Making Time For Vacation Planning

Vacations Are The Best

Who doesn’t love to get away for a bit of vacation? For me, it’s about stepping out of my routine, exploring new places, quality relaxation, and a bit of play. My vacations are something that bring me a lot of happiness. In fact, even before the vacation begins – from the moment we start planning our family getaway (or even a staycation) – there’s a fun sense of joy. Joy in the idea, joy in the possibilities, joy in the planning.

map with pins marking travel destination

I love planning vacations – with friends, with family… you name it. Image: The Duluth Experience.

Related: 5 Tips for Planning Your Next Duluth Vacation

Planning builds anticipation and the anticipation creates a sense of happiness early on in the process. I think that’s why lots of folks enjoy vacation planning. It makes sense to me and as I was doing a bit of planning for an upcoming trip, I came across some interesting information about how folks use their paid vacation days. First off, if you’re lucky enough to have “paid time off”, congratulations!

According to The U.S. Travel Association, 52% of employees reported having unused vacation days left over at the end of the year in 2017. Huh?! Unused vacation days! Apparently, that amounts to 705 million vacation days. Whoah.

Why Vacation Planning Is Key

The U.S. Travel Association report (which can be accessed here), suggests that the most effective way for American workers to use up their vacation days is better planning. Workers who plan vacation time into their calendars tend to be more likely to use their pool of vacation days. That seems logical.

Folks who plan have a distinct advantage over non-planners: they use more of their vacation time, take longer vacations, and are happier. According to the data provided by the U.S. Travel Association:

  • 53 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 43 percent of non-planners,
  • planners are more likely than non-planners to use all or most of their time off to travel (33% to 18%), and
  • more planners tend to report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their personal relationships (81% vs. 68%), health and well-being (56% vs. 43%), company (57% vs. 50%), and job (56% vs. 48%) compared to non-planners.

There’s are a lot of reasons that you should start planning your next vacation. You’re going to be more likely to use your vacation and – ultimately – you’re going to be happier, healthier, and more productive.


A mountain bike trip with friends is one of my favorite types of vacations. Image: Visit Duluth.

Related: Experience Is The True Key To Happiness

The Benefits Of Vacation

The benefits that folks experience when they utilize their vacation time extends beyond the individual. Going back to this study again, vacation is essential to strengthening personal relationships, inspiring creative thinking, improving professional performance and promoting better

From the employers perspective, taking time off is associated with increased productivity, better performance, a more positive attitude toward work, increased happiness, improved health, better relationships. I can certainly say that hitting the “restart button” and returning to work refreshed after a bit of time away from work, makes a huge difference in my engagement and productivity.

So… take some time and start your vacation planning. And if you’re coming to Duluth, let me know how The Duluth Experience can lend a hand. We’ve got lots of ideas and fun activities planned for the year.

Take a look at our Calendar of Tours, Events, and Activities and join The Duluth Experience on your next visit to Duluth.

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