The benefits of taking your time to plan a vacation

The Benefits of Taking Your Time to Plan a Vacation

Photo via Flickr/kenji ross

Setting aside ample time to plan your vacation in advance is the simplest way to ensure you’ll actually utilize all of your vacation time in 2017 and experience all the benefits of taking a much-needed break, according to Project: Time Off.

In anticipation of the inaugural National Plan for Vacation Day Jan. 31, the initiative has revealed a handful of data-backed benefits of taking the time to plan a getaway, which fewer than half of Americans (49 percent) actually do.

More Time Away

One key benefit of planning ahead is a longer break. According to Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2016 report, 51 percent of planners took all of their vacation time, compared to just 39 percent of non-planners.

What’s more, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of planners took off a week or more, compared to just 46 percent of non-planners.

Increased Happiness

While spending more time on vacation is sure to make travelers happier, the process of planning a trip alone is enough to improve your mental state.

Project: Time Off found that the amount of time spent planning a vacation correlates with increased happiness across a handful of categories, including at work, in relationships and with finances, which are oftentimes the most stressful aspects of one’s life.

More Productivity

Time away from work is actually beneficial to your work life for a variety of reasons and employers agree.

Nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) surveyed managers are in agreement that using vacation time is beneficial to employees and therefore business.

Taking time off to unwind helps reduce stress and subsequently improve one’s mental and physical health. Plus, it reduces the likelihood of employees taking sick days down the road or underperforming due to burnout.

“Vacation has become a casualty of America’s culture of busy,” Project: Time Off’s senior director Katie Denis said in a statement. “Planning is the simplest and most powerful way to use more time—and the advanced notice will make it easier for managers to say yes to requests.”