By Melanie Lieberman
December 23, 2013

With the holidays right around the corner, many Americans are cashing in precious vacation days. And while it may seem that offices across the nation are empty, many employees are still hard at work. With only 14 paid days off, on average, it may surprise you to learn that Americans generally let four of those go to waste every year.

This year, Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation Survey revealed that even though Americans get, and use, less paid vacation time than any other country—they didn’t feel nearly as deprived as others.

A shocking 90 percent of French employees reported feeling vacation-deprived, while only 59 percent of Americans shared the sentiment. But what more could they want? France requires employees to take 30 paid vacation days every year.

There are 24 other countries that have mandatory paid vacation days, but America is not among them. Fortunately, there’s a Paid Vacation Act under consideration that would guarantee America’s workforce one week of paid vacation time every year. But in the meantime, stop stockpiling those vacation days and take a break. Or at least turn off the Blackberry.

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.