Don’t Let Your Boss Shame You Out Of Your Next Vacation


So, we already know that millennials suck at using all of the vacation days they accrue throughout a year of work. But we didn’t realize that one of the main reasons behind this workaholism is a little thing called “vacation shaming.”

According to a new survey, the Vacation Confidence Index, conducted by travel insurance firm Allianz Global Assistance, millennials (more than any other generation) observe that their colleagues and bosses discourage people from taking time off in some way, shape or form. More than a quarter are nervous when they need to request days off, and sometimes, those nerves transform into feelings of guilt, fear or shame.

“We were surprised to see that when compared to older generations, millennials more commonly succumb to these negative feelings by choosing not to take all their entitled vacation days,” Daniel Durazo, the director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, said in a statement.


While “vacation shaming” seems most troublesome for the younger adults in the workforce, employees of all ages in the United States still have pretty poor vacation habits overall. This survey says that 48 percent of millennials don’t use all of their vacation days each year, but a previous survey from Allianz found that it’s been more than a year since 53 percent of Americans, in general, took a vacation and 37 percent of them haven’t taken a trip in more than two years.

The Vacation Confidence Index is limited by the fact that it only includes the opinions of approximately 1,000 American adults who opted into taking the survey, as well as their structured definition of vacation (“a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from one’s home“). Many millennials do take time off, but not in weeklong chunks or to spend them in destinations that far from their homes. Staycations should totally count when your work email is turned off.

At the end of the day, it’s one thing to love your job so much that you forget to take vacations and another entirely to fear the potential negative repercussions of leaving. If you work in an oppressive environment where you can’t enjoy a long weekend without a serious bout of anxiety, it’s time to stand up for yourself and discuss the issue directly with your manager. Either that, or start looking for a new job that won’t be so dysfunctional about its hard-earned benefits.