As the Family Travel Association tries to get to the heart of why 58% of the respondents to our annual survey leave paid time off on the table every year, we are also looking to our members for their insights.
One of the most prolific researchers in travel today is FTA member Allianz Global Assistance and we can learn a great deal from reports like their Vacation Confidence Index.
Most recently, they found that half (49%) of working Americans would accept a job with no vacation time if they were paid more. Millennials (63%, compared to 47% of Gen X’ers and 32% of Baby Boomers) and men (57%, versus 41% of women) are the most likely to sacrifice paid time off for higher salaries.
Now, that time wouldn’t necessarily come cheap. The average American who would give up paid vacation time for a salary increase would require a 48 % raise to do so, though a sizable one in five were willing to give up their paid time off for an increase of 24 % or less. One-third (29 %) would need 25 – 49% more, 35% would need 50 – 99% more and 16% would need double their salary to take this offer.
On the flip side, one in three Americans (34%) would give up a portion of their paycheck for unlimited vacation, with Millennials (41%) even more likely to do so. Millennials are the most likely to both give up vacation time for salary, and give up salary for vacation time, highlighting how important professional success and personal flexibility is to this generation.
“We asked Americans to literally put a price tag on their vacation days, and one-third of U.S. workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for unlimited paid time off,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Meanwhile half of Americans say they wouldn’t accept a job with zero paid time off regardless of the salary. For those who value their vacation days, travel insurance offers peace of mind by protecting their trip investment from any covered travel disruptions.”
Interestingly, more than one in ten (12%) of Americans said they already have unlimited vacation.
Of those who would forfeit a portion of their salary for unlimited time off, the average would be willing to give up 26%, with Millennials willing to forgo 32%. Nearly one-quarter of these respondents (22%) would be willing to give up over half their salary, while 21% would give up 25 – 49% and the majority (57%) would give up 24% or less.
Addicted to work
The fact of the matter is, Americans have a strong addiction to their workplace and their careers. A new illness, “email creep,” (referring to when work obligations encroach on personal time), affects two thirds (65%) of workers who feel the need to check-in with the office while on vacation, Allianz found through this year’s survey, though more would love to say they are unavailable.
Allianz found that half (49%) of working Americans would lie and say they don’t have Wifi where they are vacationing to avoid checking into the office.
Who is the most likely person to pull the “I’m cutting out” excuse? A white (53%), college-educated (50%) Millennial (59%) who is married (53%) with children (53%) and working full time (50%) for an annual salary more than $50,000 (53%) in the Northeast (53%).
A quarter of all working Americans (24%), meanwhile, make a point not to go on vacation in places where poor cell reception or Wi-Fi access could disrupt their connection to the office.
Overall, the demographic group most likely to use the excuse are Millennials (59%), followed by Gen X’ers (49%) and Boomers (32%). While men and women are equally honest, with no difference between the sexes at 49% each, those earning more than $50,000 a year are significantly more likely (53%) to use the excuse compared to those earning less than $50,000 (39%).
Millennials (74%) are the most likely to check email while on vacation, but the rate is also high for Gen X’ers (58%) and Boomers (63%), with the most common reason: it makes catching up on work easier when returning to the office (34%).
Despite the pressures to stay “online” and connected to the office while on vacation, the majority of working Americans (54%) would choose to work even more while away if it meant they were able to take more vacations throughout the year, with Millennials (64%) more likely choosing the more vacations with more checking in at work scenario. Boomers, meanwhile, were more likely (54%) to prefer fewer vacations if it means they could be unplugged from the office.
“Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug. Consequently, half of U.S. workers are willing to lie about lack of connectivity to set them free from work obligations,” said Durazo.
*Methodology: These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 1st to May 2nd, 2019. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 %age points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all American adults been polled. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population. For the purposes of this study, a Millennial is defined as someone between the ages of 18 and 34; a Gen X’er is between the ages of 35 and 54; and a Baby Boomer is 55+ years of age.
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA serves 40 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.
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