Fewer Americans Using Vacation Days

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Memorial Day is quickly approaching and many will try to extend their holiday weekend by taking some extra time off, but a recent study says more and more Americans aren't using their vacation days.

Americans already don't have nearly as many vacation days as workers in other countries, but still they don't even take the few days off that they do have.

According to Harris Interactive, 57% of workers did not use all of their vacation days last year. Americans get on average 15 days off a year, but leave an average of 11 of them on the table.

Some workers say they forgo much-needed rest and relaxation because they simply have too much work to do. One-fifth of workers say they can't afford to travel, while others are afraid to take time off in a shaky job market.

Regardless of the reason, licensed psychologist Dr. Kenneth Sullivan, PhD, at The Hearth Psychology and Counseling Center in Huntsville says workers should still try to take some of that time to do something special.

While he hasn't seen any clinical effects, Sullivan says workers need to use those vacation day to help create a sense of adventure, break up work-week monotony and avoid feeling down in the dumps.

"If you don't think you can find the time or the money for a full-fledged vacation, find little things that don't occupy as much time or money that still feel special, that still give a sense of adventure and still involve some family sharing," said Sullivan.

Just for comparison, the UK mandates that employees get a minimum of 28 days off a year, if they have been with a company for 10 years. France and Greece mandate 25 days of vacation a year. The United States does not have a minimum allowance.

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