By Andrea Romano
July 03, 2019

Thirty-six percent of Americans took their last vacation over two years ago, and 51 percent have not vacationed in more than a year, according to the 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index by Allianz Global Assistance.

Many previous studies, from a variety of sources, have shown that Americans, especially younger generations, have a hard time getting out of the office and spending some quality time off. Even though we know vacation is good for our mental and physical health, and some of us even get paid vacation time from our employers, the latest numbers on how many U.S. workers are not taking time off is still, well, depressing.

However, Allianz Global Assistance defines a “vacation” as any trip that is at least a week in a destination that is 100 miles or more from home, so there’s no accounting for trips like “micro-cations,” which are increasingly growing in popularity amongst Millennials and Gen X workers. That said, a previous study identified the ideal vacation length as eight days, and for many people that's not happening.

It doesn’t look like 2019 will be a good year for vacation either. According to Allianz Global Assistance, only 42 percent of respondents said they felt confident they would be able to take a vacation this year — the lowest since 2013.

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

You can probably blame all the usual suspects for this vacation deficit as well. Forty-four percent said money was the main reason why they couldn’t take time off, and 19 percent said they wouldn’t want to spend on vacation anyway. Another 12 percent of workers said they didn’t want to take the time off of work. Other reasons include other personal obligations that get in the way of taking time off and the stress of planning a vacation.

But it’s not just employees who are overworking themselves, it’s also the employers. The survey also revealed that 52 percent of U.S. workers say they take about the same amount of vacation time as their bosses do. So, bosses, if you want your employees to use their PTO, you’re going to have to leave the office, too, sometimes. The survey showed Americans are only using 41 percent of their paid time off, while their bosses are using 51 percent.

The survey concludes that American vacations are changing – so much so that week-long vacations could go out of style. Allianz Global Assistance noted that short trips may become even more popular in the future, especially when it comes to making getting away — even for a day or two — more accessible for younger workers.

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