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Nearly half of Canadians didn’t use all their vacation days in 2022: survey

By Alexandra Mae Jones/ writer

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    Toronto, Ontario (CTV Network) — Almost half of Canadians reported that they didn’t use all their vacation days in 2022, with more than half says that they feel deprived of vacation time, according to a new report.

The data comes from the 2023 edition of Expedia’s annual “Vacation Deprivation Report,” a report which the travel brand has been commissioning since 2000. The 2023 report consisted of an online survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, between February 9 and March 3.

A total of 14,527 respondents were surveyed from across 16 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Respondents were asked if they felt that they were vacation deprived — meaning that they didn’t have enough time off compared to how much they worked.

The report found that 62 per cent of working adults surveyed felt vacation deprived compared to last year’s 58 per cent.

The last time this figure was that high was in 2013, according to the report, making this the highest it has been in ten years.

Nine out of ten Canadians surveyed said they feel that regular vacations are a basic right.

In terms of countries, participants from Mexico were most likely to report that they were lacking vacation time, at 77 per cent, followed by France at 71 per cent and Germany with 70 per cent. Canadians came in eighth place, with 57 per cent reporting a lack of vacation time.

The percentage of Canadians reporting a lack of vacation time was two per cent higher than in last year’s report, when travel was still experiencing pandemic disruptions, and is the second highest rate seen in the past 10 years for Canadians.

Almost three out of four Canadians reported that the stress of the economy made them feel like they needed a vacation even more. Respondents from Ontario and British Columbia reported the highest levels of vacation deprivation, at 62 per cent, whereas just 48 per cent of respondents from Manitoba and Saskatchewan said they were lacking in vacation time.

When asked about the number of vacation days they were allotted, participants from the U.S., Mexico and Singapore received and used the fewest vacation days in 2022, at 12.5, 13.5 and 17 vacation days respectively.

However, Canada was only just above them. The Canadians surveyed received 19 vacation days a year on average and used 17 of them.

A total of 45 per cent of the Canadian respondents reported that they had left vacation days on the table in 2022, while 53 per cent stated they had used at least one vacation day to take care of a sick relative.

Participants from British Columbia took the most days off on average in 2022, at 30 days, while Albertans reported taking only an average of seven days off in 2022.

In Japan, the country whose participants reported the highest average number of vacation days, participants said they received 22 vacation days on average and used 26 days, taking extra days.

Japan topped the scale for vacation time in many categories. Japanese respondents were four times as likely to report that they vacationed every month (39 per cent) compared to respondents from the rest of the world (nine per cent).

When broken down by the industry, those in the airline industry had the highest levels of vacation deprivation, with 74 per cent of those respondents reporting they felt deprived. Retail workers had the lowest percentage who reported feeling deprived, but it was still more than half, at 56 per cent.

The report found a clear generational gap in terms of vacation as well. Baby boomers, the generation with the highest percentage of people who are retired, had the lowest percentage of vacation deprivation, with 43 per cent saying they felt they didn’t get enough vacation. Around 58 per cent of Gen X respondents, 66 per cent of millenials and 73 per cent of Gen Z reported feeling they didn’t get enough vacation.

Younger generations were also more likely to feel guilt about taking time off, with 68 per cent of Canadian Gen Z respondents feeling like they needed an excuse to take a vacation, compared to just 28 per cent for baby boomers.

Around 68 per cent of Canadians said they wished their companies would change their time-off policies, and 64 per cent said they would consider changing jobs if it would give them an opportunity for more vacation time.

Canadians who worked at a job that gave them unlimited vacation time reported taking an additional eight days off in 2022 compared to the average of other workers, and reported being 19 per cent less vacation deprived.

Canadians are hoping to travel this year, with 79 per cent saying they would be seeking less crowded destinations.


The annual study was commissioned from Feb. 9 to March 3, 2023 on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners and involved 14,527 respondents across North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific participating in panels. The results are considered accurate within one to four percentage points with 90 per cent confidence.

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