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Vacation Deprivation in Europe: Insights into Holiday Trends Among Generations

by CiCi
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A recent study by travel booking site Expedia has shed light on concerning trends of “vacation deprivation” among Europeans, with Germany emerging as the top-ranked country in this regard. The report reveals that a significant proportion of younger generations across Europe are not utilizing their allotted holiday time effectively.

According to Expedia’s 24th Vacation Deprivation report, Generation Z (those born after 1996) globally experiences the highest levels of vacation deprivation compared to other age groups. In the United Kingdom, while 38 percent of baby boomers feel adequately rested with their vacation time, a striking 70 percent of the youngest workers express dissatisfaction with their holiday allowances.

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The disparity is even more pronounced in countries like France, where 55 percent of boomers contrast sharply with 82 percent of Gen Zers feeling deprived of sufficient vacation time. In Germany, although the youngest workforce enjoys marginally more vacation days than baby boomers on average, they leave approximately four days unused annually, while boomers typically leave behind just 2.5 days.

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The study identifies “fear of missing out” (FOMO) as a primary factor inhibiting younger workers from taking vacations. This phenomenon, prevalent among Gen Zers, underscores concerns about missing critical work decisions or opportunities for career advancement while away. In Germany, half of Gen Z employees cite these fears, contrasting sharply with a mere 16 percent of baby boomers affected by similar anxieties.

Moreover, guilt also plays a significant role, with over half of UK Gen Zers feeling remorseful about burdening colleagues with their workload during vacations, a sentiment shared by nearly half of their counterparts in Germany and France. This contrasts starkly with the attitudes of baby boomers, who exhibit far less concern about the impact of their vacations on coworkers.

The report further highlights gender disparities in vacation habits among British workers, with women reporting higher levels of vacation deprivation compared to men. Reasons cited include being too busy, saving time off for emergencies, and pooling resources for a single major trip.

Interestingly, despite these challenges, there is growing support in Britain for a four-day work week, with many citing a desire for more personal time, including travel.

In conclusion, the Expedia report underscores the importance of addressing vacation deprivation among younger generations in Europe. Efforts to alleviate fears of professional consequences and promote a healthier work-life balance could prove instrumental in reversing these trends.

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