September 9, 2010 / 3:13 PM / 8 years ago

Need a vacation? Many Americans don't take them

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters Life!) - Feeling stressed and in need of a vacation? You are not alone but more than half of Americans do not take all their vacation days, even though they think they need a holiday more this year than last.

Ricky Ibanez (L) and Eddie Conley play in the surf as the sun sets on Moshup Beach in Aquinnah, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard, August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young

And nearly a third of workers who do take a break check in with work every other day and some keep in touch hourly, according to a new survey.

“We’re workaholics,” said Samuel Nahmias, executive vice president and chief operations officer of research firm StudyLogic, which conducted the poll of 1500 American adults.

“From an overall perspective this has a lot to do with the economic situation in the U.S. More and more people are unemployed,” he added.

With jobless numbers hovering at 9.6 percent people who have jobs seem to be reluctant to take time off.

“It is not a great picture and that affects vacations. People are not going on vacation as much and those that are going on vacation are being more selective about where they are going,” Nahmias explained.

Unlike European countries where four or more weeks of holiday each year is the norm, 27 percent of people questioned in the poll said they had six to 10 days of annual leave and 20 percent had less than three days.

But two-fifths of people questioned in the survey commissioned by Westin Hotels & Resorts thought three to four days were needed to unwind during a break.

With more people on the unemployment lists those still with jobs are facing more responsibility at work, which is reflected in their lack of time off.

The survey showed that up until August 22 percent of workers had not used or planned to use any vacation days, despite potentially forfeiting the days if they were not taken.

The majority of workers who did not take time off cited too many responsibilities or stress at work, while some people said they simply did not have the time to plan a holiday.

“People are more conscious of what they are doing and when they are going on vacation because they don’t want to look bad in this situation,” Nahmias explained.

Sixty four percent of workers admitted they had canceled or postponed a vacation this year and 33 percent said it was because of work-related reasons.

Technology is also playing a part with Blackberries and smartphones enabling workers to keep in contact in ways that were not possible before.

“It has to do with technology and the level of concern about what is going on in the office,” Nahmias added.

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