Use 'Em or Lose 'Em: 17% of Americans Say they'll Leave Vacation Days on the Table in 2012

Use 'Em or Lose 'Em: 17% of Americans Say they'll Leave Vacation Days on the Table in 2012

Average employee has 8 vacation days left this year; 40% will take advantage offall travel deals

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 85% of employees earn paid vacation days, but 17% say some of those days will go unused. Employed Americans currently have an average of eight unused vacation days, and for more than a third (34%), those days will expire come the New Year. And while many still plan to take more days off before the deadline, 60% will be staying home.

For the full data report, and past Spending & Saving Tracker results, clickhere.

"With vacation time still on the table for many, Americans shouldn't overlook fall travel opportunities," said David Patron, vice president of American Express Travel. "The fall travel period, known as the 'shoulder season' between the peak summer and winter travel seasons, is a great time for travelers to find rich deals before the busy holiday travel season hits."

PTO - Play, Travel, Organize

Of those who get vacation days, 52% will take days off by the Thanksgiving holidays. More than half (51%) planning to take time off say they'll use their days to "play," spending time with family and friends over a holiday, while 40% plan to use their days to travel. The remaining will take time off to organize their lives, running errands and taking care of personal tasks.

Fall Travel is Favorable on the Wallet

According to American Express Travel Insiders, who have hidden tips about various destinations and interests, tips that make the fall 'Shoulder Season' ripe for travel include:

  • Popular destinations like Europe and the Caribbean offer better rates, fewer crowds and a chance to avoid the summer humidity.

  • It's the season of festivals, and many destinations offer activities from apple-picking to wine harvest.

  • For shoppers, deals are plenty and with the holidays around the corner, a fall trip can leave travelers rested and "wrapped".

  • School's in session, so popular spots once crowded with families become great romantic getaways.

For those planning to travel this fall, they are also looking to additional ways to save money. Thirty-five percent will stay with friends and family and another 26% will keep costs down by booking travel farther in advance. Twenty-one percent are turning to loyalty points, like American Express Membership Rewards, to offset the cost of their travels. Sixty-seven percent of fall travelers will get around by car, while 41% will use air transportation.

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 2,002 adults, including the general U.S. population, an Affluent demographic, defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000, and those who are employed. A total of 1,094 consumers indicated they are employed full or part time. Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between July 17 and 20, 2012. These findings have a margin of error of ± 3.0 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

For access to previous American Express Spending & Saver Tracker results, please visit

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

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