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Why do we do this to ourselves? Even if you love what you do, everyone needs a break. According to the U.S. Travel Association, over half of Americans don’t use all of their paid vacation days.

Female friends jumping against sea and sky

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According to, employees said that worries about work were the biggest factor holding them back from taking time off. Many simply don’t want to “return to a mountain of work”, presumably a workload that would be heavier if they had not taken time off (40%). The other top two reasons include: “No one else can do the job” (35%) and not being able to afford a vacation (33%). Even when they do take time off, many find it hard to disconnect from their responsibilities in the office, continuing to check emails or take calls.

According to Project: Time Off, that’s 658 million vacation days left unused. And 222 million days of those vacation days will not roll over to the next year, be paid out or be saved in any other way, which means almost one-third of those vacation days are truly lost.