Skift Survey: Majority of Americans Will Take Little to No Vacation This Summer


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The American Vacation Revolution is long overdue. Which unicorn startup will disrupt American no-vacation mentality and corporate all-work-and-no-play policies?

— Rafat Ali

America is stuck in a no-vacation land.

With it, the great American summer vacation is on its way out, and the country’s huge vacation deficit keeps on going. Each year, Americans fail to use 429 million vacation days, and with those days $160 billion in economic opportunity is lost, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And certainly survey data from Skift — for summer, international and yearly vacations — can speak to that.

Like our survey at the start of summer last year, this year for 2015 we asked the same larger question about summer vacations — in two different ways this time — and have compiled the results below.

The first question we asked: Are you planning on taking a vacation this summer? And the overwhelming answer this year in 2015 is almost exactly the same as we got last year: about 62 percent said they won’t be taking a vacation this summer at all. Out of that, more than half said they couldn’t afford it. Only about 16 percent said they are taking the long summer vacation of yore, while about 23 percent said they are taking short breaks on weekends through this summer. The breakdown, below:


In addition, this year we asked the same larger question in a slightly different way: How many days of vacation are you planning to take this summer? And the answer is about 45.4 percent said none, and another 15 percent said less than a week. The number for those Americans taking long summer vacation is about the same as the question above: 15 percent.


Some other observations based on further breakdown of demographic data from the results of the two surveys above:

  • Men in America are taking less vacation than women overall, but when asked for the reason, more women than men said they couldn’t afford taking a vacation this summer.
  • Men take more longer summer vacations in America than women.
  • On the age range, the good news is that more millennials are planning on taking (short or long) summer vacations over any other age group, but the middle-aged Americans (35-60 year olds), mired in the overworked economy, are amongst the least likely to take vacations this summer.
  • The U.S. North-easterners are the least likely to take summer vacations, while the residents of U.S. West the most likely to, according to both the surveys.
  • The richer Americans (those above $100K in income a year) are the most likely to take summer vacations this year, while those in the lower income bracket ($50K and below) are the least likely to.
  • Parents and their families are still trying to take a lot more summer vacations than the non-parents, according to our survey data.

Important: These two separate single-question survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to the U.S. internet population end of May 2015 through Google Consumer Surveys, with about 2000+ responses each. The methodology is explained here


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