Skip to main content
Join Now

< Back to All

Travel Costs are Hindering Use of Vacation Time

May 7, 2023

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE

A large share of workers say they aren’t taking vacations, often due to the high costs, according to research by Eagle Hill Consulting. 39% of U.S. workers report that they have not taken a vacation during the last 12 months. Nearly half of workers (45%) state the reason as being it’s too expensive. This is another effect of inflation.

These findings come as employee burnout remains alarmingly high across the U.S. workforce. About half (46%) of American employees say that they are feeling burnout at work.

“It’s critical to productivity and mental health that employees periodically and fully disconnect from the demands of the workplace. This means not checking email and participating in virtual meetings during vacation. Recharging is all the more important as we continue to measure high burnout levels across the U.S. workforce,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

“It’s not just employees who benefit from taking a break. Employers that encourage employees to take time off from work are far more likely to have an engaged workforce at its peak performance. Smart employers will foster a culture that enables employees to take vacations and fully unplug from their job pressures,” Jezior explained.

The survey also found:

  • 39% of workers have not taken time off in the last 12 months, highest among younger workers (4%) and lower income employees (59%).
  • Workers say the impediments to taking a fully unplugged vacation include the expense of taking a vacation (45%), self-imposed pressure to stay on top of work (33%), a heavy workload (29%), no colleagues available to cover their workload (29%), and no paid time off (23%).
  • When they do take vacation, many employees are not fully unplugging during time off. While about half (56%) say they fully disconnect from work during vacation, more than a quarter (27%) say they check work email and messages.
Consider these options for low-cost ways to utilize your vacation time:

Camping: Camping can be a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors. You can find many free or low-cost campsites in national parks, forests, and other natural areas. You can bring your own tent and supplies or rent them from a camping gear rental service.

Road trip: A road trip can be a great way to explore different parts of the country without breaking the bank. You can plan your route to include affordable accommodations like motels or hostels, and pack snacks and meals to save on food costs.

Staycation: If you want to save money on travel expenses, consider taking a staycation. You can explore local attractions, try new restaurants, and take day trips without leaving your hometown. You may be surprised at how many fun and affordable activities are available in your own backyard.

Volunteer vacation: Many organizations offer volunteer vacations where you can help with conservation, community development, or other projects in exchange for free or low-cost accommodations. This can be a great way to travel and give back at the same time.

House sitting: Some homeowners need someone to watch their homes and pets while they’re away on vacation. You can find house-sitting opportunities through websites like or In exchange for watching their homes, you can enjoy free accommodations in a new location.


Source: Eagle Hill Consulting

Share On: