Americans Need to Recharge More Often

May 28, 2013 ( - Americans are not getting vacations as often as they feel they need them, according to research by Kelton commissioned by SpringHill Suites.

One in five (20%) Americans say they cannot even go one month before they feel like they need a vacation. On average, Americans feel they can go about their daily routine for approximately six months (173 days) prior to feeling like they need a vacation.    

Unfortunately, many have to wait much longer to get a break, as the average American goes about 11 months (47 weeks) between such breaks. Men, however, go longer between vacations than women (about one year or 52 weeks vs. about 10 months or 43 weeks).  And travelers without kids vacation less often that those with kids. On average, there are 14 months between vacations for travelers without kids, and about 8 months between vacations for those with kids.   

When Americans do find the opportunity to get away, they want to enjoy several days of relaxation. The average American thinks the perfect length of a vacation is 12 days.   

However, many in the workforce are not allotted any paid vacation time, and those who are feel they deserve more.  Close to one in four (23%) employed Americans do not get any paid vacation days, and nearly half (49%) of those who do get this benefit are allotted less than 15 days of paid vacation.  This amount of paid vacation is not satisfying to most. Nine in ten (90%) employed Americans say they want or feel they need more allotted vacation days. These folks would like an additional 17 paid vacation days, on average.

More than nine in ten (92%) summer vacationers plan to book a hotel for their trips this season, and they appreciate the amenities hotels offer. More than four in five Americans (84%) would miss at least one convenience offered at a hotel after leaving. Of these travelers, 38% are most likely to miss the convenient, ready to-go breakfast in the lobby. In-room amenities are also noticed. More than two in five (39%) Americans who have stayed in a hotel have liked something they used there so much that they purchased the same item and brand to have it at home, including shampoo and conditioner (43%), lotion (42%), soap (42%), pillows (38%), towels (34%) and sheets (28%).  

In order to reduce the stress the cost of these trips can produce, many vacationers set vacation budgets.  However, many tend to spend more than they plan, likely due to not being able to resist splurging on certain items.  Four in five (81%) vacationers set a budget, with more women than men (86% vs. 76%) doing this. More than three in four (77%) of those who do not consider themselves to be budget conscious in their everyday life set a vacation budget.   

However, more than one-third (36%) of budgeters spend more than they plan for.  Fifty-five percent typically manage to stick to their budget, while nine percent come in under budget at their end of their trips.  Having any money left over would be surprising since 93% of Americans are likely to splurge on vacation, and meals (71%) top the list of things to splurge on.  

Sticking to a budget does not trump the need for our smartphones. More than four in five (85%) Americans would be willing to give something up during their vacation for 25% off their hotel stay. Less than three in ten (26%) of these folks would be willing to give up their mobile device for 25% off their hotel stay. In comparison, close to half (54%) of those 21 and over would forgo alcoholic beverages and 40% would go without housekeeping for the same discount.  

Social media sites are proven to be a useful tool for gathering vacation advice and ideas from friends. More than two in five (44%) Americans who use social media agree that seeing vacation pictures or posts on such sites media would make them want to go to that destination. More than one-third (35%) who use social media have learned about new vacation spots from seeing posts from their friends on these sites.   

Kelton, a global insights firm, completed an online survey of 1,048 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older.