Americans used to take more time off on vacation, 20.3 days a year average between 1978 and 2000 with a peak of 21.2 days a year in 1981, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Last year, 768 million vacation days went unused and the average per year for 2005 to 2010 stood at 18.1 days annually.

A RECORD 768 million vacation days went unused last year because 55 percent U.S. workers did not use their allotted time off, according to recent research from the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos. This is up 9 percent from 2017 statistics because the number of earned days is increasing faster than paid time off days used.

A total of 236 million unused days were forfeited completely, equating to $65.5 billion in lost benefits, according to USTA. U.S workers took off an average of 17.2 days in 2017 and 17.4 days in 2018.

The workers earned 23.9 days of paid time off in 2018 compared to 23.2 days in 2017.

The vacation trend also shows a slow increase in the number of paid time off days since 2014.

More than 80 percent of the U.S workers believe in the importance of using their time off to travel, but they do not actually take the trip, the study further adds.

“When I see how many vacation days went unused, I don’t just see a number—I see 768 million missed opportunities to recharge, experience something new and connect with family and friends,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow. “However, it’s an unfortunate truth that cost is the top barrier to travel. Despite the financial challenges of traveling, there are affordable alternatives to explore America—whether it’s a drive up the coast or a day trip to a neighboring town.”

Other reports have shown that when Americans take fewer vacation days, the U.S. hotel industry loses billions.