Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

This Just In: Americans Are Vacationing More

Project: Time Off released their State of American Vacation 2018 survey, which found that American workers are feeling more confident about using their vacation time, showing that an average of 17.2 days of vacation were used per employee in 2017. That’s up from 2016, where the average was 16.8 – almost half of a day less. Finally, people are rewarding themselves for their hard work and taking some much-needed (and deserved) R&R.

According to the survey, the increase in vacation usage made a $30.7 billion impact on the U.S. economy, produced more than 217,000 direct and indirect jobs and generated $8.9 billion in additional income for Americans. So not only are vacations good for the travelers, they’re good for the economy! That’s a great way to think.

The survey found that baby boomers use the most vacation days, with an average of 19.8, but only 9 of those days are used to travel. Millennials, on the other hand, only use an average of 14.5 vacation days but 7.1 of those are for travel, showing that though boomers use more time, they’re not using as much of that time to travel as millennials are. Maybe boomers are having more staycations than millennials, who are more apt to get out and into the world.

It’s important to remember that more than half of Americans still aren’t using all of their earned vacation time. According to Project: Time Off, that’s more than 700 million vacation days and a $255 billion opportunity for the U.S economy. Almost a quarter of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in more than a year, and 12 percent haven’t taken a vacation in the last three years. Three years! Could you imagine?

Another interesting finding from the survey is that 86 percent of respondents said they have not seen enough of their own country. That’s a great opportunity for you as an agent to suggest key U.S. vacation destinations like Las Vegas or Fort Lauderdale or trending destinations like New Orleans and Chicago. Add on a walking tour of the French Quarter or tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago and there you have it: a complete vacation package right here in the U.S.

Finally, survey respondents were asked to rank the top reasons why they travel. The number one reason? To see their child excited about the experience. Combined with the next top answers, you really get at the heart of what a vacation should be: to relax/reduce stress, to make memories, for fun/excitement/adventure and to see or do something new. Use those points when engaging with your agents and hopefully 2018’s number of vacation days will be even higher.

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May. 14, 2018
Tags: Project Time Off , vacation time