New Delhi – Expedia, one of the world’s largest full-service online travel agency, today announced the results of the 2018 Vacation Deprivation study, an annual survey of vacation habits across 19 countries.

41% Indians have not taken a vacation in past six months as they can’t get time off work

Professional reasons and aspirations of longer vacations keep them away from availing their leaves

Expedia, one of the world’s largest full-service online travel agency, today announced the results of the 2018 Vacation Deprivation® study, an annual survey of vacation habits across 19 countries. The report highlighted that vacation deprivation is on the rise, and 75% of Indian feel vacation deprived which is the highest in the world followed by South Korea (72%) and Hong Kong (69%). Indian workers also do not take all vacation days and rank five to leave their vacations unused after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand.

Mr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Brand Expedia in India said, “We have seen an increase in support from Indian employers to take vacations. However, employees still do not avail their full vacation days because of reasons like missing out on important work decisions (#1, 25%), fear of being seen less committed (#1, 19%) or finding it difficult to coordinate time with their travel companion (#1, 33%). Our study also reflect that 18% Indians feel that those who are successful at their job don’t take vacation days.”

“We dug deeper to understand reasons which are keeping Indians away from taking vacations and realized that, Indians are the least to get a free pass while vacationing. They are expected to be available to their colleagues (#1, 34%) and supervisors (#1, 32%), making 34% Indians check their mails at least once per day. For 64% of Indians, the impending workload after they come back from vacation is an important factor in deciding the length of their holiday. Not surprised to know that 17% of Indians have not taken any leave from past one year. These figures throw light on various factors resulting in making India the most vacation deprived nation in the world.”

“On the positive side, vacations does not only hit the ‘reset’ button on their stress and anxiety but also make them feel more focused, relaxed, productive and motivated at work post their vacation. Needless to say, 55% Indians feel that vacation deprivation effect their productivity and hence need to be taken seriously by all of us. Though the feeling of vacation deprivation among Indians have gone up, their guilt associated with taking a vacation has gone down by 9% from previous year to 63% in 2018. One of the leading reasons people don’t use their vacation time is because they’re saving them for a big trip which means they’re going longer between vacations. Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can drastically improve quality of life. Aim to schedule a staycation or add an extra day onto a holiday weekend in between longer trips to get the best of both worlds,” he added.

Top-line results from the 2018 report include:

Reason for Indian being deprived is because 63% Indians can do without a vacation for over three months and even though on an average Indians avail 15 days of vacation out of the 20 days they receive, 53% take fewer days than they get

Even after 78% bosses being supportive of vacations, Indians continue to get diverted by work while vacationing as 32% supervisors, 34% co-workers, 33% junior staff keep bothering Indians while they are vacationing

Detailed Findings:

Annual vacation days receive (Median) – Highest: France, Brazil, Germany and Spain (30%)| Lowest: Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA (14%); Thailand (10%) and India 20% (same as 2017)
Vacation days taken: (Median) – Highest: Brazil, France, Germany, Spain (30%)| Lowest: Japan, Thailand, USA (10%), India (15%) (same as 2017)
Taking fewer days than they get – Highest: Malaysia (61%), Japan (57%), India (53%)

Last vacation taken:

Within a month – Highest: Japan (60%), Taiwan (57%), Hong Kong (50%)|India (35%)

Within last 3 months – Highest: Italy (56%), France (51%), Germany (46%)| India (42%)

Last vacation taken over six months ago – Highest: Australia (37%), New Zealand (35%), Brazil (29%)| Lowest: India, Hong Kong, South Korea & France (8%), Italy (7%), Spain (6%)

Reasons for not using all vacation days:

Save them in case something comes up in the future – Highest: Malaysia (54%), Thailand (52%), India & Mexico (46%)

Work schedule does not allow for vacation / not enough staff to cover – Highest: Singapore (39%), Hong Kong (38%), Thailand (37%)| India (35%)

I want to bank them / carry them over to next year for a longer vacation – Highest: Thailand (34%), Malaysia (33%), Mexico (32%)| India (28%)

Lack of money / cannot afford to take holidays / vacation – Highest: Australia & New Zealand (38%)| India (24%)

It is difficult to coordinate time to take a vacation that works for me and my spouse/family member/friend – Highest: India – 33%

Personal schedule does not allow for vacation – Highest:Thailand (38%), India & Singapore (31%)

I can get money in exchange for my unused vacation days – Highest: India-31%

I fear that I will be seen as less committed/dedicated to my job – Highest: Malaysia (20%), India (19%), Thailand (18%)

I fear that important work decisions will be made without me: Highest: India (25%)

I feel like those who are successful at my job can’t/don’t take vacation days – Highest: India (18%)

Effects of vacation on professional /work:

I am more focused – Highest: India, Brazil, Malaysia (92%)

I am more productive – Highest: Malaysia, Brazil (92%), India (90%)

I come back to work more relaxed – Highest: Brazil (93%), India & Hong Kong (90%)

I feel more motivated at work – Highest: Brazil (91%), Malaysia (90%), India (89%)

I feel more in control – Highest: India (90%), Malaysia (89%), Thailand (87%)

I feel more patient with my colleagues/clients – Highest: India, Thailand (89%)

I feel I deserve more vacation days than I am given – Highest: Hong Kong (86%) & India (82%)

I take fewer sick days throughout the year after a vacation – Highest: Thailand (79%), Brazil (78%), India (77%)

The chance for more vacation days would motivate me to change jobs – Highest: Taiwan (79%), Mexico (72%), Hong Kong, India (68%)

When I take a vacation, I have a hard time leaving work behind – South Korea (73%), India & Thailand (69%)

I am so busy at work that I can rarely use all my vacation days in a given year – Highest: India (73%)

I tend to work during my vacations – Highest: India (63%)

I would take a cut in my salary for extra vacation – Highest: India (66%)

Effect of vacations on PERSONAL life and mental health/well-being:

Regular vacations are important for general health and well-being – Highest: Brazil (96%), Spain, South Korea (95%) | India (93%)

I feel a vacation gives me a chance to hit the “reset” button on my stress and anxiety – Highest: Brazil (96%), Malaysia, Thailand (95%) | India (91%)

Regular vacations help me feel better connected to my friends and family – Highest: Brazil (97%), India (93%), Spain, South Korea (92%)

I regularly take vacations where the primary goal is my own mental wellness – Highest: Brazil, Thailand (93%), Taiwan (91%)| Lowest: UK (76%), Australia, New Zealand (71%), India (89%)

When I take a vacation with my significant other, I feel like it rekindles our relationship – Highest: Malaysia (92%), Thailand (91%), India (89%)

Regular vacations strengthen my relationship with my significant other – Highest: India, Thailand (90%), Brazil (87%)

Feeling vacation deprived: Highest: India (75%), South Korea (72%), Hong Kong (69%)| Lowest: Germany, Taiwan (49%), UK (48%), Spain (47%)

How frequently you check your work email/voicemail in a one week vacation:

Once per day + | Highest: Taiwan (47%), Hong Kong (35%), India (34%)

Employer support of taking their vacation time- Highest: Brazil (84%), India, Mexico (78%)

When on vacation, expected to be available constantly by each of the following groups of people:

My supervisors – Highest: India (32%)

My co-workers – Highest: India (34%)

My junior staff – Highest: India (33%)

My clients / customers: Highest: India (29%)

48% Indians as very likely to add on personal vacation days to a business/ professional trip
About Vacation Deprivation

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. As of 2018, Vacation Deprivation has grown to encompass 19 countries. 11,144 employed adults aged 18 and older were asked by Northstar about work-life balance in September 2018. The survey was conducted online from September 19-28, 2018 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific.