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How American Workers Are Planning Vacations

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With travel restrictions lifting across the U.S. and many Americans experiencing cabin fever, the vast majority of full-time or part-time employees are planning to go on vacation this year.

According to a newly released Priceline survey, 92% of American workers plan to travel or already have this year. Further, more than half (52%) are planning to do so as soon as this summer.

Workers are yearning to travel, but do they have the PTO for it?

According to the Priceline survey, 21% of American workers used all their PTO in 2020, down from 30% in 2019. Separately, 30% of those who didn’t use all their PTO held out hope to use some of it for travel.

It also appears to be a time of regret, as more than half of respondents (54%) who didn’t use their PTO regret not taking more time in 2020, a substantial jump from 21% in 2019.

Parents were most likely to express their mental (78%) and physical health (73%) would have benefited from a break.

Of those who experienced regret, 40% wish they had taken more trips — especially those in the younger generations. Further, 35% say they felt they “wasted” their newfound flexibility from working from home, while nearly a third (32%) say they regret not taking the opportunity to work from new or different places.

Why Americans prefer working remotely, and how it impacts travel

A recent survey from MDC and The Harris Poll found that 40% of Americans would like to work from home full time. Why’s that?

An overwhelming 75% of Priceline survey respondents indicate that working remotely has made work-life balance more achievable, 72% have been able to work from different locations and 66% have been inspired to explore new places.

The survey indicates that 60% of respondents express that working from home has encouraged them to take more workcations because they can work from anywhere.

Workers in the West (75%) say remote work has helped them take more workcations, followed by:

  • 72% in the Northeast
  • 61% in the South
  • 59% in the Midwest
Parents were 55% more likely than nonparents to feel that remote work has enabled them to take more workcations. Overall, parents traveled more in 2020 than people without children. Further, they were more inclined to take a trip by themselves (14%) than nonparents (8%).

More vacations on the horizon for workers

About two-thirds (66%) plan on taking advantage of working remotely by traveling more. More than half (56%) intend to reschedule trips canceled in 2020 — 60% of men plan on doing so, versus 51% of women.

The reasons for traveling run the gamut:

  • 62% who have a fixed amount of PTO are taking a trip to a never-visited-before destination
  • 61% would like to vacation based on a personal passion
  • 53% are making bucket-list destinations a priority
  • 38% say visiting friends and family is a priority

If you’re planning on using credit cards for travel, research the cards that offer the best redemptions. For vacation, look for cards with a low or no annual fee, don’t carry foreign transaction fees and offer extra rewards and intro offers with bonus points.

To maintain a strong credit score, don’t go overboard on spending while traveling, making sure to always make the minimum payments on time.

Methodology: Priceline conducted an online survey from April 29 to May 4, 2021, of 1,000 full- or part-time U.S. employees 18 and older.