Expedia has released the results of the 2018 Expedia Vacation Deprivation report, an annual study of vacation habits among employed adults in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The report revealed that over half of Canadians (55%) use their vacation days by incorporating some element of a 'quick trip' into their plans throughout the year, such as a long-weekend or a 1-2 day micro-break. This latest travel trend is a convenient and affordable solution to vacation deprivation, stepping away from the daily stressors and taking some much deserved 'you' time. On average, Canadian workers receive 17 vacation days and take 15 of them – leaving two days on the table.
In total for 2018, the expected result is 40.1 million unused vacation days.
Millennials are weekend warriors
With increasingly demanding commitments, almost two thirds (58%) of millennials are integrating short weekend trips into their schedules – the highest of any age group. Traveller behaviour supports this trend – Expedia.ca data shows an increase in demand of more than 25 per cent for hotel bookings for one-night stays in Canada for 2017 versus 2016. And interestingly, travellers are booking these super short holidays last-minute, with more than half of micro-breaks being booked on Expedia.ca less than six days before travel, and more than two in five are booked via a mobile device – indicating that at times Canadians are a spontaneous group.
Canadians need more vacation
Vacation deprivation is on the rise both globally (58%) and at home, with more than half of Canadians feeling vacation deprived (54%); an increase from last year, demonstrating that challenges are still at hand. The study revealed:
- In comparison to their US neighbours, Canadians are less vacation deprived overall, with 59 per cent of workers south of the border reporting feeling strained and deprived for time off.
- Ontario is the most vacation deprived region within Canada with almost sixty per cent feeling this sentiment (57%); the Atlantic region reported being the least vacation deprived (44%) and, in fact was over ten per cent less than Ontario.
- Quebec is no longer the most vacation deprived region, and actually the highest group to have taken a vacation in the past three months (72%). They also receive the most vacation days (19) amongst all Canadians.
- Food and beverage workers ranked as the most vacation deprived industry in Canada, with seven out of ten individuals reporting this feeling –an increase of eight per cent compared to last year. In fact, the industry receives on average two less vacation days than Canadians overall, and in the end, only takes ten of them. The retail industry came second as most vacation deprived (68%), followed by real estate (57%).
Vacations: good for mental health
Canadians feel strongly that vacations are a key component in their mental well-being. Almost 90 per cent said that vacations give them a chance to hit the "reset button" on their stress and anxiety. The report revealed:
- Over 80 per cent of Canadians said they regularly take vacations where the primary goal is their own mental wellness. This was of the greatest importance to Quebecers (84%).
- Almost 90 per cent (87%) of Canadians return from a vacation feeling less anxious and worried, but instead more able to take on the next challenge.
- On average, Canadians take two mental health days per year. Mental health days are a common occurrence around the world, with about half (54%) of workers globally having taken at least one last year.
Vacation: a Canadian's right
Though almost half of Canadians (45%) expressed having a hard time leaving work behind when taking a vacation, more than two thirds (65%) view vacation as their right.
At the end of the day, guilt only plays a factor for 10 per cent of travellers when asking for time off. And that positive feeling associated with a vacation can set in immediately for some; almost a quarter of Canadians (23%) said they felt relaxed as soon as they boarded the plane or hit the road. And for another 44 per cent of respondents the feeling of relaxation sets in quickly after the first day or 2-3 days into the trip, demonstrating that it doesn't take long to unwind.