According to online travel group Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation Report, more than half of Australians (53 per cent) are still feeling vacation deprived, with the average Aussie having five days of unused annual leave owing each year.
This is well above our British and American counterparts, who were found to only have one day of unused leave.
For Aussies, that’s a whole work week being left on the table, despite us ranking being on holiday as what makes us the happiest (above finding money, getting a tax refund, celebrating a birthday and being told we look younger than we are).
The survey of 24 countries found that more than nine in 10 global employees also believe taking regular trips is important for general health and wellbeing.
However, just over 2.5 million Australians are missing out on leave entirely, taking no leave days at all, well above the global average of just four per cent.
And the reason for not using all our leave?
You guessed it, work.
Unsurprisingly, work is the number one reason people don’t use all their annual leave. Twenty-one per cent of Australians feel unable to take leave due to work commitments, while 34 per cent admit they’ve cancelled travel plans due to work. And, highlighting the role of work FOMO, nine per cent of Australians are too worried to take leave out of fear important decisions will be made without them.
When it comes to asking for leave, 16 per cent of employees believe they need to be working at a company for three months before taking leave, while 48 per cent said working for one year or longer is acceptable before asking for time off.
Greg Ruebensal, managing director of Expedia Australia and New Zealand says it’s important Australians use all owing leave, and even to make this a resolution for the new year.
“Expedia data shows Australians are becoming more conscious of the benefits of taking a holiday, with the number of short breaks up 41 per cent. However, our Vacation Deprivation Report shows we remain hesitant as a culture when it comes to scheduling time off, falling well behind countries like Germany and Brazil who utilise a majority to all of their entitled leave.”
So if you didn’t get a chance to recharge the batteries over summer, it’s time to start planning a holiday. Show this to your boss if there’s any reluctance.
Main pic: Cristian Bortes via Flickr.