SURVEY SAYS: How Many Vacation Days Will You Leave on the Table in 2012?

Following the release of a survey indicating that U.S. workers tend to leave vacation days unused each year, I asked readers how many days they were leaving on the table in 2012.

Contrary to the survey findings (see Americans Don’t Enjoy Vacations as Do Global Peers), the majority of respondents (60.9%) said they are taking all their vacation days in 2011. However, the next largest percentage (28.1%) reported they were leaving five or more.   

Three percent were passing up one vacation day, 1.6% percent each were leaving two and three vacation days unused, and nearly 5% were leaving four days on the table.  

Most of the verbatims were from respondents who indicated they don’t consider not using vacation days as leaving them on the table as their company’s policy allows them to carry over any unused days. But, my favorite was,” If you choose to lose it, you think you’re more important than you are.”


Loyalty to my company has already killed my marriage, and now it's killing me. There has to be a better way!  

We have a vacation program that allows carry-over but stops accruals at a certain level. Challenge is to find the time to use the vacation accrual. It's more difficult when you know you won't lose the time for not using it.  

Although I earned 41 hours more than I used this year, they weren't really "left on the table" as we can accumulate time. Due to the economy and a child in college, we didn't really take a vacation this year. Maybe next year. 

I'm not leaving any "on the table." I'm saving those I haven't taken for use in 2012. We're allowed to carry some over into the next year at my firm.  

My vacation days roll over to next year so I am not losing any days.  

Our employees can accrue up to 420 hours that carry over from year to year. Amazingly enough we have a few people that occasionally bump up against the max, but so far we have never had any employee lose hours.  

carry over to next year  

If you choose to lose it, you think you're more important than you are.  

If you don't want 'em, I'll take 'em.....  

We can carry up to 180 hours forward to each new year without loss or penalty; so I actually have fewer "left over" days than I wish I did!  

I work for a great company, I can sell up to 5 days back to the company (Christmas bonus to myself!) and carry over another 5 - whoo-hoo!  

My company is so cheap about vacation days that it is almost impossible to leave any on the table.  

I live right on the edge, on the verge of losing time every month but somehow I find a way to squeeze in enough vacation time to avoid losing any days. I do carryover the maximum of 5 weeks vacation each year.  

It was a good question. I had better get busy and start taking some days. I want to use them all up.  

I'm not actually taking all of my vacation, but my unused time carries over.  

When a company has cut staff until one employee serves two or more functions, it becomes impossible for one employee to take a decent vacation, only days here and there, a week at the most.  

I took an unplanned trip to India and that consumed all the days I was saving for the holidays. It's a good thing our company has unpaid vacation (999 days).  

We're using the PTO model so I have a large bank of days I'm accruing for next year. However, at several points this year I've hit my maximum accrual, so I know I've lost several days.  

We have to take our vacation days. We're not allowed to carry them over into the next year and we can't be paid for unused days.