Majority of Americans don't use all vacation days

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recent study showed most Americans are not using all of their allotted time off. Researchers at Harris Interactive say 57 percent of workers in the U.S. had left over vacation days last year.

"Sometimes they feel like no one can do the work as well as they can, and others think maybe somebody does it better than I do and while I'm gone they may replace me," explained Barbara Ford who has worked in human resources for more than 20 years.

Those are major reasons people skip their vacation time. Other big reasons include people fearing they will get behind on work or not being able to afford vacation - especially if they do not get paid time off.

"Because then not only are you spending money, you're losing money. So it's a double wammy," commented McKenzie Faragon.

Ford said another major reason people do not use their vacation time is they roll it over to the next year. She said companies could not allow that as a way to be sure employees get the time off they deserve when they need it.

"A lot of companies let you roll over your vacation, and by doing that you're having people start planning for retirement instead of vacation."

She believes people who let their vacation days pass should work to plan better. They should also make sure their vacation days are truly enjoyable, so they will be motivated to take off the days they are allowed.

"Don't take all your vacation to clean out the garage or go on the children's field trips," Ford said. "Take some personal time. Plan ahead and say this day is going to be all mine."

She also said people should consider their time off as important as their work time. She said employees need a break to help them continue working at their best.

"They're tired. They're burned out," she explained. "You start getting anger. You start getting resentment, and that just decreased productivity. It decreases your creativity. People need to get away."

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.