Americans are not making use of their PTO, and it’s becoming a problem. Cue National Plan Your Vacation Day, a national holiday on the last Tuesday of every January. With 52% of Americans leaving their PTO on the table, totaling a whopping 705 million unused vacation days per year, the US is quickly gaining a rep as the “No-Vacation Nation.”
Project Time Off reports those who use their paid days off for travel have better relationships, healthier lives and better overall wellbeing. But taking those vacation days will make your boss happy, too. Employers report evidence of success and enjoyment in the workplace, often yielding an 18% better chance of a promotion! So who is scheduling their days off in advance? Virginia, Colorado and New Jersey spend an average of 11 days traveling each year, while the workers of South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa spend a mere five days out of the office on PTO each year, well below the national average of eight days’ vacation. January 29, 2019, National Plan Your Vacation Day, is a friendly reminder to America—book your vacation now, it’s good for you.
Should You Take Vacation?
That’s a resounding ‘yes’ from us! According to Project Time Off, employees do not take vacation out of fear they will appear less dedicated or replaceable. They believe their workload is too heavy to leave or feel guilty for using paid time off. To debunk that myth though, there are several reports and practices that show your employer wants you to book that trip. In Frank Abagnale’s book, The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America’s #1 Crime*, he explains the US government wants its staff to take vacations as a method to prevent fraud within the operation.
How to Plan Your Vacation
While planning a vacation for many is almost as exciting as the vacation itself, for others, planning a vacation can be stressful—it’s hard to know where to start. All you have to do to plan a vacation is start. Traveling is not too expensive and nowadays there are destinations and vacation deals to suit every budget.
1. Plan the Days Now
Use the vacation planning tools on U.S. Travel Association or Project Time Off to block off the days you want to take your vacation. We recommend a minimum of eight days, because, well, science. And remember, working during your vacation doesn’t count on National Plan for Vacation Day. The days you’re planning are 100% offline and work free, so you can actually reap the benefits and return to work feeling refreshed.
2. Get Ideas & Inspiration on Beach.com
It’s a big world with innumerable beaches, but our thoughtfully-researched articles and destination guides make planning your vacation simple. Check out our destinations to narrow down where you want to go, or simply browse through our trip ideas for inspiration on where to stay, delicious eats, unforgettable activities and, of course, dazzling beaches made for relaxation.
Once you choose your destinations, if you want to get really into planning, check out My Maps on Google. You can create your own custom map including routes, restaurants, attractions and anything else your heart desires.
3. Book It
Taking the leap to actually book a vacation—especially one that’s far out on the calendar—can be really scary. But as experts on both beaches and travel, we can tell you it’s worth it. Getting out of your comfort zone, experiencing a new place and making memories with the ones you love the most are what make life worth living.