Leisure and LifestyleTravel & Tourism

Canadians Lag in Vacation Usage Despite Extra Days, Expedia Report Finds

TORONTO — Canadians take an average of seven more vacation days annually than their American neighbors, according to Expedia’s latest Vacation Deprivation Report. Despite this advantage, 58 per cent of Canadians report feeling vacation deprived, compared to 65 per cent of Americans. The report, which has analyzed global time-off trends for 24 years, highlights a paradox where more vacation days don’t necessarily translate to better usage or satisfaction.

Vacation Day Utilization in Canada

Despite having more vacation days, 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 2024. This underutilization points to a broader issue where North American working adults might benefit from adopting time-off strategies from other countries.

Global Insights: Lessons in Leisure

The 2024 report reveals varying vacation habits around the world, offering potential lessons for Canadians:

  • Japan: Despite taking only 12 days off annually, Japanese workers experience the lowest vacation deprivation globally at 53 per cent. They achieve this by maximizing weekends and public holidays for short, frequent breaks, with 32 per cent vacationing monthly compared to just 5 per cent of Canadians. Additionally, 84 per cent of Japanese prioritize rest and relaxation during their vacations, versus 65 per cent of Canadians.
  • France: Known for taking the most vacation days globally, the French avoid the “big trip” mindset. Nearly a third spread their days evenly throughout the year, reducing the pressure and ensuring more consistent breaks. In contrast, 20 per cent of Canadians save days for a big trip and often end up with unused days.
  • Hong Kong and Germany: Hong Kong respondents take more time off than allocated, with 15 per cent planning to continue this trend in 2024. German travellers, facing the highest vacation deprivation at 84 per cent, are determined to use all their time off in 2024, with 77 per cent aiming to do so compared to 54 per cent of Canadians.

The Path Forward for Canadians

Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations, suggests Canadians could learn from these global practices. “In Japan, people take time off every month. For the French, a full month of vacation still doesn’t feel like enough. Clearly, there’s a lot to borrow from, whether it’s spreading your PTO throughout the year or prioritizing rest on your next vacation.”

Fish also notes the barriers Canadians face in planning vacations, with 47 per cent feeling overwhelmed by the process. Technological solutions like Expedia’s Price Tracking app can alleviate some of this stress, enabling easier booking and planning.

Expedia’s Summer Sale

To combat vacation deprivation, Expedia is offering a Summer Sale until July 14. Vacation-deprived members can save 25% or more on thousands of hotels, with deals valid for travel through the end of October, ensuring that PTO days are fully utilized this year.

Tiana Squire

Tiana Squire is our Leisure and Lifestyle Writer, dedicated to covering a wide array of topics including restaurants & bars, fashion, travel and tourism, family events and entertainment. With a passion for exploring and sharing the best in leisure experiences, Tiana brings her unique perspective and enthusiasm to each piece she writes. For inquiries or feedback, contact Tiana at tiana.squire@gtaweekly.ca.

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