FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
With Memorial Day weekend - and the unofficial start to summer - just around the corner, many Americans have no vacation time in sight.
A recent study shows 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of last year.
And most of them had about 11 days left over, or nearly 70% of their allotted time off. Who takes only 30% of their vacation?
Well, one of the biggest reasons people skip their vacation is because they feel like they have too much work. Others say they can't afford to travel - no surprise in this economy. And still others say they are afraid to take time off from work in an unstable job market, also not surprising with unemployment stuck above 8%.
Meanwhile, the U.S. plays by different rules than most other developed countries when it comes to vacation. The law here doesn't require companies to offer any paid vacation to employees.
Nevertheless the average American worker gets 13 paid days off. Compare that with Italy, where the average worker gets 42 days off. In France, it’s 37 days off.
And guess what? Nearly 90% of the French use all of their vacation time. Insert your own joke here.
Experts say a lot of this is cultural. Many of these countries also have strong labor unions. Some European cities, such as Paris, practically shut down for part of the summer when everyone goes on vacation.
As for Americans, the trend is for people to take long weekends instead of one- or two-week vacations.
It's understandable that people are worried to leave the office for too long in our shaky economy; but it does make it harder to recharge your batteries and get a mental break from work.
Here’s my question to you: Why don't most Americans take all their vacation time?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.