Find out if your vacation habits stack up with the rest of America's.

By Elizabeth Preske
August 08, 2018

Project: Time Off, a U.S. Travel Association campaign that seeks to prove the importance of vacation, conducts a survey every year to get a state-by-state picture of America's vacation habits. This year, the coalition interviewed over 4,300 full-time employees to find out which states take the most — and least — amount of paid time off, and how each state utilizes their time when they get the chance to escape the daily grind.

The results are now in, and Project: Time Off reported that Colorado residents are the best in the U.S. at taking vacation. Whereas the average American takes approximately 17 days off each year, Coloradans reported using 20.3.

Following closely behind are Virginia and Arizona, where residents take about 19 days on average.

Montana residents, on the other hand, take the least amount of vacation, using an average of 16.3 days a year. Rhode Island and Delaware residents don't fare much better: full-time employees in these two states take only 16.5 days off.

Rather than proving that Montana, Rhode Island, and Delaware are the hardest working states, the data seems to indicate that vacation is viewed in a more positive light in Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona than in the rest of the country. While Americans receive 23 vacation days a year on average, residents in Colorado earn about 28 and residents in Virginia 25. More than half of full-time employees in Virginia also reported working for companies that actively encourage taking vacation time. Meanwhile, Montanans are able to take off an average of 21.8 days each year, while Rhode Islanders and Delawareans get 21.6 days of PTO.

In addition to taking the most time off, Virginians and Coloradans also travel the most during their PTO, according to the report. Compared to the average American, who uses less than half of their vacation days to travel, employees in Virginia spend an average of 12.2 — or 64 percent — of their vacation days on the road. Workers in Colorado and New Jersey fall closely behind, with each taking 11.7 and 11.1 days respectively to travel during their time off.

And the state that travels the least? The average full-time employee in South Dakota uses only 26 percent of their vacation days to travel.

Residents in Missouri and Iowa are also likely to choose staycations: they spend on average 29 percent and 31 percent of their paid time off traveling.

With 64 percent of South Dakota residents feeling stressed at home and 78 percent feeling stressed at work, the case for getting away from the office (and onto a plane) has never been stronger. According to a previous report by Project: Time Off, Americans who use most of their paid time off to travel are significantly happier than those who do not travel. They also reported greater happiness with their work, and were more likely to have been promoted within the last two years.

So whether your company has given you 10 days off or 25, try to maximize your PTO to the fullest extent and get out of town: you and your boss will be much happier for it.