Let’s face it: Americans neglect vacations
First of all, the average American receives just 10 days of paid time off per calendar year. This figure looks particularly miserly when compared with the generous PTO averages of other countries ranking in the top five globally for GDP: China (16 days), Japan (18 days), Germany (29 days), and the UK (28 days).
Secondly, while most industrialized nations have a federally mandated minimum for vacation days, the United States has no law whatsoever that guarantees any amount of PTO. Employees are instead beholden to the individual vacation policy put in place by their employer.
But perhaps the most startling fact of all is that some 47 percent of American workers didn’t even use up all of their allotted vacation days in 2018, citing a laundry list of obstacles, like having too many deadlines, fearing the backlog they’d return to, feeling pressured by their managers not to take time off, or feeling they don’t have funds to afford the trip they’d want to take anyways.
These trends persist despite decades of research conclusively proving that vacations are crucial for health, happiness, and workplace productivity.