40 per cent of Canadians feeling ‘vacation-deprived’

One-quarter carrying over unused vacation days: Survey

Working Canadians wish they could have as many vacation days as their counterparts across the Atlantic, according to an Expedia.ca survey.

Canadians will receive an average of 17 vacation days this year but respondents said they would actually be happy with 30 vacation days. Europeans averaged 25 to 30 days vacation days per calendar year, according to a similar global study conducted by Expedia in 2012.

Forty per cent of respondents consider themselves to be suffering from “vacation deprivation,” found the survey of 1,502 working adults.

And more than one-quarter (27 per cent) are carrying over unused vacation time from last year. The top reason cited by respondents for not using all of their vacation days was being too busy at work and not having enough staff resources to cover off responsibilities while away (13 per cent).

“Vacation time helps reduce stress and holds a range of benefits for both our physical and mental well-being,” said Beverly Beuermann-King, a work-life balance expert. “A break from the grind can help lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety and let you get the proper rest that’s so important to our overall health. Plus, holidays make us happy — which obviously benefits our mental well-being as well.”

Other notable findings of the 2013 Expedia.ca Vacation Deprivation Survey:

•Younger employed Canadians (aged 18 to 34) feel vacation deprivation the most. One-half of them were more likely to feel very or somewhat vacation-deprived compared to 38 per cent of those 35 to 54 and 25 per cent of those over 55.

People in Ontario feel vacation-deprived the most, at 46 per cent, followed by those in British Columbia, at 43 per cent. Quebecers feel the least deprived, with only 27 per cent stating they feel very or somewhat vacation-deprived.

More than one-half of respondents (56 per cent) said they have never cancelled vacation plans because of work. B.C. residents were most likely to have cancelled (52 per cent) in comparison to Alberta (44 per cent) and Ontario and Quebec (both at 41 per cent).

Disconnecting from work is still a challenge for employed Canadians: 61 per cent said they at least sometimes check their office email or voicemail while on vacation while 39 per cent never do. Quebecers are most likely to check in, with 35 per cent saying they “constantly” or “regularly” do while Atlantic Canadians are least likely to, at only 18 per cent.

A strong majority (80 per cent) feel their boss is supportive of them taking a holiday, up from 72 per cent in 2012.

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