Vacation All I Ever Wanted? Half of Americans Haven’t Had A Week Long Vacation in More than a Year

Majority of Americans think an annual vacation is important (58%)

Vacation All I Ever Wanted? Half of Americans Haven’t Had A Week Long Vacation in More than a Year

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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New York, NY — The family vacation and vacation in general has been a staple of the American dream for decades, but according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Insurance for their 10th Annual Vacation Confidence Index, the amount of time between their last vacation continues to grow.

Nearly Half Won’t Have a Vacation at Any Point This Year

About half of Americans (51%) haven’t had any vacation for over a year, including four in ten (38%, +1 pt) who say it’s been more than two years. Others have vacationed more recently: three in ten (29%, -2 pts) took a vacation in the past 4 to 12 months, and two in ten (18%, +4 pts) within the past 3 months. Those who say annual vacations are important are significantly more likely to have taken one at any point within the past 12 months, while a majority (62%) of those who don’t see the importance of annual vacations haven’t had any in more than two years.

Americans’ Time Since Their Last Vacation
Year More Than Two Years Ago More Than A Year Ago Four to 12 Months Ago Past Three Months
2018 38% 13% 29% 18%
2017 37% 17% 31% 14%
2016 37% 16% 30% 15%
2015 40% 16% 25% 16%
2014 39% 12% 28% 19%
2013 44% 16% 25% 14%
2012 35% 15% 28% 21%
2011 36% 15% 29% 19%
2010 39% 17% 23% 19%
2009 33% 14% 24% 27%


When it comes to summer vacation, only four in ten Americans (44%) are confident (32% very/12% somewhat) they would take a summer vacation this year, unchanged from last year and remaining lower than the 46% measured in 2015. About one in three are not confident about the that they will go on vacation this past summer (26% not at all/9% not very), with two in ten who have either already taken their annual vacation (10%) or who plan to take it some other time in the year (10%).

Confidence and Importance in Taking Vacation

Declining vacation confidence is concerning, given that a majority (58%) of Americans continue to think it’s important to take an annual vacation (31% very/27% somewhat), while just four in ten Americans (41%) say it’s not important to them. Perceived importance of annual vacations is down 1 point from 2017, down 7 points from 2016, and down 9 points from when the survey was first launched in 2009, once again signaling a shift in attitudes in America towards vacationing, which could be a reflection of an aging population, for example.

Vacation Confidence + Importance
Year % Confident in Annual Vacation % Confident in Summer Vacation % Who Find an Annual Vacation Important % Who Typically Take a Summer Vacation
2018 48% 44% 58% 46%
2017 51% 44% 59% 49%
2016 50% 43% 65% 43%
2015 51% 46% 57% 47%
2014 52% 45% 56% 51%
2013 49% 40% 57% 45%
2012 52% 44% 56% 50%
2011 51% 45% 57% 55%
2010 45% 40% 64% 49%
2009 44% N/A 67% N/A


The level of confidence Americans have in taking an annual vacation is concerning. Only four in ten Americans (41%) aren’t confident they’ll take a vacation at any point (29% not at all/12% not very), leaving just 48% who express confidence in the prospect of a vacation (35% very/13% somewhat) – this is down 3 points from last year (a further 10% say they’ve already taken a vacation this year). Confidence in taking an annual vacation is at the lowest point is has been since the tail-end and recovery of the Great Recession in 2010, when only 45% expressed confidence.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 31 and June 3, 2018, on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans aged 18+ was interviewed by telephone (via the ORC Caravan). Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos telephone polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2002

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs