Each year, the U.S Travel Association celebrates "National Plan for Vacation Day" and this year it's taking place on Tuesday, January 26. This day is dedicated to encouraging and helping Americans plan out their vacation days for the coming year. Why? Because studies have shown that vacation "planners", or those who take the time to plan out their vacations well in advance, use more of their time and take longer and more impactful vacations than "non-planners." The study shows that:
- Vacation planners used 12 paid time off days to travel on average, compared to five days used by non-planners.
- 23% of non-planners have not taken a vacation or trip in the last two years, compared to 4% of planners.
- Planners tend to be happier in general-with everything from their personal relationships, their health and well-being, to their job.
These numbers are important because nearly half (46%) of American households do not take the time to plan their vacations and lose out on a multitude of benefits, including the physical and mental benefits of travel.
Over the last two decades, scientists have done plenty of research to learn about the physical and mental benefits of travel and the results are overwhelmingly positive - showing that travel reduces stress, boosts brain health, and even decreases your risk of heart disease!
The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, released research in 2014 that shows travel offers the same sort of physical and cognitive benefits as crossword puzzles or museum visits.
According to the research:
- Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.
- Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20 percent higher risk of death and about a 30 percent greater risk of death from heart disease.
- Benefits of travel are almost immediate. After only a day or two, 89 percent of respondents saw significant drops in stress.
It's not just your body that benefits from traveling - it's your mind too! Travel has been shown to increase happiness and decrease depression. One study showed that a four-day "long weekend" vacation had positive effects on well-being, recovery, strain, and perceived stress for as long as 45 days!
So on National Plan for Vacation Day think about your vacation time for 2021 and plan out a few trips. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Even if it's a staycation, the benefits to your health are numerous. If you need inspiration, check out our Destinations page with information on all of our amazing resorts available to owners!