Vacation Deprivation Continues Despite Economic Rebound, Survey

-- Half of Canadians feel they need more vacation time, higher than reported over the past four years --

TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ - The eighth annual Vacation Deprivation(TM) survey by Harris/Decima reveals that half of employed Canadians (47 per cent) identify themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived - the highest reported level in four years - despite receiving an average of 19.68 vacation days from their employer. The likely reason? One-quarter of Canadians (24 per cent) are not taking all of their vacation time, giving back an average of 2.17 unused vacation days to their employer. This translates into nearly 36.5 million unused days in Canada overall, and an overwhelming $6.02 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers.

"Despite an upswing in the Canadian economy, Vacation Deprivation continues to pervade the Canadian workforce - in fact, it has reached its highest level this year," said Beverly Beuermann-King, stress and wellness expert. "Investing in our jobs is important, but so is investing in our physical and mental health, too. The vacation time is there - we just need to use it!"

Unlike 2009, the economy isn't as much of a concern this year for Canadians looking to take vacation time. Among all Canadians, just one quarter (25 per cent) feel that it's more important to put funds into savings than spend money on vacations. Just 13 per cent of Canadians feel they need a vacation now more than ever because of stress from the current economy, down from 18 per cent last year. Guilt over taking vacations due to the economic climate is down too, with just 14 per cent of Canadians reporting this as a concern, compared with 17 per cent last year.

So if the economic storm has cleared, what's preventing us from taking the time we've earned?

Barriers to Vacations

While almost all employed Canadians have vacation days (90 per cent), half (46 per cent) say there are a variety of reasons why they wouldn't use them all, including:

    -   Not scheduling vacation time far enough in advance to be able to take
        all of their vacation days (14 per cent)
    -   Work is their life and they're too busy to get away (12 per cent)
    -   Their significant other is unable to get away from their job (10 per

Work-related concerns even cause interruptions to vacations that are already planned. One-third of Canadians say they've checked their work messages while on vacation (30 per cent) and one-quarter have even cancelled or postponed vacation plans in the past because of work (22 per cent).

Technology: Love it or Leave it?

The ease of checking messages can be both a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to vacation time. For one-third (34 per cent) of all Canadians, technological advances make it difficult to fully disconnect from the stresses of home/work life while on vacation. However, 42 per cent of Canadians say technological advances make it easier to go on vacation because they can still be connected to home and/or work.

Similarly, while 23 per cent of Canadians say they prefer to stay active on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook because it helps them feel connected on vacation, 60 per cent say that in order to fully enjoy their vacations, they need to 'take a vacation' from social media overload.

The Life List

Even if they aren't planning on travelling there this year, most Canadians do have a list of dream destinations they'd like to visit at some point in their lifetime (76 per cent). Half (49 per cent) of Canadians say visiting those destinations is a priority, yet barriers such as money (75 per cent) and time and scheduling (44 per cent) are preventing them from achieving their travel dreams.

The majority of both men and women have a "life list" of dream vacations (79 per cent and 73 per cent respectively) while young Canadians (aged 18-24) are more likely to put a priority on actually visiting their fantasy locales (67 per cent).

More Vacation Revelations

    -   One week or two? When they do use their vacation time, most employed
        Canadians plan to take at least one vacation this year that lasts up
        to one (33 per cent) or two (38 per cent) full weeks.
    -   Getting there is half the fun - More than half of Canadians (62 per
        cent) say they enjoy the planning and anticipation aspect before a
        vacation almost as much or as much as taking a vacation itself
    -   In sickness and in health - Canadians are taking an average of three
        sick days each year, consistent with 2009 results. Women continue to
        take more sick days than men (3.42 vs. 2.63) while older Canadians
        age 55+ usually take fewer sick days than their younger counterparts
        (1.89 vs. 3.27)
    -   Reality check - After a vacation, half of Canadians (53 per cent)
        come back feeling rested, rejuvenated and connected to their personal
        life, and two-in-five (39 per cent) feel better about their job and
        feel more productive.
    -   Vacation Envy - Half (48 per cent) of Canadians experience vacation
        envy, or feelings of jealousy when a co-worker or friend goes on
        vacation. Women are more likely than men to experience this (54 per
        cent vs. 41 per cent), as are younger Canadians 18-34 vs. older
        Canadians 55+ (66 per cent vs. 33 per cent).

And the most vacation-deprived province is...

Ontario! Half (50 per cent) of Ontarians identify themselves as vacation deprived, followed by British Columbians (46 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada (45 per cent), and Alberta (44 per cent).

Spend Summer Somewhere Else!

The answer to treating Vacation Deprivation condition is through travel this summer with's Summer Somewhere Else Sale. Book your dream summer vacation now and take advantage of the savings with up to 40 per cent off select hotels in Canada, USA, Europe, Latin America, The Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and select resorts!

About the Survey

Harris/Decima completed 2,006 online surveys among a random sample of Harris/Decima panel members aged 18 and older, among which 1,271 are employed. The study was conducted between April 14th to April 19th, 2010.

This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email addresses from their panel were pulled at random, according to population and gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only one time. Subsequent to completion of the study, the data was weighted for region, age, gender, and propensity to be online.

*Comparison of findings prior to 2009 should be interpreted with caution because of the change in survey supplier. However, every effort has been made to maintain the same methodology and market research standards.


Expedia, Inc. operates Canada's most visited full-service online travel service, To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, trip insurance and traveller-authored content ( customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response.

Expedia,, Vacation Deprivation and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in Canada and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

(C) 2010 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved.


For further information: For further information: or to schedule an interview with stress and wellness specialist, Beverly Beuermann-King, please contact: Andrea Flanders or Melissa Legaspi, Edelman, 416.979.1120 x 301, 272,,

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