While this does not necessarily mean that everyone is a workaholic, studies have shown that many people don’t actually use all of the vacation time that they are owed by their employers. In fact, one estimate is that Americans allow more than 750 million vacation days to be left unused. Now that’s a whole lot of beach time that folks are missing out on!
For the past 50 years, in fact, the amount of vacation time that Americans use has been steadily decreasing with about one week less per year than in the 1970s. Vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from their stressful work and school situations, getting them into environments and activities that can help them to relax and bring balance to their lives.
National Plan for Vacation Day is here to make sure everyone lives life to the fullest and uses up those vacation days!
History of National Plan for Vacation Day
According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), people who work 55 hours or more a week are at a much higher risk of suffering from heart disease and stroke than those who work just 35-40 hours per week. It’s likely that taking vacation time might help to mitigate this health risk because it lowers the overall hours a person works each year.
Whether for traveling abroad, taking a short road trip or simply scheduling a stay-cation in your own town to do the things you’ve never done there, this is a great time to add some balance into life by making sure those vacation days get used!
With the understanding that people are much more likely to use their vacation days if they make a plan toward the beginning of the year, National Plan for Vacation Day is situated on the last Tuesday in January. The day was launched in 2017 by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off (P:TO) initiative and encourages people to be sure to use their vacation time!
How to Celebrate National Plan for Vacation Day
Getting involved with National Plan for Vacation Day is all about putting in a bit of dreaming and scheming now so that it can pay off in fun later. Delayed gratification is the name of the game! So get ready to honor this day by implementing some of these ideas:
Plan for Vacation!
The number one activity on National Plan for Vacation Day should, obviously, be to start making plans for what will be done with those vacation days in the coming year. One of the best ways to get started is to answer some questions like these:
- When will the vacation be? Will all of the weeks be used at once or will they be divided up throughout the year?
- Who will go? Will it be a couple’s vacation, a family vacation or a large group of friends?
- What kind of budget is available for travel? Is it an all inclusive resort, a bargain deal to the place where the airline is offering the cheapest flights, or a tour with a group of strangers?
- What’s the preferred way to travel? By car, train or airplane?
Making plans for vacation starts with dreaming about the best way to relax and then finding ways to incorporate those preferences into solid vacation plans. Don’t be afraid to check with a travel agent to get some ideas or book travel packages that let the professionals do all of the work on your behalf!
Verify Those Vacation Days
It’s likely that one of the reasons some people are missing the use of their vacation days is because they aren’t fully aware of how many they actually have coming to them. Larger and smaller companies may have a complicated system that makes it difficult to discern what’s remaining.
In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, be sure to check with your human resources department and find out the exact number of days available so that they can be considered when planning to rest, relax or go on a big vacation adventure!
Host a Plan a Vacation Party
Have lots of friends, family members or coworkers who tend toward being workaholics and forget to take vacation? Perhaps arrange a little dinner party or cocktail hour in honor of National Plan for Vacation Day!
Collect some brochures ahead of time for various travel agents, cruise lines or vacation destinations to be shared on the day. It might even be fun to invite a travel agent or two who would be willing to share their knowledge to the group. Planning a vacation can be super fun, but doing it with friends can make the day even more inviting!
Find Travel Deals
In the past, some travel companies and organizations have participated in National Plan for Vacation Day by offering various discounts and deals to their customers or participants.
While the companies that participate in offering bargains for the day may change each year, some of the past participants include Priceline, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Qatar Airways and United Airlines. So be sure to check with these and other travel companies for the best discounts for this year’s National Plan for Vacation Day celebrations!
Watch a Film about Travel
Those who are on the ball and already have their vacation time planned out for the year can celebrate National Plan for Vacation Day by watching a film about vacation adventures (or disasters!). Try out one of these films to enjoy the day:
- Vacation (2015). Based on the National Lampoon’s series from the 1980s, this movie brings fun and ridiculous adventures.
- Blended (2014). Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler star in this madcap comedy family vacation movie.
- Girls Trip (2017). Four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans to visit the annual Essence festival with Regina Hall and Queen Latifah.
National Plan for Vacation Day FAQs
Should I plan a vacation?
Yes! Everyone should do their best to plan a vacation in advance so they can rest, relax and have fun!
Why is it important to plan a vacation?
Studies show that planning and taking a vacation reduces stress, boosts happiness, increases motivation and may even avoid depression. 
How to plan for a vacation?
Make a list of the places you want to go on vacation, set a budget, research travel, find accommodation and get started!
How early should you plan a vacation?
For large, important trips, start planning 6-12 months in advance. But some people like to find last-minute deals a few weeks ahead. 
Should I use all my vacation days?
Ultimately, yes! Using all those vacation days within the year is the idea.