U.S Workers Who Plan Vacation Days Work Less than Non-Planners: The #PlanforVacation Movement

It's the end of January. Have you planned a vacation or a trip this year? Studies show that if you have already planned a trip for sometime this year then you are more likely to work less than those non-planners out there. And that's a good thing because that means you are more than likely taking all the vacation days earned to you. 

According to research from Project Time Off,  fewer than half of Americans (49%) take the time to plan their vacation days out each year.

Why you should plan for vacation each year

Yes. I know. We have a day for everything for these days, but Tuesday, January 30 is National Plan for Vacation Day. This national observance is dedicated to encouraging Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. By failing to block the calendar, Americans are creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days and a $236 billion missed opportunity for the U.S. economy.

"At the beginning of the year the calendar is still full of possibility and there is no better time to start planning vacation days," said Katie Denis, chief of research and strategy at Project: Time Off. "Americans who want to use more of their vacation time can put themselves in a better position to do so by planning ahead—and their request is more likely to be approved by the boss."
The lack of planning has implications in the office. Managers are near universal (91%) in saying they want to approve vacation requests, but a significant 43 percent say they are sometimes unable to because their employees did not provide enough notice. Nearly half (48%) of employees give six weeks or less notice when taking at least a week off; just 19 percent give three months or more.
Employees may be intimidated to give more notice. About a quarter of employees fear that their boss would not approve of them asking about all their plans for the year up front (27%). But an overwhelming majority of managers say it would be helpful to know their direct reports' vacation plans for the year at the start of their company's fiscal year (78%) and think that employees who share their plans that far in advance are being responsible (88%).

#PlanforVacation is a U.S Movement to stimulate the economy and to have the workforce be less stressed.

Planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. According to Project: Time Off's The State of American Vacation 2017, workers who set aside time each year to plan out their vacation days use more of their vacation time, take longer breaks, and report greater happiness than non-planners with their relationships, health, and well-being, company, and job.
To help Americans plan, Project: Time Off launched a vacation planning tool that lets employees enter in the number of days off they earn, plot out how they want to spend them, save to their calendars, and export to their friends and family—and even their bosses. Travel organizations are also offering discounts, giveaways and sweepstakes, and itineraries for vacations.
"It's time for Americans to reclaim their calendar and vacation time," said Cait DeBaun, director of communications for Project: Time Off. "Make 2018 the year you check an item off your travel bucket list…not just your to-do list."

50 percent of North Carolinians take the vacation days owed to them. That's better than the national average.

In the Triangle, it appears we have some planners who live here.  Some workers I spoke to said that they need to put in vacation days in October or November for the following calendar year. While a business owner said, they require at least a 30-day notice for planned days off. 
Most people I spoke with said that they try to plan a vacation when they know they may not be needed at work as much. But, aren't we always need at work. So....just plan!!

In preparation for National Plan for Vacation Day, North Carolina developed a five-question quiz to helps workers gauge their losses and offers a chance to win back the amount on a Visa gift card. Those who take the quiz also will receive inspiration from Visit NC to help them plan 2018 vacations instead of leaving time-off compensation on the table.
My home state fares slightly better than the national average, with 50 percent of the workforce leaving a total of 16.6 million vacation days unused in 2016. The loss in potential spending is $2.4 billion.

 “Putting plans in place on Jan. 30 gives us time to build a budget for the trip,” Wit Tuttell, Executive Director of Visit NC said. “By the time vacation rolls around, we’ll be past the point of thinking about the trip as a luxury of time and money. We’ll simply see it as priceless.”

Where would you like to go vacation in 2018? 

For NC inspiration, check out my North Carolina tab and also my hotel/travel section for national travel. 

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