Last year, I traveled a lot for business, which is great because I love to travel so much. It doesn’t matter that it is for business; I always find time to enjoy a location. The issue is that I didn’t use any of my vacation time until the end of the year. Again, not a huge deal. I had a wonderful December full of relaxation and very few hours logged for ‘the office’. The problem lies in the fact that I didn’t hit one of my personal travel goals. Not even the easiest, which was to visit Canada. I mean, come on! It’s Canada, right across the border. A 3 hour flight and I’m in Calgary. It’s so easy and yet, it didn’t happen. Why? I felt guilty for taking time off. Amidst restructures, reorganizations, and other upheaval at the company it never felt like the right time. For me and a lot of Americans.
Enter Project: TimeOff, a national movement dedicated to helping Americans realize the benefits of using their allotted vacation time. Here is their mission as stated on their website http://www.ProjectTimeOff.com:
“We aim to shift culture so that taking time off is understood as essential to personal wellbeing, professional success, business performance, and economic expansion.”
Pretty cool mission, isn’t it? And they cite some pretty eye-opening statistics, too.
-Americans leave 658 million days unused each year. The single-most important step workers can take is to plan their time off in advance. Yet less than half (49%) of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year.
- 51% of those who plan their vacation took all of their time off, where just 39% of non-planners did.
- 69% of planners took a week or more of vacation a time, where just 46% of non-planners did.
- The time spent planning correlated with greater happiness in nine categories, including:.
- 85% of planners report they are happier with their relationships with their significant other, compared to 72% of non-planners.
- 69% of planners, compared to 60% of non-planners, report being happy with their relationships with their children.
- 81% of planners say they are happy with their financial situation, compared to 71% of non-planners.
- 90% of planners are happy with their professional success, compared to 82% of non-planners.
What are you waiting for? Visit their website and get to planning!! I’ve already submitted my time off requests so now I just need to figure out where to go!