Thursday, July 18, 2024

Millennials in UAE ‘are most vacation deprived’: Expedia report

UAE Millennial residents have a higher percentage of vacation deprivation than Gen Zers, 50 percent compared to 35 percent to the latter group, according to a new study.

The 24th Vacation Deprivation report by Expedia also shows that over half of Millennials surveyed are full-time employees. However, Gen Zers globally are more vacation deprived than any other generation.

“Despite receiving more than six weeks of annual leave from their employers and using all of it, UAE residents still feel vacation deprived,” says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations.

“Millennial workers have difficulties planning a vacation – 57 percent feel overwhelmed by the process and find booking travel stressful because they never know if they’re getting a good deal. There’s so much choice that contemplating travel options can become a major mental burden.”  

While UAE Millennials overall take time off less frequently, more than half of Gen X workers (33 percent) go six months or more between holidays. Only 5 percent of Millennials allow themselves a break from work every month. 

For today’s youngest workforce, Gen Z, the biggest thing holding them back is saving for a big trip this year. While being money-conscious is not exclusive to any particular generation, it’s most prevalent in Gen X with (34 percent) saying they much prefer saving their money for a more fulfilling trip, versus just 29 percent of Millennials and 27 percent of Gen Zers. 

Global data

International vacation deprivation has remained the same in 2023, with approximately two-thirds of employed professionals saying they feel somewhat or very vacation deprived. 

For UAE’s Millennials, 50 percent feel holiday deprived according to Expedia’s report, so with half the nation yearning for more holidays, it is perhaps not a surprise given that 32 percent of went a full year without a holiday last year. 

Millennial women feel just a little more vacation deprived than men (58 percent versus 57 percent). The top reasons for Millennials of both genders for not going on holiday are that they are saving for a bigger vacation this year (29 percent), saving time off for unexpected leave (27 percent) and have difficulties in balancing work schedules or workloads due to shortages in staffing (26 percent).

International travel destinations are where most Millennials spend their holidays (52 percent). However, their perfect make up of annual trips would be to take two long weekends, four one week-long holidays and two 14 days holidays per year.

Eager for a 4-day work week

On average Millennial employees living in the UAE receive 25.5 holiday days from their employer and ended up using between 21 and 30 days in 2023, while those lucky ones with unlimited leave used 30 days. In 2024, Millennials plan on taking the same amount of holidays they did in 2023 and the nation’s employers are encouraging it. Expedia’s report showed that UAE employers are doing a good job of encouraging people to take holidays, with between 80 percent and 81 percent of Millennial and Gen Z workers respectively feel their employer is supportive of them taking holidays.

Over 40 percent of Gen Zers are in favour of moving to a 4-day week though, predominantly to have more personal time for things like appointments, managing the household and projects, with a quarter saying they’d use that extra time to travel.

Why holidays are the ultimate mood booster

As expected, almost two thirds (64 percent) of UAE Millennials feel their mood boost when they were on holiday but interestingly over 44 percent see their mood improve when they book the trip and even the planning of it boosting their mood (35 percent).

That holiday feeling is all about spending quality time with loved ones for Millennials (61 percent), for 60 percent it is about rest and relaxing and for 31 percent it is that freeing feeling from the daily responsibilities. Almost 71 percent of Millennials think holidays are good for health and wellbeing, that it is a deserved basic right and that they always come back feeling less anxious.   

Holiday Habits From Around the World 

With the majority of UAE Millennials having feelings of vacation deprivation and days left behind, there are lessons to be learned from other countries. Looking globally, the biggest year-on-year shift in vacation deprivation sees Germans become 14 percent more holiday deprived versus last year and the Japanese 10 percent more. On the flip side, Mexicans and Australians saw a positive shift, feeling 13 percent and 8 percent less deprived respectively. 

Some interesting data:

* Japan, the least vacation-deprived country in the world, makes weekends count: Japanese respondents are seven times more likely to take a trip monthly compared to other countries, despite only taking 11 days of holiday annually. Their strategy: Take advantage of public holidays or office and school closures to schedule frequent, short getaways that allow for a break from the routine and a quick refresh between longer trips, without dipping into precious holiday allocation. 

• France, took the most days off of any country globally, says spread it out: Brits didn’t use all their time off in 2023, leaving two days behind, with almost one in five saving up for one big trip instead. French respondents, on the other hand, tend to shy away from the “big trip,” with nearly a third (30 percent) opting to spread their days off evenly throughout the year instead. Taking the pressure off a big annual trip can save time and holiday allowance.

• Hong Kong, the only market not to leave any annual leave days behind, take more than their allocation: In 2023, took 2 days more than their annual allocation and looking ahead, 15 percent vow to do it again in 2024 (highest globally).  

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