Yo, Americans. Take a vacation. I’m telling you this because you seem to be very bad at making this decision on your own.
More than half (56%) of American adults haven’t taken a vacation in the past 12 months, according to a survey from Allianz Global Assistance USA. That’s up from the 52% who said they hadn’t gone on vacation in the last year when the survey was conducted in 2014. The survey defines a vacation as a trip at least 100 miles from home that lasts at least a week. The results are based on responses from a sample of 1,000 adults, weighted to represent the adult U.S. population, gathered between June 5 and 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Allianz sells travel insurance, so it has clear motivation to get more people to travel, but you don’t need a business or a survey to tell you how important it can be to take a week off work. Of course, many workers don’t feel like they have the time or money to go on vacation, even just for a few days. Well over half (62%) of adults said they planned to take no vacation time this summer, according to a June survey from vacation-data site Skift (about half of people not taking summer trips said it was a money thing, while the other half cited time as the biggest obstacle). That data is based on a nationally representative sample of U.S. adult Internet users, and unlike the Allianz survey, it counts short trips as vacations.
Even if you have a job that gives you paid vacation days, there’s still the cost of travel and activities, and there’s no shortage of surveys and studies on how bad Americans are at putting work down, even when we’re allowed to take a break. It may not be easy to take a vacation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well (or affordably).
When you do finally decide to go on that getaway you haven’t experienced in months, take advantage of planning tools and travel services that help you save money on trips. The last thing you want to do is take that vacation and stress out about how you’ll pay for it. If you’re a credit card user, you can always consider using a card that rewards you for your excursions, as a way to save money. Or, you can use rewards cards to help fund your vacation next year.