|CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 29, 2018) – National Plan a Vacation Day is Tuesday, January 30 and AAA Carolinas in collaboration with Project: Time Off are encouraging employees to start taking advantage of their vacation days at work by planning their ideal getaway.
In 2016 – the most recent data available – 16,635,259 vacation days went unused in North Carolina and 8,827,859 went unused in South Carolina. Nationwide, more than half of Americans fail to use all of their time off, creating a stock pile of 662 million unused vacation days.
In addition to tiring out employees, the consequences of unused vacation days have been felt economically across the Carolinas as well. In 2016 North Carolina experienced an estimated $2,365,315,489 in untapped economic benefit while South Carolina experienced approximately $1,664,001,322.
With employees overworking themselves and the Carolinas losing out on economic profit, National Plan a Vacation day aims to disrupt the vacation stigma and stimulate communication in the office about the importance of time-off.
“We see entirely too many Carolinians allowing their vacation days to go unused. By planning ahead, we can all reap the benefits of taking a break while giving yourself something to look forward to as well,” said Tiffany Wright, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas. “This National Plan a Vacation Day, we urge Carolinians to prioritize planning.”
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.
Most believe that real workplace change starts at the managerial level. Employees state their greatest hesitation in planning a trip comes from wanting to please their senior leaders (24 percent). Additionally, 76 percent of workers said if they felt more supported by their supervisor they would be more likely to take time off.
AAA Carolinas encourages employees across North and South Carolina and in every field to take advantage of their vacation days. The time off can be beneficial for employees whether they use the time to rest, relax, spend time with family and friends or participate in hobbies.
AAA Travel has a long list of recommendations for employees in the Carolinas looking to vacation close to home. Some of the top destinations include:
- Asheville, NC
- Blowing Rock/Boone, NC
- Charleston, SC
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/ Sevierville, TN
- Beaufort/Fripp Island/Harbor Island/St. Helena Island, SC
For those looking to vacation abroad, the top destinations are Ireland, Italy and the Caribbean. Additionally, the emerging international destinations include:
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.
About National Plan for Vacation Day
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.