Struggling to find time to squeeze in a vacation this year? You’re not alone. A new report suggests that Americans let millions of vacation days go to waste every year. With that in mind, today is National Plan for Vacation Day to try to encourage us to use those days we have stockpiled.
Tuesday has been declared “National Plan for Vacation Day” by the US-based Project: Time Off, an organization that aims to get Americans to take back their lost vacation time. In 2016, more than half of American workers left a total of 662 million vacation days unused, something Project: Time Off is trying to change. The group believes that vacations are important to our well-being, and the new “holiday” is designed to help Americans to plan ahead to ensure that they make the most of their vacation days.
Project: Time Off claims that 51% of Americans fail to plan in advance for their vacation. So, the organization has unveiled a new Vacation Planning Tool to help you get started. Click here to check it out!
Fox News wrote, “If the cold’s got you feeling blue, take out your calendar, pour a tropical drink and get busy booking a getaway in honor of National Plan for Vacation Day. The inaugural holiday is being organized by the Project: Time Off Coalition in hopes of helping Americans improve their health and happiness.”
“Vacation has become a casualty of America’s culture of busy. Planning is the simplest and most powerful way to use more time—and the advanced notice will make it easier for managers to say yes to requests,” the group’s senior director Katie Denis said in a press release.
CNN.com added, “Researchers have also found that vacation is also valuable for mental health and well-being. “Vacation is essential to reset and remind yourself that career is not the be-all and end-all. There are other facets to a healthy existence [outside work],” said Sherry Amatenstein, a New York City-based therapist and editor of the anthology “How Does That Make You Feel? True Confessions from Both Sides of the Therapy Couch.”
That mental break doesn’t just feel good. It also benefits businesses — which is probably why even though Western European workers have more time off than the US does, generous vacation policies haven’t been found to affect productivity.Schulte says that all the research points in the same direction. Those who don’t take time off are “sicker, less productive, stressed, and more anxious and depressed—that affects your work as well.”
Block your calendar, even if you are not sure of your plans just yet. Keeping the calendar clear creates the opportunity to take vacation.
Talk to your manager about your plans as far in advance as possible. The longer the lead time, the better chance of having your time off approved and coordinating coverage in your absence.
Plan for your bucket list — not just your to-do list. A long weekend has its place, but careful planning allows for longer breaks, making the most of your time away from work.
Share your thoughts on this inaugural holiday and whether you have failed to use all of your vacation time in years past. Will you handle your time off differently this year? If so, how? Generating interesting dialogue around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!