Canadians to leave 40 million vacation days unused in 2018: report

By the end of 2018, Canadians are expected to leave more than 40 million vacation days on the table, according to new research by Expedia Group.

While Canadians have an average of 17 vacation days to use per year, they manage to only take 15, on average. When they do use their vacation days, 55 per cent of survey respondents take mini-breaks, such as adding one or two days onto a weekend. Millennials (58 per cent) are more likely to take trips within their regular weekend.

Read: Younger workers less likely to unplug while on vacation, survey finds

Nationally, 80 per cent of survey respondents said they see their own mental wellness as the main reason for taking a vacation, while 87 per cent reported feeling less anxious and more ready to take on a challenge after a vacation. On average, Canadians take two mental-health days per year.

“According to this year’s study, Canadians felt better about themselves, held more confidence and also believed they were better able to solve problems following a vacation,” said Beverly Beuermann-King, a Canadian work-life balance expert, in a press release. “Though life gets busy, taking time for yourself is so important for our well-being.”

However, 54 per cent of Canadian survey respondents said they feel vacation deprived, slightly lower than 58 per cent of global respondents. By region, Ontarians (57 per cent) feel the lack of vacation the most, while those in the Atlantic region (44 per cent) are the least troubled by it.

Read: The benefits of taking vacation days

Last year, Quebec was the most vacation deprived region, but it’s now the most likely (72 per cent) group to have taken a vacation in the last three months. Quebec workers also receive an average of 19 vacation days, the highest of any Canadian region.

By job type, food and beverage workers (70 per cent) in Canada feel the most vacation deprived, up eight per cent from last year. Overall, these employees receive two fewer vacation days than the national average and only take 10 of them. Retail workers (68 per cent) are the second most deprived, followed by real estate professionals (57 per cent).

As well, nearly half (45 per cent) of Canadians said they find it challenging to leave work behind while on vacation, although only 10 per cent said they feel guilty when asking for time off and 65 per cent said they consider vacation time is their right.

Read: Most Canadians working extra time before, after vacation