AAA Encourages Americans to ‘Plan for Vacation Day’

PITTSBURGH — Every year more than half of Americans fail to use all their time off, creating a stock pile of 662 million unused vacation days.

“In Ohio, 49% of employees are leaving 22 million days unused,” said Bevi Powell, AAA East Central senior vice president in a news release. “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.”

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% of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year.

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated today, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year.

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.

The study finds 52% of planners took all of their vacation time versus 40% of non-planners. And 75% 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 versus 18%).

More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83 versus 70%), health and well-being (57 versus 48%), company (57 versus 51%, and job (59 versus 50%) 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 time frame. 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.
  • Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. AAA offers travel services at its branch locations.
  • 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.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.