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A new survey by travel firm Tripping has sought to better
understand the American mentality when it comes to vacation time. For too long,
workers in the USA have suffered with far less generous vacation time than in
many other Western nations. Typically countries like Canada, France and the UK
all enjoy more vacation time each year than their American cousins. Now it
seems this lack of vacation time is encouraging Americans to make some
questionable decisions about how best to spend their limited free time.
The survey asked 1,500 Americans about what vacation time
means to them; and more precisely what they would be willing to give up in
order to go away each year. The results make some rather eye-watering reading,
and suggest just how important “getting away” really is to many Americans, no matter
what the longer-term costs might be.
Asked about what they’d be willing to give up in exchange
for their standard annual vacation, many stated they would be willing to forego
their regular “treats”. Over 50% of those Americans surveyed said they would be
willing to give up an everyday vice like drinking or smoking if it meant they
could afford to go on holiday.
Just as many people would be willing to downgrade their
personal technology such as smart phone or widescreen TV if it meant going on
vacation that year. In a world where the cell phone you have is seen as an
important part of your personality by many people, it is intriguing to consider
how many people opted for a week in the sun rather than the latest iPhone.
However this is far from the most extreme compromise that
American holiday-makers are willing to make. The survey found that 12% of
Americans are perfectly willing to delay paying necessary bills in order to
afford a vacation; something that can have a significant effect on their financial
future. Even a single late payment could downgrade their credit rating, either
making it harder and/or more expensive to find credit in the future.
While many people dismiss talk about personal credit, it
should be remembered that it is not just mortgages, loans and credit cards that
can be affected by your credit rating. Even some car insurance firms or
employment agencies will take your personal credit into account when making you
Even more worryingly the same survey found that a not-insignificant
4% of the respondents would even be willing to prioritize paying for a vacation
over covering that month’s mortgage or rent payment. Risking getting in trouble
with your landlord or bank seems strangely acceptable when the alternative is a
It is perhaps worrying just how much importance people place
on being able to head off abroad for a vacation and just how much risk they’re
willing to take with the rest of their year just to secure a week or two in the
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