Every year more than half of Americans fail to use all their time off, creating a stock pile of 662 million unused vacation days. AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, knows the most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. Yet only 54 percent of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year.
“In Kentucky, 54 percent of employees are leaving 9 million days unused,” says Bevi Powell, AAA East Central Senior Vice President. “We are encouraging everyone to prioritize your vacation time and reap the benefits of taking a break while giving yourself something to look forward to.”
Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.
- 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
- 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42 vs. 18 percent).
- More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83 vs. 70 percent), health and well-being (57 vs. 48 percent), company (57 vs. 51 percent), and job (59 vs. 50 percent) compared to non-planners.
AAA suggests the following tips to make your vacation planning a reality:
- Create a tentative budget and schedule so your trip planning can be accomplished in a realistic manner.
- Research and understand the pros and cons of traveling to a destination during your preferred timeframe. Identify attractions or activities you are most interested in and determine if they will be available.
- Leverage your AAA exclusive member discounts for car rentals, flights, hotels, vacation packages and much more. Visit AAA.com/Travel for more information.
- Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. AAA offers travel services at their branch locations. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, AAA Travel Agencies have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere.
- Plan ahead. If you are leaving the country you will need a passport, and possibly a visa or health documentation. It can take up to six weeks to get a new passport, so allow time to secure all necessary documents.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance, it is designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen events. Check with a travel agent and carefully review insurance policies before purchasing, as coverage options vary.
In addition to AAA’s tips, Project: Time Off created a vacation-planning tool to help employees get their vacation days on the calendar.
The decision to travel is a very personal one that must be made by the traveler. No matter where you go, always remain informed of travel alerts and consult a travel agent for their expert advice. AAA travel agents are available to assist members with this information. Travelers can get started planning their next vacation at AAA.com/Travel, where they can find discounts, book a hotel and more.
About National Plan for Vacation Day
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.