Today, January 29th, marks the last Tuesday in January… and National Plan For Vacation Day. With the holiday season just out of sight in our rear-view mirrors, the post-holiday slowdown is the perfect time to plan your vacation in the year ahead. But as you’re focused on hibernating and hitting the gym to burn those extra holiday calories, vacation time may be the furthest thing from your mind. In fact, vacation time seems to be the furthest thing from most Americans’ minds any time of year.
Here are some facts that may give you the no-vacation blues:
According to the U.S. Travel Association, 2018 saw over 705 million vacation days go unused. While there has been a three-year steady improvement in the amount of vacation days used, less than half of the time taken is used for travel. The average employee takes 17.2 days of vacation, but only 47% is used to travel despite 84% of Americans reportedly saying that it is important to them to travel with their time off of work. There is an apparent disconnect between how much time off Americans are using and what they are doing with it versus what they want to do with it. Why is that?
According to a 2018 study conducted by Kimble Applications, Americans report that work-related concerns top the list of reasons why Americans do not choose to go on vacation. 27% of the 1,200 U.S. workers researched reported that they had many projects or deadlines. 13% worried about coming back from vacation to too much work. And 14% in the same study believe employees are more likely to succeed and advance in their career if they choose not to take all their vacation time.
However, taking the time off to travel has many benefits—namely increasing happiness. The U.S. Travel Association’s Fact Sheet reports that those who travel during vacation generally show higher levels of happiness with their company, jobs, personal relationships, health and well-being and how they spent their time off. Traveling touches and can improve many aspects of a person’s life, from their job to their personal relationships, which shows how important that time can be.
So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to plan your next trip!
Read on to learn some benefits of planning your vacation time early in the year, even if your trip is months away:
Maximize through Proper Planning
According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Fact Sheet, those who planned ahead for their vacation time see a number of benefits over those who do not take the time to plot their time off. 53% of vacation planners used all of their allotted vacation time. On the same note, 33% of proactive vacation planners are likely to use all of their time off versus just 18% of those who do not plan. Therefore, taking the steps to plan ahead is the key to maximizing vacation days.
Resource: U.S. Travel Association
Deals & Discounts
Once the busy holiday travel season is over, you may see many deals and discounts for flights and hotels. In a 2017 release, global travel search engine Skyscanner again claimed that January is the best time to take advantage of travel deals. According to their report, U.S. domestic flights average 16% less in January compared to the yearly average. Similarly, international flights can be up to 36% less expensive.
The Early Bird Gets the… Vacation Time
Another perk of planning vacations earlier in the year is having the ability to put in vacation time at work first. Putting in an early request in for time off gives your office the ability to plan around your time and increases your chances of having the request approved. You will also be able to plan your work projects accordingly so travel does not interfere with project progress or a deadline.
And finally, don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
Wherever and whenever you decide to travel, make sure to pack your travel protection plan to cover your trip investment and protect yourself away from home.
Visit The AIP.com to learn if travel insurance plans are available to you through your Alumni Association and get a free quote. You can also call AIP customer service by phone: (800) 937-1387, Monday through Friday, 9 am – 7 pm Eastern Time to get your questions answered.
Safe and happy travels!