Americans love to tell people how busy they are, almost making it a point of pride never to take a vacation. But a new survey from American Express shows that some people might be taking their workaholic habits too far, leaving vacation days to linger until they expire, instead of taking advantage of frequent flyer miles and paid vacation days to take a much-needed getaway trip.
According to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker report released this week, 85 percent of employees say they earn paid vacation days, but 17 percent of them say them won’t use them, letting them expire at the end of the year. Americans with jobs that provide paid vacation currently have an average of eight unused vacation days, and 34 percent of them say the days will expire if they don’t use them by the end of 2012.
Of those who do choose to use their paid vacation days, 60 percent say they plan to stay home, having a “staycation” instead of a true vacation. Only 40 percent of them will book a fall getaway – which is unfortunate, since fall offers some of the best travel deals all year.
Leaves Fall, Prices Fall
David Patron, vice president of American Express Travel, says that “The fall travel period, known as the ‘shoulder season’ between the peak summer and winter travel seasons, is a great time for travelers to find rich deals before the busy holiday travel season hits.” He urges people not to overlook the many good travel deals to be had in the fall, when schools are back in session and families generally don’t take vacations, leaving more reward travel fares open for frequent flyers.
The American Express Travel Insiders program helps customers plan trips and take full advantage of travel offers, and they offer these great fall travel tips:
- Look for fall festivals organized around things like apple-picking and wine-harvest days, which can be the centerpiece of a beautiful fall trip.
- Fall travel is a great chance to rest and relax before the busy holiday season hits.
- Honeymooners or anyone looking for a quiet getaway for two can count on popular family destinations to be more romance-friendly this time of year, with school back in session.
- Europe and the Caribbean are less humid, less crowded, and cheaper in the fall.
Don’t Leave Rewards on the Table
American Express says that only 21 percent of those surveyed plan to use credit card loyalty points to save money on their fall travels, although 41 percent of them plan to travel by air.
It could be that people don’t know how to use the miles or points on their credit cards, due to confusing terms and conditions and programs that all operate according to different rules. Credit-Land.com recently published an article outlining different types of frequent flyer programs and helping readers understand how they work, which could be the key for many credit card holders who want to use rewards but don’t know how they work.
Anyone who doesn’t have a travel rewards credit card should seriously consider the savings they could get from one – there are many to choose from, and the only requirement for most is that customers need to have good or excellent credit.
If people feel their reward points burning a hole in their pocket, they might just be more eager to take those paid vacation days after all.