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Jul 28, 2014

'Vacation deprivation' getting worse: Survey

People averaging 15 days off this year, down from 17
    
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Vacation deprivation — defined as not having enough vacation time or not using some or all of one’s vacation allotment — is getting worse in Canada, according to an Expedia.ca survey. On average, people said they’ll take 15 vacation days this year, down from 17 days last year.

And 18 per cent said they won’t take all the vacation days they are entitled to in 2014, while 13 per cent said they’ll take less time off this year than last (up from nine per cent in 2013), found the survey of 1,001 adults.

The majority of those feeling vacation-deprived (59 per cent) said it’s because they don’t get enough vacation time. On average, people said they need an additional eight days to be satisfied with their yearly vacation allotment (for a total average annual allotment of 24 days).

Work interference

Work demands often play a role when it comes to people not using all their vacation time — 37 per cent of respondents said they have cancelled or postponed vacation plans because of work.

And when they do get away, they’re having an increasingly hard time disconnecting from the office. Thirty-eight per cent said they regularly or constantly check work email or voicemail while on vacation — up from 27 per cent last year.

Vacation benefits

But 93 per cent of Canadians said they feel relaxed and rejuvenated when they get home from a vacation. Eighty-seven per cent said they feel closer to their partners or their family, and 78 per cent report being more focused at work after a vacation, found the survey.

Vacationing was chosen as the number one experience for generating happiness (by 48 per cent of respondents), far more than finding money (16 per cent), receiving a tax refund (13 per cent), being told you look younger than you are (eight per cent) or celebrating your birthday (seven per cent).

“Vacations can lower blood pressure and ease stress and tension in the body. They give us the time to reconnect with spouses, partners, family members and friends, and we return to work rejuvenated and better able to focus — and all of that translates into stronger feelings of well-being,” said David Posen, stress specialist and author of Is Work Killing You? “Vacations are a prescription for health, stress relief, more energy, improved productivity and overall happiness.”

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