Vacation days

Americans only took 10 vacation day over the past year, leaving four days unused, a new study shows. (National Lampoon / November 16, 2013)

The economy may be improving, but Americans are spending less time relaxing.

The average American got 14 days of vacation over the last year but took only 10 days away from work, leaving twice as many days of unused vacation compared with the previous year, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the travel website Expedia.com.

But when it comes to vacationing, Americans still take more time off than their Japanese counterparts, who got an average of 18 vacation days but only spent seven, the study found. South Koreans took seven out of 10 vacation days they were offered.

The world leaders in vacationing are the French, who took all of the 30 days available to them over the last year. And yet 90% of employed French adults either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement: “I feel vacation deprived,” according to the study of 8,535 working adults in 24 countries.

For those American who were not using all of their vacation days, the most common reason (cited by 27% of those surveyed) is that they want to stockpile the days for future vacations.

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