Nearly 1 in 2 Americans Do Not Use All of Their Vacation Time [Infographic]

Americans get the least amount of required vacation time each year (none for employees with at least 10 years of service) when compared to workers in other developed nations around the world (10-28 days for employees with at least 10 years of service). However, nearly half of Americans do not use all of the small amount of vacation time they are given.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans gave up 226 million vacation days in 2011 with the average worker leaving two unused vacation days on the table. That equates to $34.3 billion worth of time lost on unused vacations.

Those are just a few of the disappointing statistics from an infographic created by Compliance and Safety, which you can see below.


Are you using all of your vacation time? You deserve it!

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on,,,, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics. She holds an MBA in Management and Strategy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

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  1. says

    Thank you for posting this Susan. As a dual citizen of the US and UK I grew up in Europe and not taking vacation would not even enter my head (or that of peers). It is an absurd notion. Since leading teams here in the US for 16+ years I have seen it time and time again where employees don’t plan well to use vacation.
    My observations tell me a couple of things:
    – people don’t plan well enough and if that applies to vacations then what else if poor planning impacting?
    – people overestimate the value to work quantity versus quality. If a person is rested and their mind clear and stress reduced how effective are they versus some exhausted executive?
    Someone said to me once “If an employee in my company can take 2 weeks vacation then we don’t need them in the company!” I was shocked and wondered how else this narrow minded leadership was showing up? Leaders need to see the bigger picture and is it any wonder the stress level and obesity (they are linked) in the US?
    Benefits to vacation – it can cause greater happiness at home which leads to a happier worker!
    A clear rested mind is more productive and innovative. A change of scenery opens up our minds to new ideas and possibilities.

  2. Susan Gunelius says


    I agree that the primary reason that Americans don’t take vacation is company culture created by leadership. I’ve worked for several Fortune 100 companies during my career, and the corporate culture in every one of them was the same — if you took vacation time, you didn’t have enough work to do. That’s a culture that executives and leaders at all levels allow to continue. Making employees feel so guilty for even thinking about taking a vacation should not be allowed, yet it’s often the norm.