Americans aren't taking vacations as much as they should be. Don't let this be you!

A new Harris survey shows that the average American will leave 9 days of vacation on the table this year. That's almost unbelievable. Compared to the Europeans, we get almost no vacation at all! And here we have people forfeiting almost two full weeks!

We went through a phase where people were working themselves silly because they thought they'd be laid off if they took a vacation. While that may have been true in some cases, that trend has now reversed and people should be availing themselves of what's called "paid time off" at many companies.

My thing is, I take a good amount of vacation. I believe it makes me a better employee. I'm just fresher for the next 6 weeks or so when I come back from vacation.

I know money still remains tight for many. Yet you can find a way to vacation without having to break the bank or having to stay tethered to home during a staycation. Popular options include going to state parks, renting a cabin, or even staying at an inexpensive motel.

As just one example, I was recently at a 3-star hotel that I booked for $45 a night. It was a nice hotel and, no, it wasn't one of my crazy Priceline or Hotwire deals. It was a deal I just happened to find while looking online, and I booked it at the hotel chain's own website.

If you can get away, the fall offers one of the cheapest times to take a vacation.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

Show Comments 0