The year is fast coming to an end, and 25% of Americans still have nine or more days of paid time off left at work, according to a new Priceline Work-Life Balance Report. But you might be surprised to hear that leaving their hard-earned PTO on the table is not what they regret most about this year.
The top regret among respondents? Here comes the bride! According to Priceline’s survey, 19% of employed Americans used PTO to go to wedding-related festivities in 2018 — from weddings to bachelor and bachelorette parties — and 41% called it their top vacation regret. Next year will be different: 28% of respondents say they intend to use fewer vacation days for wedding-related events.
The Priceline Work-Life Balance Report surveyed 1,003 employed Americans, and the results also showed some revealing differences between how men and women travel — and how they use their PTO.
“I was struck by the fact that men are more likely than women to use all their vacation time: 50% of men said they take all the time they’re given, but only 39% of women said the same. The reasons will obviously vary, but it suggests that men view vacation as more of a right, and women view it as more of a luxury ,” says Liz Dente, Priceline’s chief people officer. “I view it as a benefit that should be taken. Time away from work makes people more productive when they return, more engaged and happier.”
The Priceline Work-Life Balance Report found some other noteworthy stats:
- Men are twice as likely to have regrets about how they used their PTO as women (40% versus 19%).
- Men are more likely to lie: 23% admit to making up a story about their child/partner in order to take a vacation day versus 13% of women.
- Only 39% of women say they use all all their PTO each year versus half of men.
- More women (20%) than men (14%) say they have at least 10 days of PTO remaining through the end of the year.
But there’s good news. “There’s still time!” says Dente. “We have six weeks left in the year. And more women than men reported plans to use all their vacation time (23% to 14%). I’d encourage everyone to count up the number of days that are still on the table and put them on the calendar. If you just feel like sleeping in, then go for it. You’ve earned it.”
Now’s also the time to start thinking about next year’s vacation days — and it looks like people plan to use them, not lose them. According to the Priceline survey, 59% plan to use more time off in 2019 than in 2018, and 65% of Americans plan to use their PTO to travel next year.
So what kinds of trips are they taking? Staycations topped the list (37%), followed by beach vacations (31%).
Where are they going? The U.S. topped the list (37%), followed by Europe (25%), Australia (13%) and South America (10%).
In the U.S., Florida is the most popular vacation destination, followed by California and New York.
What do people plan to do while they’re on vacation? Eat! Among respondents, 41% say food will influence their vacation plans. They’ll also be taking more solo vacations (49%) and going to events like music or food festivals (35%). It’s looking like a very good 2019.