the main reason for staying put, although 12 percent say they plan to travel during another time of year. A tenth of those surveyed say that they can’t take time off from work.

Most of those who do get away try to use the time to disconnect. Six in 10 vacationers said they don’t check in with work at all while on vacation, and a third of people completely disconnect from the internet and social media.

More than seven in 10 people say that resting and relaxing is important to them when they’re on vacation. Among those surveyed, 55 percent enjoy sightseeing, and more 51 percent value time experiencing local culture and cuisine.

One activity that’s less universally loved: visiting family. More than half of people with young children don’t consider a trip to see family a true vacation, and less than half say that it’s an important aspect of their summer vacation.

The survey 1,022 American adults was conducted in May 2017 by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.