Vacation Shaming Hurts Millennial Travel

American workers, especially millennials, are not using all their vacation days By: Mindy Poder
Millennials, as well as other Americans, feel pressured to pass up vacation time. // © 2017 Getty Images
Millennials, as well as other Americans, feel pressured to pass up vacation time. // © 2017 Getty Images

The Details

Allianz Global Assistance

According to the eighth-annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, more than half of Americans — especially millennials — are not taking their paid time off (PTO) due to negative emotions associated with taking paid vacation. The survey found that 42 percent of Americans (and 48 percent of millennials) don’t take the entirety of their PTO. 

Why It Matters:
These findings mirror a study revealed last year by Project Time Off, which concluded that millennials are most likely to be “work martyrs.” This anti-vacation mentality could have far-reaching implications for agents, although many hope that millennials will shake off the guilt once they’ve been in the workplace longer. However, the fact that other age groups also yield to “vacation shaming” isn’t reassuring. 

Fast Facts:
- According to the survey, 25 percent of Americans “report feeling negative emotions when asking for time off from their employers, and millennials (aged 18 to 34) are the most likely to feel nervous, guilty, afraid or shameful because of a time-off request.”

- Reasons for feeling shamed include not wanting to disappoint co-workers and the idea that their senior management does not want them to take all their time off.

- The survey reveals that millennials and Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to feel that annual vacations are important.

What They Are Saying:
“Many Americans, millennials in particular, are leaving vacation days on the table which could be the result of vacation shaming — the sense of shame, guilt or other negative feelings received from co-workers for taking a vacation,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We were surprised to see that when compared to older generations, millennials more commonly succumb to these negative feelings by choosing not to take all their entitled vacation days. Meanwhile, Gen Xers place the same amount of importance on vacations, but seem to have the system better figured out because they are the most likely to take all their allotted vacation time.”

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