Most Americans spend some of their vacation working

A TripAdvisor survey found that 77 percent of Americans said they worked while on vacation in the past year.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 22, 2014 1:47PM

Man on couch with a laptop © Cavan Images/Getty ImagesBy Krystal Steinmetz, Money Talks News Money Talks News

A vacation, by its very definition, isn't supposed to involve work. But that hasn't stopped more than 3 in 4 Americans from putting in work hours while on vacation.

According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, a whopping 77 percent of Americans admitted to working during their vacation in the past year. That's nearly twice the rate of the nine other countries included in the survey.


Americans also receive less paid vacation time compared with their international counterparts. The U.S. worker average is 18 days. The number for the other nine countries ranged from 19 in Japan to 31 in France.

Other survey findings include:

  • Why work? Survey respondents said urgent situations sometimes need attention. Plus, some U.S. workers said they think their managers expect it, or they feel guilty if they don’t stay connected to work.
  • You’ve got mail. Ninety-one percent of U.S. respondents said they check work email while on vacation (compared with a 65 percent average for all 10 countries). "Of those [Americans] who check work email on vacation, 37 percent say it is an everyday habit and do not consider it to be 'work' while on vacation," TripAdvisor said.
  • Not fair. “The majority of U.S. respondents (76 percent) do not feel the amount of paid vacation time given in the U.S. is fair compared to what the rest of the world receives,” TripAdvisor said.
  • What’s a vacation day worth? Twenty-one percent of Americans said they’d gladly accept a pay reduction in exchange for more time off. For each additional day of vacation, Americans said they’d be OK with cutting $350 from their pay.

A TripAdvisor survey press release said:

"The TripAdvisor survey shows that Americans receive less vacation time than other countries, and when they do take time off it is often more like a 'workation' than a vacation," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "In today's highly connected world, most Americans feel the need to stay plugged in even while out of the office."

I don't usually work while on vacation. It’s important to me to be able to disconnect from work and focus solely on my family and our time together. My husband is the opposite, though not by choice. He is a co-owner and general manager of a business. The only time I recall that he was able to take time off from work without getting several calls each day was when we went on our honeymoon, eight years ago. He is constantly connected to work, regardless of whether he’s on vacation or not.

Do you work while on vacation, or do you disconnect from the office and relax? Share your comments below. 

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Aug 22, 2014 3:27PM
So what's the point of taking a vacation? 
I make sure that my employer and co-workers know that they will NOT be able to contact me. I don't even consider my place of employment before my shift begins and/or after my shift ends. When I'm not there, it doesn't exist.
Aug 22, 2014 11:35PM
My vacation I reserve some time for house, or other repairs I can't get done while working for a living.
Aug 25, 2014 9:40AM
If you are an hourly worker, I doubt you make enough money or have much managerial responsibility to work while on vacation. If you are a professional you probably have a responsibility to your clients to be informed and make decisions on their behalf. Folks, it is the job/position you have that dictates working on vacation and not a political party, politician, your boss or your company.
Aug 25, 2014 12:21AM
I wish I could sell my vacation time back to the company. Heck, I'm working everyday, including weekends and holidays...might as well get more $$$
Aug 25, 2014 12:18AM
Aug 31, 2014 3:40AM
How many people on their deathbed will say "I wish I'd worked harder" versus "I wish I'd had the opportunity to take more time off"  -- or something like that?

Aug 25, 2014 8:04AM
Not me, unless it's a stay at home vacation.
Aug 25, 2014 10:55AM
There's no such thing as a vacation for anyone that actually works for a living and carries their own weight 24/7.
Sep 1, 2014 7:13PM
Most Americans are idiots. I believe that has been proven at least twice.
Sep 1, 2014 6:39PM
An ever growing amount of people have figured out to let the govt. support them and provide all their needs and are taking permanent vacations. Look around, I'm sure you know some....Who's the fools here?
Sep 1, 2014 2:22PM
Have not even had even a two day vacation for several years. I am a ebay seller. Ebay stresses one day delivery time, if you want to be close to the top of there search engine, and be able to make sales. My ebay store is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I am ebay's slave, but have little choice in the matter, if I want to have money to pay bills.
Aug 22, 2014 4:49PM
Under Obama's failed economic policies millions of Americans are on permanent vacation. Their only work has been relegated to accessing government handouts.
Aug 23, 2014 5:04PM
avatar do you think you remain employed?
Aug 23, 2014 4:58PM
Workers are threatened and bullied to perform their work by their petty Managers.
Aug 30, 2014 2:56PM
More of the Right Wing war on workers. 
Aug 30, 2014 12:43PM
Americans don't really deserve a vacation. When the people of a country allow their government and their own lives to be ruled by greedy, sociopathic corporate Masters, they get what they deserve. Freedom in America now means being free to grovel at the feet the wealthy elite and plant as many kisses as your slave heart desires. Wake up sheeple and stop listening to corporate propaganda. Vote out all Republicans and all the corporate Democrats.
Aug 31, 2014 11:11AM
Americans are ****s. They work like kooks evenings, weekends, holidays, vacation, to keep their job, advance at their job, then the company decides that they can get up to 4% return instead of 3.95% and lay them off for their efforts. So now they go back to get a Master's.... hahaha
Aug 25, 2014 10:56AM
Everyone, except worthless republicans....they don't work period!  Just in it for all the hand-outs. Acting....that's all it is...acting like they're working....ever watched them?  Try it.

The other thing....Obama's golf...WTF?

The worthless, do-nothing republican congress takes a (5) five week vacation for doing absolutely nothing anyway and over-paid for it also, then bitch about Obama's (2) two week, working vacation & playing golf. Well, you know just where you can shove that one GIRLS!
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