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Photo via Expedia/Hot or Cold travel deals
Photo via Expedia/Hot or Cold travel deals

The end of the year is approaching fast, and if you’ve got some extra vacation time to use or lose, consider this a friendly reminder to get on that.

Expedia released the results of its “2015 Vacation Deprivation Study,” and no surprise, Europeans rule when it comes to taking holidays.

Americans, however, still suck at this. In 2015, we were offered, on average, 15 days off — and took 11. Expedia states that with about 122 million full-time workers, that amounts to 500 million unused vacation hours on the table.

It’s not surprising that Expedia reports that “53 percent of Americans feel they are ‘somewhat or very’ vacation deprived.”

Photo via Expedia/Coronado Beach Resort, California
Photo via Expedia/Coronado Beach Resort, California
This is so much worse than 2014’s results, in which Expedia found that “U.S. workers were given approximately 15 days off in the past year, and took 14.”

Who works the most and takes the fewest days off? South Koreans. As the “world’s most vacation deprived workers,” they have 15 days and only take only six.

To compile the 2015 data, Expedia looked at the the vacation habits of 9,273 employed adults in 26 countries. It’s the 15th year of the study.

Of course, many European countries offer many more vacation days — 30 days in many — than our paltry, pathetic two weeks here in America. But Europeans also tend to have a much healthier attitude about work/life balance and don’t have the “guilt” we Americans do at taking time off.

“Workers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are all offered 30 days off,” Expedia reports. “The Germans, French, Spanish and Finnish use nearly all of those days, while the Danish take 28, Italians take 25 and Swedes take 25. Brazilian policies echo Europe’s; Brazilians take nearly all 30 vacation days available to them.”

Why aren’t we vacationing?

Photo via Expedia/The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Photo via Expedia/The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Expedia found that while some workers are rolling hours over (19 percent), the same percentage cite “busy work schedules” as a reason to not use all their days.

The saddest reason of all? Seven percent worry that “taking all of my vacation” will be frowned upon by their employer, which is most prevalent in South Korea and India.

There are a ton of other interesting findings that go along with the study, including how we vacation — short chunks (59 percent of Americans just take “mini-breaks”) vs. long ones (only 26 percent take a longer break) — and that we Americans would rather make more money (71 percent) than get more vacation time (29 percent).

Even when we do take a vacation, we’re not completely off. Worldwide, a quarter of workers admitted to checking work email while on holiday.

One thing that was universally true? Most of the world’s workers — 85 percent — reported “somewhat or strongly agreeing” that they felt happier after a vacation.

Check out Expedia’s full “Vacation Deprivation” list below:

Country  Vacation Days Offered   Days Taken  Number Unused
 Australia  20  18  2
 Austria  25  25  –
 Brazil  30  30  –  
 Canada  15  15  –
 Denmark  30  28  2
 Finland  30  30  –
 France  30  30  –
 Germany  30  30  –
 Hong Kong  15  15  –
 India  20  15  5
 Ireland  21  20  1
 Italy  30  25  5
 Japan  20  12  8
 Malaysia  14  10  4
 Mexico  15  12  3
 Netherlands  25  22  3
 New Zealand  20  15  5
 Norway  25  25  –
 Singapore  15  14  1
 South Korea  15  6  9
 Spain  30  30  –
 Sweden  30  25  5
 Thailand  10  10  –
 UAE  30  30  –
 USA  15  11  4
 UK  25  25  –


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