Here’s why India is the most vacation deprived country

New Delhi: How often do you feel like taking a vacation? When was the last time you took a break from work and went off to a beautiful place? The answer to both the questions from most Indians is “seldom.” You may think that with the growing number of hashtags on Instagram and conveniently available good cameras, people might have developed a greater liking towards travel, but has that liking and planning seen the light of the day? Most probably not. Here’s why: employed Indian adults are scared to take vacations! They fear that they will be seen as less committed to their jobs.

The results of the 2018 Vacation Deprivation study — an annual survey of vacation habits across 19 countries — was announced recently. The report said that 75% Indians feel vacation deprived, which is the highest in the world, followed by South Korea (72%) and Hong Kong (69%). Indian workers also do not take all vacation days and rank five to leave their vacations unused after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand.

The study conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, shows as of 2018, Vacation Deprivation has grown to encompass 19 countries.

As per Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Brand Expedia in India, the study pointed out something very important — that a huge chunk of Indian working population feel that those who are successful at their job don’t take vacations.

Ahluwalia said, “We have seen an increase in support from Indian employers to take vacations. However, employees still do not avail their full vacation days because of reasons like missing out on important work decisions, fear of being seen less committed or finding it difficult to coordinate time with their travel companion. Our study also reflects that 18% Indians feel that those who are successful at their job don’t take vacation days.”

Digging deeper to understand reasons which keep Indians from taking vacations it was found that, Indians are the least to get a free pass while vacationing.

“They are expected to be available to their colleagues and supervisors, making 34% Indians check their mails at least once per day. For 64% of Indians the impending workload after they come back from vacation is an important factor in deciding the length of their holiday. Not surprised to know that 17% of Indians have not taken any leave from past one year. These figures throws light on various factors resulting in making India the most vacation deprived nation in the world,” said Ahluwalia.

Reasons for not using all vacation days:

  • 46% Indians save them in case something comes up in the future.
  • 33% find it difficult to coordinate time to take a vacation that works for him/herself and travel companions.
  • 31% believe in getting money in exchange for their unused vacation days.
  • 25% fear that important work decisions will be made without them in their absence.
  • 19% fear that they will be seen as less committed/dedicated to their jobs.
  • 18% feel that those who are successful at their job can’t/don’t take vacation days.

Although 55% Indians feel that vacation deprivation effect their productivity, only 10% Indians feel that they deserve more vacation days than given. And quite conveniently, 48% Indians are very likely to add on personal vacation days to a business trip.

“On the positive side, vacations not only hit the ‘reset’ button on their stress and anxiety but also make them feel more focused, relaxed, productive and motivated at work post their vacation. One of the leading reasons people don’t use their vacation time is because they’re saving them for a big trip which means they’re going longer between vacations. Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can drastically improve the quality of life. Aim to schedule a staycation or add an extra day onto a holiday weekend in between longer trips to get the best of both worlds,” suggests Ahluwalia.

Here are some quick travel tips:

  • Avoid peak travel times and high costs by traveling during shoulder season
  • Plan a staycation before the end of the year
  • Forgo the holidays at home – start a new tradition!
  • Add days to a holiday weekend to lengthen your break without using up vacation time
  • Book flights at least a month ahead to avoid paying last-minute rates
  • Don’t let another year pass without taking that trip you’ve been dreaming about. Set a goal to book before the end of the year so you’re starting 2019 off on the right foot.
  • Start conversations with your boss well in advance to give everyone time to plan for you to be truly disconnected.

11,144 employed adults aged 18 and older were asked by Northstar about work-life balance in September 2018 and the survey was conducted online from September 19-28, 2018 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific.