11 Reasons to Take All Your Vacation Days

Good for your mind & body, relationships, your employer and the economy.
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11 Surprising Reasons to Take all Your Vacation Days

We all love vacations, they give us the opportunity to try new things, explore new places, strengthen family ties and create memories that last a lifetime.  Let’s review 11 Reasons to take all your vacations days.

You’ve worked hard all year to earn your vacation days but if you are like many American’s (54%) you won’t use all your vacation time, according to Project Time Off, an annual study by the U.S. Travel Association.   The benefits of taking an enjoying all your vacation is extraordinary and you really should plan to use all your vacation since it is good for your mental and physical well-being, your employer, your family, the economy and it increases your chances of receiving a raise or promotion.

What if you boss offered you a $561 bonus?  Would you turn it down?  Uh, no way!  Well that’s the average amount employees donate to their employers every year.

  • 54% of American Employees won’t use all their vacation days
  • $561 is the average amount employees”give” their employers by not using their vacation days.

“Fear of missing out” (FOMO) is the reason most frequently sited for not scheduling and taking all the earned paid vacation days.  Employees are afraid that they will get passed over for a promotion, a sweet project or a raise if they take vacation.  But according to Project Time Off, employees that use their vacation time are more likely to perform their job better and are rewarded for better job performance with promotions, raises and better work assignments.

So this year resolve to take back your vacation and reap all the benefits of taking time away.  At the most basic level vacations give us the opportunity to relax, recharge and reconnect with ourselves, family and friends.



Learn the 3 R’s of Vacationing – Relax, Recharge & Reconnect

Reason #1 to take all your vacation days
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When thinking about vacation plans make sure you consider building in time for your to practice the 3 R’s of vacations.

Find time to relax – plan downtime when you can just chill.

Plan time to recharge – learn a new skill, take a class, follow a local’s advice, read a book or again just chill.

Reconnect – Reconnect with your authentic self.  Get back to basic remember what’s important to you and by doing this you will reduce stress in your life and you will be better able to realign priorities a work and at home.

When you take the time to relax, recharge and reconnect you’ll feel happier, calmer and more productive.



Improve Your Health

Reason #2 to take all your vacation Days - they make us healthier
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Vacationers report less pain, headaches, and have fewer physical complaints and this relief can last 5 – 6 weeks after vacation.  Several studies suggests that taking time off work to rest and relax can reduce the the risk of heart attacks.

Vacationing helps you to regain your work-life balance and improves health body and mind.



Time Off Makes You Better at Your Job

Reason #3 to take all your vacation days - Be more successful at work
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The secret to success at work may just be learning the art of taking a vacation.  An Ernst & Young internal study discovered that employees year-end performance reviews improved by 8% for each additional 10 hours of vacation time that the employee used.

Taking time to relax, recharge and reconnect will help boost creativity and clarity leaving you ready to tackle the toughest assignments your boss can throw at you.

When you take time away you come back recharged and ready to creatively contribute to your organization and team.



Get Your Career Flying High by Traveling on Vacation

Reason 4 to take all you vacation days - travel helps your career
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If you really want to get ahead, make sure you are using most of your vacation days to travel, according to the Project Time Off study, employees they call mega-travelers (using 75%+ of their vacation days for travel) are 28% happier with the companies they work for and 24% happier with their jobs than those that travel with little to none of their vacation days (‘homebodies”).

Now you have the perfect excuse to travel more!



Show me the Money – Vacations Can Help You Get a Raise

Reason #5 to take all your vacation days - get paid more
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Employees that take more vacation time are likely to see improved performance on the job and a nice increase in their paychecks – as much as 10% on average.

By taking care of yourself and taking vacations your performance improves, you tackle new tasks with better clarity and creativity and since you are healthier mind and body you have a renewed vigor and the stamina to get the job done right.



Vacations Vacation Good Vibrations are Contagious

Reason #6 to take all your vacation days - Vacation Good Vibrations are Contagious
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You know a smile can be contagious, so can the good vibes you bring back from vacation are likely to rub off on the people around you – co-workers, family members, and just about everyone.

Vacation renew our happiness reserve.  The happier we are the easier it is for us to make others happy. 

So next time you need a break remind your boss that your time off will be good for them too.



Keep Calm & Vacation On

Reason #7 to take all your vacation days - Keep Calm & Vacation On
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Vacations help our brains to relax and find calm.  Taking more frequent and regular breaks helps your brain to “learn” to switch into relaxation mode from work mode more easily. 

Practice helping your brain to switch to calm by taking mini-vacations every weekend, so when Friday @ 5 comes, switch off work mode and turn on relaxation mode.  



Get a Natural High – Better Than an Antidepressant 

Reason #8 to take all your vacation days - Get a Natural High
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John Denver had it right with “Rocky Mountain High”, a little adventure when you travel goes along way to creating a natural high from the brain’s production of dopamine – the feel good hormone. 

Up the dopamine quotient by adding a little adventure, like snorkeling, scuba diving and hiking, to your vacation plans.



Strengthen The Ties that Bind – Improve Family Connections

Reason #9 to take all your vacation days - Strengthen The Ties that Bind - Improve Family Connections
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Family vacations give each family member the opportunity for growth and learning, both as an individual and as a family member.  By sharing experiences you are creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Traveling as a couple helps to improve relationships.  When you travel you practice skills like working together and compromising.  Additionally, without the demands of work and family it’s the perfect time for romance and rediscovering the reason you fell in love.



Be More Creative

Reason #10 to take all your vacation days - Get Creative
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Vacations help us to expand our thinking.  When we take the time to experience and learn new things it helps us to be be more creative and in turn that helps us to be better problem solvers both at work and at home. 

Traveling exposes us to new thoughts, new ideas, new people and new places.  We learn by experiencing this newness and getting out of our comfort zone.  These new experiences give us a fresh perspective to enhance our ability to be more creative in our work life and home life.



Change Your Perspective

Reason #11 to take all your vacation days - Gain a different Perspective
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When we travel for vacation we are exposed to different places and people.  Just the exposure to new places, people and ideas can help you to view the world differently.  This expanded world view can help you see problems and solutions in a different more thoughtful way.


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Using Vacation Time to Travel Promotes Feelings of Greater Happiness

According to a survey conducted by the US Travel Association using your vacation time to travel improves how happy you feel in a variety of areas of your life.

Employees using more than 75% of their vacation time to travel reported being:

  • Are Happier With Their Employer 59% 59%
  • Traveling for Vacation Improves Satisfaction with Paid Time-off 76% 76%
  • Feel Better About Their Health and Well-being 61% 61%
  • Are Happier with their Personal Relationships 79% 79%
  • Are Happier in Their Jobs 57% 57%

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