Health, Happiness and Holidays: The Aussie New Year’s Resolution

On January 13, 2015 at 12:35 AM

Health, Happiness and Holidays: The Aussie New Year’s Resolution

Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation report reveals regular holidays keep the doctor at bay

·         Globally, employees rank being on holiday as what makes them happiest 

·         Over 9 in 10 believe taking regular trips is important for general health and wellbeing

·         Australians leaving one work week of annual leave unused

The New Year is a time for resolutions, new beginnings and exciting adventures, yet new research from Aussies aren’t making the most of their annual leave with more than half (53%) still feeling vacation deprived, a slight improvement from the 57 per cent who felt this way last year.  

The global survey of 24 countries found the average Aussie has five days – equating to one work week – of unused annual leave owing each year, while over a third (37%) take fewer annual leave days than they receive. Just over 2.5 million (11%) are missing out on travel entirely, taking no leave days at all – well above the global average of just four percent.

Despite a disconnect between employees wanting to take holidays and actually making the time, it appears Aussies do understand the benefits of taking a break. According to the report, 92 per cent of the population agree regular vacations are important to their general health and wellbeing, with a further 87 per cent believing it to be important to the health of their relationship with their significant other.

Putting further emphasis on the impact travel can have on our health, it seems a majority of the population agree they feel better rested (94%) and happier (91%) after returning from a holiday -  ranking them among the most content holiday-makers in the world (alongside Germany who feel equally as rested and Mexico who feel even more happy at 93%).

Commenting on the research findings, Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director Expedia Australia and New Zealand urges Aussies to take ownership of their annual leave to ultimately live a happier, well balanced lifestyle.

“Expedia data shows Australians are becoming more conscious of the benefits of taking a holiday, with the number of short breaks up 41 percent, growing faster than long stays at 20 percent, in the last two years. However, our Vacation Deprivation report shows we remain hesitant as a culture when it comes to scheduling time off, falling well behind countries like Germany and Brazil who utilise a majority-to-all of their entitled leave.

For close to half of Aussie employees (46%) taking a holiday rates as the number one thing that makes them happiest, above finding money, getting a tax refund, celebrating a birthday or being told they look younger than they are. Over a third (36%) would take a pay cut for an extra vacation, while 85 percent believe regular travel helps them feel better connected with friends and family.

“It’s evident Australians feel less stressed, more relaxed and happier when returning home from a great trip, so why not make it a New Year’s resolution to use up all owing leave”, said Ruebensal.

Global findings from Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation Report include:

·         More than half (53%) feel vacation deprived, with those in UAE (73%), Malaysia (72%) and Thailand (69%) reporting the greatest deprivation

·         Over a third (37%) of employed adults report taking fewer annual leave days than they actually receive

·         A majority (91%) somewhat or strongly agree that regular holidays are important for general health and wellbeing; 89% somewhat or strongly believe they are important for the health of their romantic relationships

·         Those from Thailand (96%), India (95%), UAE (90%), and Brazil (90%) are most likely to associate vacationing with their overall happiness

·         When they return from a holiday, 85 percent of employees feel better rested, with travellers getting on average one extra hour of sleep per night while away



For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Micky Zucker, Haystac

(02) 8094 7762 or 0413 858 733  

Kirsty Burgess, Haystac

(02) 8094 7507 or 0478 010 533

About the Survey

The study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. This survey was conducted online from August 25 to September 17, 2014 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific among 7,855 employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 24 countries, with 400 employed adults from Australia. 


Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), one of the world's leading online travel company, operates™ ( in Australia. Expedia helps Australians plan and book their travel by providing a personalised service, the latest technology and a wide selection of holiday packages, cheap flights, hotel bookings, car hire, in-destination attractions & activitiesand travel insuranceto suit their travel needs.

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