Americans taking vacation at highest point in 7 years

More workplaces understanding benefits of positive vacation culture, study shows

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of Americans going on vacation is at its highest point in seven years, according to AAA.

A study by the motor club found American workers took an average of 17.2 days of vacation in 2017, jumping up nearly a half-day from 2016. It's the highest level for American vacation usage since 2010, when Americans took an average of 17.5 days.

However, the study also found 52 percent of Americans left vacation time unused in 2017 and 24 percent of Americans have not taken a vacation in over a year.

Barriers to vacation time

AAA found while Americans rank cost (71 percent), children (45 percent) and pets (39 percent) as the top barriers to travel, these barriers have little impact on actual vacation time used. Respondents who agreed cost was a top barrier took about the same amount of vacation time as average.

Perks at work

Some workplaces appear to better understand the benefits of a positive vacation culture, according to the study. The percentage of workers who said their company's culture encourages vacation jumped five points from 2016. 

The research also found a major split when it came to employee happiness at companies with encouraging cultures versus their peers at firms that are ambivalent to vacation (72 percent to 42 percent).

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