Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

National Plan for Vacation Day is Here to Remind Americans to Use Their PTO

When was the last time you took a vacation? If you can’t remember, it’s time to take action.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the organization dedicated to promoting travel within the U.S., 55% of Americans are still not using all their paid time off. That’s 768 million vacation days left on the table in 2018. Are you one of the guilty ones?

Treat Yourself

Don’t leave your vacation time on the table. January 28, 2020 is National Plan a Vacation Day, so take some time out of your schedule and do just that: plan your next trip. You deserve it!

If you’re a millennial, you might be doing ok on the vacation front. But if you’re a Gen Xer or baby boomer, you may need some motivation. The U.S. Travel Association found that, “while older Americans take more time off than younger age groups, millennials use a greater share of their vacation days to travel.” Workers with children are also more likely to use their vacation days for travel as families see vacation time as, “beneficial to having fun and creating excitement, making memories, strengthening bonds with family and friends and continuing traditions.”

Why Are We Like This?

The U.S. Travel Association credits this trend of all work and no play to the fact that the workforce is expanding. As the workforce grows, more employees gain access to PTO increases and more PTO is earned resulting in an increased number of unused vacation days.

Not only is using our PTO good for our sanity, relationships and overall life experience, it’s also good for the travel industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. “In 2018, Americans took 1.8 billion domestic leisure trips, whose $650 billion in spending supported 5.5. million American jobs,” said the U.S. Travel Association. So you’re not just treating yourself, you’re stimulating the economy! “There is an opportunity to further grow domestic leisure travel, based on paid time off and vacation usage trends. More than half of Americans are still not using all their paid time off and those that are using their days, are spending just a portion of them to travel and see the USA.”

On the bright side, things are looking up as Americans used an average of 17.4 days of PTO in 2018, an increase from the 17.2 days reported in 2017. Of the 17.4 days taken off an average of nine are used for travel.

Take Action Now!

Stop what you’re doing and check how vacation time you have stashed away. Next, start brainstorming where you want to go, what you want to do and when. Now email, call, text, whatever your travel agent and get something on the books!

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