Every year more than half of Americans fail to use all their time off, creating a stockpile 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.
Arizonans use more vacation days compared to the rest of the country. However, 41 percent of Arizonans leave over 11.4 million vacation days unused every year, accounting for over $3 billion in untapped annual economic benefits, according to Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report.
Research shows that travel planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s 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.
- Consider working with a travel agent. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, AAA travel agents have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available to the general public.
- Plan ahead. If you are leaving the country you will need a passport, remember that it can take up to six weeks to get a new passport.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance, which 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.