America has been dubbed the ‘No-Vacation Nation’ after research from Kimble Applications showed that many Americans choose not to use their vacation days. Yet recent data from Bankrate shows the reason behind America’s lack of vacations goes a little deeper than simply being vacation-phobic.
In a survey of 1,000 people over the age of 18, Bankrate found that of the 49% of Americans who don’t intend to vacation this summer up to 50% said they can’t afford it.
Although vacationing can make you more productive and 37% of families say vacations make them happy, up to 25% of Americans have no paid vacation time. In fact, the U.S. is one of the only rich nations not to guarantee any paid holidays.
“[Younger people] are more likely to say they can’t go on vacation because there’s too much on their plates,” Bankrate says. “They’re also more inclined to say that their financial situation is keeping them from taking time off.”
This may not be surprising considering the majority of millennials are in debt.
Weighed down by student loans, up to 56% of millennials with college degrees have credit card debt. Surprisingly, much of that debt is spent on eating out.
The average American will eat burgers 4.3 times a month.
What’s more, millennials between the ages of 18 and 24 have less than $1,000 in savings.
This doesn’t give a lot of financial wiggle room for millennials to go on vacations.
Bankrate also found that 25% of Americans won’t be going on vacation because of family obligations. Elderly loved ones and small children can often make traveling away from home anxiety-reducing rather than relaxing.
Perhaps it’s for this reason that 64% of homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces are addressing their backyards. You don’t need to visit another state, after all, if you have your own spa area at home.
Yet, of those Americans who have paid time off with no familial obligations, up to 13% say they don’t intend to use their vacation days. Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst at Bankrate, says this may be related to issues with staffing and workload.
“There [are] 6 million open and unfilled jobs in the economy right now because employers can’t find qualified workers,” McBride said. “A lot of existing employees are carrying a heavier load and that might keep them tethered to the desk instead of taking the time off that they would otherwise like to take.”
Melanie Ross, a senior financial adviser for NCA Financial Planners, says a vacation doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fly somewhere. Many Americans often choose to stay local on what they call a ‘staycation.’
“Maybe they’ll travel two hours in a two-day period or stay at home and take advantage of things that they don’t have time to while they’re working,” said Ross.
Still, some Americans do intend to travel more than locally. And the average amount of money they intend to spend is $1,000. Andrea Woroch, a consumer finance expert, says American travelers can save more money on their vacations by being flexible with their destinations and travel dates.