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Americans are leaving more paid vacation days unused, study says

November 25, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • In Boston, hotel rates are much lower between Thanksgiving and Christmas than in the peak summer season, according to travel website Hotwire.
In Boston, hotel rates are much lower between Thanksgiving and Christmas… (Associated Press )

As an information technology supervisor at Pitzer College, Dennis Crowley had so much work to do last year that he finished 2011 without using nearly five of his paid vacation days.

“And to be frank, I was too busy to even realize I was losing time,” he said.

Crowley’s situation is not unusual. A survey by Harris Interactive found that by the end of 2012, Americans will leave an average of 9.2 days of vacation unused, up from 6.2 days last year.

Nearly 90% of respondents said they would take more leisure trips on their vacation if they had the time and money to do so, according to the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, commissioned by the travel website Hotwire.

Hotwire has a self-interested reason for sharing the survey results: The site, which consumers can use to book trips, points out that vacationers can save money by traveling between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

During the gap between holidays, hotel rates are down 33% in Boston, 28% in San Francisco and 26% in Seattle compared with the peak summer travel season, Hotwire said.

Crowley has learned his lesson. He said he is keeping closer tabs on his vacation time this year. But instead of using his accrued days to travel, he said is spending more time with his children.

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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