These Days, Vacations are NOT Us

May 20, 2009 ( - The economic downturn is apparently playing havoc with the vacation plans of many Americans, according to a new CareerBuilder poll.

A CareerBuilder news release said 35% of those surveyed have scrapped a 2009 vacation. Of those, 71% say the reason is simple: they can’t afford it.

Additionally, close to one-in-five workers indicate that they are either afraid of losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty being away from the office (see Down Economy Leads Workers to Put Noses to the Grindstone ).

In many cases, even getting away physically doesn’t necessarily mean being cut off from the office. Half of employers said they expect workers to check in from their vacation spot, while 40% said that’s only necessary if they have a big project pending or if there is a major company issue going on.

Some 28% of workers say they plan to contact the office at least once, regardless of what they are working on, while they are on vacation.

“While the current economy may be causing workers anxiety about taking a vacation this year, a break from work is essential for maintaining healthy productivity levels in the office,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, in the news release. “Workers should plan ahead and make it a goal to use their vacation benefits; 15 % reported that they didn’t use all of their allotted time last year. Utilizing your time off is even more important now due to the added responsibilities and pressure that some workers may be faced with due to the current economic situation.”

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 4,435 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over between February 20 and March 11, 2009.