The Benefits Of Vacation Time
According to Project Time Off, “More than half of American workers (55%) left vacation time unused in 2015. This adds up to 658 million unused vacation days.” What’s worse, “Eighty percent of employees said they would be likely to take more time off if they felt fully supported and encouraged by their boss.” The study concluded, “By giving up this time off, Americans are effectively volunteering hundreds of millions of days of free work for their employers, which results in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits.”
That’s a whole lot of working for free – and while Americans tend to associate taking time away from work with a lack of dedication, using those vacation days is actually good for you. There are many benefits of vacation time that you may now know of, we get into those below.
Reduce stress, improve your productivity, sleep better, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Not only can those vacation days reduce stress, improve your productivity, and help you sleep better, there is also research that shows they can reduce your risk of heart disease. One study showed, “Men at risk for heart disease who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least a week off each year.” And researchers found similar results for women: “Women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack, or die of a coronary-related cause than those who took at least two vacations a year.”
And while time off can prevent heart attacks, renew your spirits and make you feel energized upon return, not all vacations benefit your well-being and mental health. One study conducted by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and the Institute of Applied Positive Research found, “Poorly planned and stressful vacations eliminate the benefits of time away.”
To ensure that your vacation doesn’t do more harm than good, follow these tips on the benefits of vacation time, while planning your spring and summer travels:
Plan in Advance
Seventy-four percent of those surveyed found the most stressful aspect of travel was figuring out all of the details of a trip. To avoid this, plan well in advance and consult a travel agent if you’re able. Anticipating things like transportation, finding your way around, and hotel accommodations before your trip will greatly reduce your stress level. The study also found that those who experienced positive vacations planned at least a month in advance and felt prepared when the time came to leave. Those with negative experiences were still arranging last-minute details days before or even during their trip.
Make a To-Do List
Make a to-do list for your vacation arrangements, and start early. Book your hotel, decide on transportation, hire a dog boarder or pet sitter, and buy your tickets sooner than later.
Travel as Far From Home as Possible
For the most mood-heightening benefits, the BBC recommends traveling as far from your home as possible. This is because researchers at the University of Vermont spent some time studying Twitter and found a correlation between a vacationer’s distance from their home and the content of their tweets. Those who traveled the furthest tweeted a significantly higher number of happy words. The HBR survey also found that of its participants, “Ninety-four percent found traveling during the vacation to be more meaningful than a staycation.”
Travellers that were surveyed reported that their biggest vacation stresses were managing details, not feeling safe, and being in unfamiliar surroundings. Of those who reported having the best trips, “Seventy-seven percent knew and met with a local host or had a knowledgeable friend.” If you won’t know anyone in your vacation’s vicinity, there are a number of travel agencies that offer local guide services. Meeting up with someone native who can show you around can make all the difference.
If that weren’t enough to convince you to use your vacation days, consider this statistic from Harvard Business Review: “People who took fewer than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in a three-year period of time. People who took more than 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.”
So, if you want to boost your future income, you’d better start planning your next getaway and using up that vacation time, keep this article as a resource for all the benefits of vacation time!
Holly Perkins | May 2, 2018
Holly Perkins is the creator of MindfulTraveler.net. She loves travelling and believes that is very important to make sure we’re all taking the precautions we need to in order to protect ourselves and our belongings.