Study: More Americans not using vacation time - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: More Americans not using vacation time


Many workplaces have a “use ‘em or lose ‘em” policy when it comes to vacation days. Don't let the end of the year sneak up on you, experts say it's good for your health to take time-off.

However, new research says it's becoming more common for people to not use their paid time-off.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, people used to take an average of 20 days off a year. Now, that's down to 16 days.

Experts say you're not getting ahead by working through your vacation time.

Everyone's idea of a vacation is different, whether it's adventure, romance or just spending the day at home.

“It depends on what your idea of vacation is,” Shari Elfrink with 1st Class Travel said.

Elfrink said taking that time off can make all the difference.

“Take a day and just regroup and maybe just a mental health day wouldn't hurt every now and then,” Elfrink said.

According to new research, she's right, people who take vacation time are less stressed and more productive.

No one could agree more with that than now retired Judi Payne.

“I did use mine, but I didn't use all of it,” Payne said.

After spending 40 years in the workforce, she said she mainly used her vacation time to take care of her family.

“I took it only when I needed it,” Payne said.

But, unlike some jobs, hers paid her for unused vacation time.

“One hundred seventeen hours I was issued a check for,” Payne said.

She said, still, using some of her time off helped keep her healthier, mentally and physically, but she has some advice.

“Learn your workload, know the company you work for, and don't take advantage of it,” Payne said.

So, whether you're booking a Caribbean cruise or kicking back on the couch, experts and workers agree.

“I can't imagine, if you have paid vacation days that you would not take them,” Elfrink said.

Some people say they don't take their vacation time because they don't think other employees will or can cover for them while they're gone. Others say it's simply because they don't want to get behind.

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