National ‘Plan for Vacation Day’ is today

Every year Half of Floridians fail to use all their time off, creating a stockpile of 33 million unused vacation days. In fact, AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, knows the most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. Yet only 54 percent of American households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year. That is why January 30th has been deemed “National Plan for Vacation Day”.

 According to the study, 62 percent of the city’s workers have unused vacation time that amounts to more than 5 million days. Forty-two percent of Tampa workers pointed to cost as a barrier, compared to the 32 percent national average. Conversely, Orlando is among the top five cities whose workers use the most vacation time. Only 45 percent of Orlando workers leave vacation time on the table. Thirty-nine percent agree their company culture encourages taking time off, compared to 33 percent nationally.

Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.

  • 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
  • 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42 vs. 18 percent).
  • More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83 vs. 70 percent), health and well-being (57 vs. 48 percent), company (57 vs. 51 percent), and job (59 vs. 50 percent) compared to non-planners.

“Vacation planning doesn’t have to be stressful,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Travelers can make it easy by using AAA.com, the AAA mobile app. For those people who have little time to plan, let a travel agent do all the work for you.”

AAA suggests the following tips to make your 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 timeframe. Identify attractions or activities you are most interested in and determine if they will be available.
  • Leverage your AAA exclusive member discounts for car rentals, flights, hotels, vacation packages and much more. Visit AAA.com/Travel or download the free AAA mobile app.
  • Consider booking vacations with a travel agent.  AAA offers travel services at their branch locations. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, AAA Travel Agencies 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. It 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.

In addition to AAA’s tips, Project: Time Off created a vacation-planning tool to help employees get their vacation days on the calendar.

The decision to travel is a very personal one that must be made by the traveler. No matter where you go, always remain informed of travel alerts and consult a travel agent for their expert advice. AAA travel agents are available to assist members with this information. Travelers can get started planning their next vacation at AAA.com/Travel or download the AAA Mobile app at AAA.com/mobile. Travelers can find discounts, book a hotel and more.

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