National Plan for Vacation Day
the last Tuesday in January (since 2017)
Project: Time Off in January 2017
National Plan for Vacation Day, created by Project: Time Off of the U.S Travel Association, is a day for people to plan their vacation days for the upcoming year. The holiday is geared to those with paid time off, as less than half of Americans with paid time off plan their vacations for the year ahead with much advance, and over half of people with paid time off don't use up all their vacation days. In 2017, Americans had 662 million unused vacation days, which accounted for an estimated $236 billion loss to the US economy. According to the creators of the day, more time off will be used if vacations are planned early in the year.
Many don't plan vacations ahead in part because they don't know what their personal, work, and children's schedules will be. Although many are hesitant to ask off so early in the year, bosses will be more likely to approve time off if it is done early. According to 2017 figures, almost half of Americans give less than six weeks of notice when asking for a week off of work. Only about a fifth give at least three months notice. National Plan for Vacation Day aims to change this.
During the last decades of the twentieth century, Americans took on average 20.3 vacation days a year. The number began dropping in 2000, to over four days being lost by 2014. The trend has since begun moving in a positive direction, with Americans on average taking 17.2 days of vacation in 2017. Still, there is much that needs to be done. These figures also must be looked through the lens of our modern and highly connected world, where work is often a 24/7 thing, often interrupting vacations.
There are many benefits to taking vacations, and those who take them have a more fulfilled life overall. They help build bonds and relationships between family and friends and make workers more productive. Those who travel gain new perspectives which spark creativity, which also benefits work environments. Vacations benefit mental health by lessening depression and stress. They benefit physical health as well, such as heart health. One study showed that men who take frequent vacations were 32 percent less likely to die from heart disease. The Framingham Heart Study showed that men who didn't vacation for a few years had a 30 percent higher likelihood of having a heart attack than those who took a vacation. The study also said that women who only took one vacation over a six-year time period were almost eight times more likely to get coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day for planning out your vacation days for the upcoming year. Project: Time Off has a vacation planning tool where you can enter the number of days you will have off and how you want to spend them. You could also check with travel organizations, as some have deals on the day. There are countless places in the United States and around the world that could be visited while on vacation. Perhaps you would rather take several smaller vacations throughout the year than one larger one. This can also easily be done as there are many places close to home where vacations can be taken.