Americans wasting millions of vacations days each year

COLUMBUS — More than half of Americans fail to use all their vacation time, creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days each year. January 30, 2018 is National Plan for Vacation Day. AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, encourages workers to take this day to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year.

In Ohio, 49 percent of employees leave nearly 22 million vacation days unused. This takes a toll on families, worker productivity, stress levels and overall well-being. Research from Project: Time Off shows that those who plan and take vacations are happier than non-planners.

Taking vacation also helps stimulate the economy. If Americans use their vacation time, it would generate $128 billion in direct spending, and have an overall economic impact of $236 billion for the U.S. economy.

AAA suggests the following tips to make 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.

Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, travel agents have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere.

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, which 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.
AAA encourages Ohioans to plan for vacation


Information for this article was provided by Kimberly Schwind of AAA Ohio