According to a recent survey, over half of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in the past year.
When’s the last time you’ve gone on a family trip? Maybe up north to camp in the woods, or down south to have some fun in the sun? If you can’t remember the last time you’ve gone on a vacay, you’re not alone.
Over half of respondents on the 2018 Allianz Travel Insurance’s 10th annual Vacation Confidence Index said they had not taken a vacation in the past year. That’s 51% of people--or 129 million Americans--haven’t taken any time off.
It gets worse. Over 96 million people said it had been longer than two years since their last vacation. And people who responded to say that they would take their vacation at some point this year has dropped to its lowest levels since 2010: just 48% of people promised to take a vacay before the year is out.
So what gives? Allianz doesn’t ask for reasons why people aren’t taking their vacations, but they do have some theories. Natural disasters, uncertain economic forces, and fluctuating currencies can keep people home instead of out in the world enjoying life.
Speaking with Travel + Leisure, Allianz communications director Daniel Durazo offered his opinion. “Factors like a bumpy stock market and memories of hurricanes and terrorist attacks that make the world an uncertain place, may also sap vacation confidence. Trends like bleisure travel, in which business travelers combine work trips with personal and leisure experiences, may also contribute to a decrease in taking a full week off.”
That’s certainly one take, but the Washington Post provides a much bleaker view of American labor. “We have almost no job security in the U.S., no legal requirement for severance pay and, with very few exceptions, can be laid off without notice,” said John Schmitt, research director for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
Most states in the US have “at will” employment laws. That means employers have no legal requirement to offer severance pay and can have their employment terminated at almost any time. The simple reason people aren’t taking vacation is that they fear they’ll be replaced if they’re gone for too long.
As awful as the American employment landscape may be, it still has nothing on China. According to The Post, 72% of people surveyed said they hadn’t taken a vacation in the past 3 years.