Make the Best of Your Vacation Days

Another year, another survey about Americans’ lack of travel. Expedia recently posted their annual Vacation Deprivation report and, when all is said and done, the study predicts 462 million vacation days to go unused in 2017.

Assessing the habits of more than 15,000 adults across 30 countries, the study revealed Americans are among the worst at using vacation time. This is especially true for Millennials, who not only don’t take vacations, but they receive the least amount of vacation time. The good news is that American vacation deprivation is down 4 percent from last year – but what else does the report tell us?

Reasons We Don’t Travel

Even though we mostly agree travel is good for work and our wellbeing, why are we letting vacation days go to waste? According to the Expedia survey, these are the top factors:

  • Budget (43 percent).
  • Stockpiling vacation days for a long trip (30 percent).
  • The inability to escape work (22 percent).

Do you fall under one of those? Either way, most people still have positive views about travel.

Travel is Good

As is the case in Expedia’s past surveys, people are overwhelmingly pro vacation, whether or not they take one.

  • More than 90 percent of vacationers surveyed think that travel is good for their general health and well-being, helping curb stress and improve relationships.
  • Taking time away from the office can rejuvenate you and make you more productive when you return.
  • 65 percent of workers think that avoiding vacations reduces productivity.
  • Almost half of Americans spend time at work thinking about/planning a vacation.
  • Above all, Americans think the best part about vacations is spending time with family and friends.

Most of us could probably use a break, wouldn’t you agree?

Vacations Should Be an Escape

Even those who do travel have a hard time taking full advantage of their time off. In the digital age, it’s hard to leave your life behind with constant Internet access.

  • A vacation is a chance to unplug from the world and truly escape. However, more Americans than ever admit to checking email and social media at least once a day while on vacation (24 percent).
  • This adds stress to what should be a stress-free environment. 48 percent of people around the world said they had to cut a trip short because of work.
  • The good news is 68 percent of people use phones, tablets and computers to research activities, check in to places and share photos with followers.
    Staying plugged in isn’t all bad if you’re using your devices for the right reasons.

What Should You Do?

We’ve mentioned a few ways in previous posts to improve travel habits (Travel is the Best Investment You Can Make,” “How to Stop Worrying and Travel Without Fear”), but studies like this show specific problem areas. So what are some ways you can take advantage of your vacation days?

  • If you’re a Global Discovery Vacations member, you have access to budget friendly condo rates, so take advantage of them!
  • Hey, the holidays are coming up. And since the Expedia survey found that Millennials have difficulty saving up for a trip, you might get them a vacation using your membership as a gift! The memories of a vacation last longer than clothes or many material possessions, so it’s the perfect item to add to your list.
  • Leave your work at work. If possible, make sure to let coworkers and supervisors know that you will be away from your email. Explain that you need the time off to recharge and trust that your company will respect that.
  • Remember that travel is a necessity, not a luxury.

When the holiday season begins, the demands and stress can increase considerably. It’s days like these that we have to remember to take time for ourselves for our mental and physical health. If you’re finding it hard to use your vacation days, we hope this survey inspires you to find a way to use more in 2018!

How do you make the most of your vacation days? Let us know in the comments below!

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.