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🛩️🧳 New Expedia Study Reveals Canadians are Ahead of Americans When it Comes to Taking Vacation 🌴

Sunday, 23 June 2024 04:29.PM

- 58 per cent of Canadians claim to be vacation deprived, up from 2023.
- Atlantic Canada takes least amount of vacation days; Québec takes most annually -

According to Expedia's Vacation Deprivation Report, released today, Canadians take on average, seven more vacation days annually than their American neighbors. In fact, 58 per cent of Canadians reported feeling vacation deprived (defined as the feeling of not having enough time off) compared to 65 per cent of Americans – a difference of seven per cent. The annual report has been analyzing time-off trends around the world for 24 years.

Despite this, less than half (45 per cent) of Canadians used all their vacation days in 2023 and only a quarter have already booked or taken vacation in the current year. With rates down in many other parts of the world, it's clear working adults in North America could benefit from adopting some of the time-off strategies and attitudes in other countries.

Lessons in Leisure

The 2024 report found that American and Japanese workers take a similar number of days off each year (11 and 12 respectively), but surprisingly Japan boasts the lowest vacation deprivation levels in the world (53 per cent). France and Hong Kong take nearly a month off annually while Americans struggle to use up just 12 days. And, compared to the rest of the world, Canadians are slightly more likely to go a year or more between vacations (21 per cent vs. 18 per cent globally).

For Canadians, hoarding time off in case of an emergency was the number one reason vacation days were left on the table last year, whereas American's felt life was too busy to plan or take vacation.

"We may not be able to control how many days off we get, but the research begs the question: What can we learn from other countries that will help Canadians use their time off to the fullest extent," said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. "In Japan, people take time off every month instead of just twice a year. For the French, a full month of vacation still doesn't feel like enough time. Clearly there's a lot to borrow from, whether it's spreading your PTO throughout the year or prioritizing rest on your next vacation."

Holiday Habits From Around the World

Takeaways from the least vacation-deprived country in the world:

  •  Make weekends count: Japanese respondents are almost seven times more likely to vacation monthly compared to Canadian workers (32 per cent vs. 5 per cent), despite only taking 12 days annually (compared to Canadians 18). Their strategy: Take advantage of federal holidays or office and school closures to schedule frequent, short getaways that allow for a break from the routine and a quick refresh between longer trips, without dipping into precious PTO.
  •  Prioritize R&R: It's tempting to pack as much as possible into a week away. Canadians rank lower in terms of prioritizing rest and relaxation during their trips (65 per cent), while it's the number one goal for 84 per cent of Japanese travellers, perhaps contributing to lower feelings of deprivation.

No one vacations quite like the French, taking the most days off of any country globally. Here's their formula:

  •  Spread it out: One in five Canadians (20 per cent) didn't use all their time off in 2023 because they were saving up for a big trip, then often ended up leaving days unused. French respondents, on the other hand, tend to shy away from the "big trip," with nearly a third (30 per cent) opting to spread their days out evenly throughout the year instead. Taking the pressure off a big annual trip can be a time, money and PTO saver for deprived Canadian travellers.

Other Time-Off Champions Around the World

  •  Hong Kong was the only market where respondents didn't leave vacation days unused but instead took more time off, on average, than they were allocated. Looking ahead, 15 per cent vow to do it again in 2024 (the highest globally, with Canada at 12 per cent).
  •  Coming in as the most vacation-deprived nation this year (84 per cent), German travellers are motivated to make a change and are more determined than ever to use all their time off in 2024 (77 per cent vs. 54 per cent of Canadians.).

"No one means to leave vacation days behind, but life gets busy and it's the research, planning and booking part that slows us down," says Fish. "Some 47 per cent of Canadians say they feel overwhelmed by the process, but the good news is, in 2024 there's tech that makes it easier. If it's flight prices keeping you up at night, Price Tracking in the app helps members book without the stress and get to the fun part — vacation."

Now through July 14, vacation-deprived Expedia members can save 25% or more on thousands of hotels with Expedia's Summer Sale. With deals valid for travel through the end of October, it's the perfect time to become a member and lock in a trip to ensure PTO days don't get left behind this year.


Expedia first commissioned Vacation Deprivation in the year 2000 to examine the work-life balance of people worldwide. The annual study is currently in its 24th year and was conducted online among 11,580 respondents across the U.S., UK, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Commissioned from March 26 to April 3, 2024, on behalf of Expedia by Harris Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, responses were gathered using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels.