More than a quarter of full-time employees left vacation days on the table last year mainly because they couldn’t afford to take a break.
The start of summer finds many people planning vacations (and stressing out over those plans), but for some financial worries put a damper on dreams of lounging poolside or taking a road trip with the family. A Harris Poll conducted in March found that among Americans who either didn’t use all their vacation days last year or didn’t take a vacation at all, 52% cited lack of funds as the reason.
In the online survey of 2,037 people, 756 reported having full-time jobs. Of those, 28% who receive paid time off said they didn’t take an out-of-town vacation last year or didn’t use up their allotted vacation time.
Majority of vacationers spend less than $2,000
Most of the 72% of workers who did go away on vacation stuck to a budget of less than $2,000 for their getaway. Thirty-six percent spent $1,000 or less, 26% shelled out between $1,001 and $2,000, 20% spent $2,001 to $3,000 and just 15% paid more than $3,000 for their vacation.
Those numbers are in line with a recent American Express poll reporting that folks plan to spend an average of $1,246 on vacations this summer.
Vacation planning as a workplace benefit?
The study, sponsored by Purchasing Power focused on how companies can help employees be more productive by offering a better work-life balance. Purchasing Power is a benefits company that offers a program allowing employees to purchase vacation plans through their employers.
If their employers had a voluntary benefit program that automatically deducted part of their paychecks for use toward a vacation package, 30% of those surveyed said they would strongly consider enrolling. Companies could let workers use their vacation funds to pay for hotel rooms, resort stays, cruises or other vacation expenses.
Having a vacation savings fund set up by their employer would likely encourage staffers not only to take their vacation days, but to travel more widely and truly recharge when they do take time off, said Richard Carrano, CEO of Purchasing Power.
“Employers may not be able to provide unlimited vacation days for employees, but they can provide support by encouraging workers to use their vacation days and by offering an employee purchase program as a voluntary benefit that includes travel options to enable them to afford a real vacation,” said Carrano.