Even when they have paid time off, Americans are reluctant to miss work. Only 36 percent of respondents who get paid vacation days plan to use all of them this year. About 13 percent of workers with paid time off don’t intend to use any vacation days.
McBride points to issues related to workload and staffing as possible explanations for why many Americans aren’t taking time off.
“There’s 6 million open and unfilled jobs in the economy right now because employers can’t find qualified workers,” McBride says. “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.
Consider spending a day or two away from the office even if you’re overwhelmed or you don’t have enough money saved for travel. And taking time off doesn’t mean you have to leave town.
“A vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be something where you fly somewhere,” says Melanie Ross, a senior financial adviser for NCA Financial Planners in Cleveland. “A lot of people do something they call “staycations,” where they just will stay local. Maybe they’ll travel two hours here 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.”
Better yet, consider delaying your vacation and traveling during an offseason, Ross says. Your trip may be more affordable, and waiting to go away will give you more time to save money. Open a high-yield savings account or a certificate of deposit that’s specifically designed to hold the money you’re planning to use during your trip.