Just because January just ended doesn’t mean that it’s too soon to start planning. In fact, the last January of the month is known as “National Plan for Vacation Day,” a miniature holiday that celebrates goal-setting and money saving.
Even if you missed the holiday by a few days, you should always start planning on using your vacation days to the fullest. While you don’t have to plan out your entire year, finding affordable deals on housing and plane tickets is all the easier when it’s done a few months in advance.
After all, planning your vacations at the start of the year gives you a healthy budget to stick to. While you can never accommodate for emergency costs or purchases, many Americans have found a sense of joy and hope while planning for a getaway during the bitterly cold months of January and February.
It’s estimated that nearly 92% of working Americans claim that vacation time is important to them, yet only a fraction of this amount actually uses their vacation days throughout the year. According to the U.S. Travel Association, nearly 25 million vacation days are left unused, many of which don’t roll over to the next year.
Travel organizations and tourist agencies are heralding the National Plan for Vacation Day as a source of good for workers across the country.
“It’s a way to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year so that they will take those days,” claims Steve Hayes, the president of Visit Pensacola, a tourist agency for the city. “And this is national, going through and doing this. And they leave that time on the table and in most cases it goes away, and so you lose it.”
But why are we so averse to taking our much-needed and well-deserved vacation days?
It’s not surprising that many Americans stress over heavy workloads and their daily tasks. Many employees forgo taking a vacation out of fear that their workload will become overwhelming in their absence. Instead of leaving work to recharge, they work themselves into a cycle of stress.
Luckily, planning our vacations in advance may be the answer.
Research and numerous studies have shown that planners are between 18% and 33% more likely to use their vacation time to travel. On top of that 53% of planners are likely to use all of their vacation time compared to only 43% of non-planners.
You deserve to make the most of these vacation days, whether you’re traveling with your family or enjoying a trip for two.
Here are some popular vacation ideas for people who actually want to use their vacation days in the coming year.
- Camping: This is a more affordable venture than staying in a faraway town in an expensive hotel. Camping can seem like a nurturing getaway in a new place, whether you travel for 100 miles or 10 miles. Nowadays, you can find a more structured camping experience through a summer camp program designed for both children and adults. In fact, it’s estimated that over 14 million kids and adults will attend camp throughout the U.S. each year.
- Girls’ Trip: A girls’ trip means more than a trip to the day spa. If you’ve felt lost in your daily routine, gather a few friends to visit a destination for women by women. For example, the company Austin Adventures cater to women only and hosts a variety of events including hiking tours, cruises and more.
- Make the most of winter: Are you in a snowy part of the country? Make the most of the frigid winter weather by taking a weekend vacation to a local ski resort. Not only will this save you money for travel, but it makes the humdrum of winter a little more fun. You may even start an annual tradition to break up the monotony of the cold.
Finding the perfect vacation isn’t easy, but the process is smoother when you plan in advance. Save some money, gather some friends, and start planning your vacation destination in the new year.