Expedia, one of the world’s largest full service online travel sites, today released the results of the 2015 Vacation Deprivation® study, an annual study of vacation habits across multiple countries and continents. The survey highlights that India is the fourth most vacation deprived nation globally, with 65% of Indians saying they feel very or somewhat vacation deprived, and 20% saying they are very vacation deprived.

“Vacations play a critical role in creating a work-life balance as it reenergizes people to be more focused at work (53% Indians agree). According to Expedia’s 2015 Vacation Deprivation Survey, 54% of Indians would prefer more vacation days over a pay rise, the highest globally. Sixty-one percent of Indians associate vacations a great deal with their overall happiness. In fact, 94% are ready to make sacrifices for just an extra day of vacation. The deprivation Indians are feeling may stem from the fact that 68% of Indians have cancelled or postponed their vacation due to work commitments.” said Mr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India.“The interesting fact is that while Indians are receiving on average, 1 addition vacation day this year (from 20 days last year to 21 this year) and are more likely to say their bosses are supportive of them taking their vacation time than they were last year (from 64% to 70%), they continue to take fewer days than they receive (an average of 16 days this year and last year).  This clearly shows that Indians are addicted to their work so much that they often choose to work even when they have earned their time off”, he added.Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report 2015: DETAILED SURVEY FINDINGS:

Do we travel? We do, but can’t get enough!

  • Indians are the most likely of any country to have taken at least one business trip in the past year (80%), followed by Mexicans (69%) and Malaysians (60%)
  • Indians (91%) are also among the most likely to have taken at least one leisure trip in the past year, along with Mexicans (94%), Italians (94%), Thai (93%), Hong Kongers (92%), Norwegians, Germans and Malaysians (91%)
  • Indians (9%) along with Malaysians (8%) and New Zealanders (7%) are also more likely to tie trips to weddings or family obligations. They are also more likely to extend work trips to include vacation (6%) along with those from Thailand (6%) Malaysia and Spain (4%)
  • Indians are the most likely (61%) globally to associate vacationing a great deal with their overall happiness, followed by Thailand (56%) and UAE (55%). In fact, vacations continue to outrank finding money, getting a tax refund, celebrating a birthday and even being told they look younger than they are, as the thing that makes Indians the happiest.
  • Despite not taking all the vacation days they receive, 73% of Indians feel they deserve more vacation than they currently get, and those who feel they deserve more vacation time, on average, feel they should receive 15 extra days.
  • Indians (65%) are ranked as the 4th most Vacation Deprivedcountry in 2015 preceded by UAE (76%), Malaysia (73%) and Singapore (71%).  With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that 54% of Indians would prefer more vacation days over a pay raise (the highest globally), followed by Sweden (42%) and Japan (37%).

Possible Reasons for Not Taking All Their Vacation Days:

  • A desire to bank/carry over the days to next year for a longer vacation, with this highest among Sweden (41%), India (32%), and Singapore (30%)
  • Difficulty coordinating a time that works with their spouse/partner/family member/friend’s schedule, with this highest inIndia, Malaysia and Thailand (30%), South Korea (28%), Hong Kong (26%)
  • The ability to get money in exchange for unused vacation days, with this highest among those in Brazil (30%), Denmark (28%) and India (25%)
  • Having a personal schedule that does not allow for vacation, with this mention highest in Thailand (31%), India (27%) and Malaysia (25%)
  • A fear that taking all of their vacation time will be perceived negatively by their employer, with mentions highest in South Korea (18%), India (13%) and Malaysia, Thailand (11%)
  • Worry that important work decisions will be made without them, with mentions highest in India (18%), Malaysia and Brazil (13%), Hong Kong (12%)
  • A tendency to use up all vacation time because of illness, with mentions highest in Indians (10%), USA, Mexico, Malaysia (8%) and Thailand (7%)
  • Biggest Barriers for planning:
    • Work demands of the employee, with this highest among those from Hong Kong and South Korea (46%), Thailand (45%) and India (41%)
    • Work demands of a spouse or partner, with mentions highest among those in Malaysia (42%), South Korea (39%) and India (32%)

Vacation Attitudes:

  • Vacations are considered important to travelers’ relationships with their significant others, this is particularly true in India (71% strongly agree), Brazil (66%) and Mexico (65%)
  • Vacations help travelers feel better connected to my friends and family, this particularly true in UAE (52% strongly agree), Brazil (51%) and India (46%)
  • Individuals from  Brazil (32%), India (29%), Hong Kong (26%) and Thailand (26%) are most likely to strongly agree they deserve more vacation days than they are given
  • Travelling out one’s home country can help individual feel less vacation deprived, this is particularly true among  those from India (25% strongly agree), Brazil (24%), and Ireland (23%)
  • A chance for more vacation days can motivate some to change jobs, with agreement highest among those in Mexico (26% strongly agree), Brazil (26%), India (23%)
  • Globally 11% strongly agree they are so busy at work that they can rarely use all their vacation days in a given year, this is highest among those in India (23%), Thailand, UAE and Mexico (16%) and Malaysia (15%)
  • Those in India (22%), UAE (14%) and Mexico (13%) are most likely to strongly agree they would take a cut in salary for extra vacation

If They Had More Vacation Days…

  • Some would take longer vacations, highest in Singapore (63%), Malaysia (54%) and India (53%)
  • Some would travel to new places (rather than favorite/usual ones), highest among those in India (67%), Thailand (66%) and Malaysia (64%)
  • Some would travel further, highest among those in Hong Kong (54%), Singapore, Japan & Malaysia (48%), South Korea (45%) and India (44%)

What Would We Be Willing To Give Up For a Week In Exchange For 1 Extra Day of Vacation?

  • Those most willing to give up television for a week: Brazil (54%), Malaysia & UAE (51%), Mexico (50%) and India (49%)
  • Those most willing to give up their favorite food for a week: Finland (47%), Sweden (35%) and India (33%)
  • Those most willing to give up their cell phone/smartphone for a week: Canada (30%), Brazil, France (27%), Thailand (28%) and India (26%)
  • Those most willing to give up Internet access for a week: Thailand (31%), Brazil & Mexico (28%) and India (27%)
  • Those most willing to forgo a shower for a week: Indians (15%), Malaysia & Finland (14%) and UK (12%)

Guilty of taking a vacation? Yes

  • Employees in Japan (18%), USA and India (10%) feel the most guilty about taking a vacation while those in Finland (88%), Denmark (87%) and Spain (84%) are most likely to say they don’t feel any guilt taking their vacation days, believing it is a right
  • Employees in Norway (84%), Mexico (72%) and India (70%) are most likely to say their bosses are supportive of employees taking their vacation time.  Despite this, Indians are also among the most likely to say they have cancelled or postponed vacation plans because of work, along with those in Thailand (73%) and UAE (67%)

Post vacation we are:

  • Happier, with individuals from Mexico (61%), Brazil (57%) and India (53%) being most likely to strongly agree that they feel happier when they return from vacation
  • Better rested, with Brazilians (57%), Mexicans (50%) and Indians (49%) being most likely to strongly agree
  • Closer to our partners or family members, with Mexicans (57%), Indians (52%) and Brazilians (48%) being most likely to strongly agree
  • Less stressed/more relaxed, with Brazilians (58%), Mexicans (53%) and Indians (47%) being most likely to strongly agree
  • More focused at work, with Indians (53%), Mexicans (46%) and Brazilian (40%) being most likely to strongly agree
  • Unfortunately for most, the “vacation high” doesn’t stay around for long, with the Japanese (70%), Indians (56%) and Malaysians (53%) being the most likely to say the “vacation high” wears off within a day of returning.

Next vacation? Already Booked!

  • Perhaps not surprisingly given the positive effects vacations have, 28% of travelers globally and 39% of Indians say they plan their next trip within a month of returning from a vacation.  Four percent (or 8% of Indians) don’t even wait until they get home.


The study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. This survey was conducted online from October 6 – 22, 2015 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels. The study was conducted among 9,273 employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 26 countries.


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