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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 8, 2018) - Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona lead the country in vacation days used, according to new research from Project: Time Off, while residents of Montana, Delaware, and Rhode Island are at the bottom of the pack.


Last year, Americans used 17.2 vacation days, the most since 2010. Despite this marked improvement, 52 percent of employees reported leaving vacation days unused at the end of the year. The new report, Under-Vacationed America: A State-by-State Look at Time Off and Travel, provides a look at vacation behavior in all 50 states.


Vacation Day Leaders and Laggards



Days Taken in 2017

Top Three







Bottom Three





Rhode Island



U.S. Average




Virginia takes the top spot when it comes to vacation days spent traveling. Virginians spend 12.2 of the vacation days they take traveling, significantly higher than the American average of eight days.


“Not all days off have equal benefits,” said Georjeane Blumling, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Studies from Project: Time Off revealed that employees who use their vacation days for travel are significantly happier than the ones who spend their days off close to home.”


In South Dakota, where employees use a national low of 4.3 of their vacation days traveling, just 20 percent of workers report being happy with their health and well-being. That number is almost 30 points below the national average of 49 percent. Missouri (5.2 days) and Iowa (5.4 days) round out the bottom three.


When Americans do get out of the office, employees in Indiana and Michigan are most likely to leave their work behind. Hoosiers and Michiganders take the claim of most unplugged states, with 60 and 52 percent of employees, respectively, saying they do not check in while on vacation. Compare that to Washington, D.C., where just 13 percent of employees unplug, half as many as Virginia, which is second from the bottom at 26 percent, followed by Nebraska (27%) and Connecticut (27%) not far behind.


Additional Findings

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they prefer to indulge than be healthy on vacation.

  • Americans are split on whether they prefer to save or splurge on vacations—just over half (52%) say save and just under half (47%) say splurge.

  • The traditional week-long trip is still the gold standard for most Americans, with 72 percent saying they prefer that length over a long-weekend vacation.


“Whether they choose snow or sand, disconnecting or checking in, lush hotels or log cabins, Americans who spend their vacation days traveling are more likely to get the greatest benefit from their time off,” Blumling added.



GfK conducted an online survey from January 4-23, 2018 with 4,349 American workers, age 18+, who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid time off from their employer. For a complete methodology, please see the report. For the 50-state ranking, please visit


About Project: Time Off

Project: Time Off has uncovered an alarming trend: over the last 40 years, Americans are taking fewer and fewer vacation days. To reverse this trend, we aim to prove that vacation travel is valuable and necessary for strengthening personal relationships, inspiring creative thinking, improving professional performance, and promoting better health. Learn more at


As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at