Entry Title

National Plan for Vacation Day 2021

National Plan for Vacation Day
The Overview
National Plan for Vacation Day is celebrated on the last Tuesday of January to encourage Americans to plan all of their days off for the year at the beginning of the year. Historically, National Plan for Vacation Day has been intended to help address the problem of Americans not using all of their earned time off each year. This trend unfortunately continues as Americans still are not using their vacation days.
-   Americans left 33% of their paid time off unused last year - out of 17.2 days earned only 11.6 days have been used.
-   Even despite restrictions and new COVID protocols, 60% of paid time off used in 2020 was for travel away from home (6.8 out of 11.6 days). 

The New Significance of National Plan for Vacation Day
As the pandemic continues to dramatically impact society and restrict fre movement and travel, National Plan for Vacation Day is taking on a new significance is 2021 in two areas: 

1) Looking ahead to travel experiences, especially after major challenges people have been going through, can provided needed mental lift. The positive effect of merely anticipating a trip sometimes can be higher than actually being on a trip. 
-   97% of Americans say having a trip planned makes them happier.
-   59% of American travelers miss traveling “very much”
-   55% of American travelers are excited about leisure travel in the next six months

2) It’s an ideal time to plan and book travel as travel providers are eager to provide deals for travelers and change / cancellation policies are increasingly flexible. As vaccines become more widely available and pent-up demand for travel creates booking growth, those offers will likely begin to go away
-   72% of American workers indicated they set aside time to plan vacation days for this  year
-   53% of American workers prefer to use PTO to take a vacation away from home (vaccine dependent)

Transitioning From Thoughts to Actions in 2021 
-   63% report they “desperately” need a vacation after the stress of COVID-19
-   77% of American workers are extremely or very happy while on vacation
-   84% of Americans are excited to plan a vacation in the next six months
-   97% of survey respondents say having a trip planned makes them happier
-   93% American workers say it is important to use their paid time off to travel

Travel Priorities  
69% - Finding a change of scenery
61% - Spending more time with family or friends
55% - Visiting destinations on bucket lists
54% - Exploring more of the U.S.
52% - Reconnecting with significant others

Planning: Key to Taking Time Off, Traveling and Happiness
Americans who plan out their time off take more time off but 28% of American households don’t plan and risk losing these days. Planners prioritize traveling with their paid time off - 32% of planners anticipate traveling more than previous years versus 21% of non-planners.
- Average: 6.8 used for travel out of 11.6 PTO days used
- Planners: 7.1 used for travel out of 12.8 PTO days used  
- Non-Planners: 5.9 used for travel out of 8.4 PTO days used

Planners tend to be happier when it comes to travel related topics: 
-   84% of planners are extremely or very happy on vacation vs. non-planners at 59% 
-   70% of planners are extremely or very happy with how much of their paid time off is used vs. non-planners at 50% 
-   68% of planners are extremely or very happy with how their PTO is spent vs. non-planners at 48%
-   63% of planners are extremely or very happy with anticipating and planning vacations vs. non-planners at 41%

The Conclusion
COVID-19 is still a very real challenge and will continue to be such throughout 2021 necessitating everyone put health and safety first. Making the decision to travel again is very personal and when people choose to travel again they must continue to embrace the health and safety practices that can keep themselves and their fellow travelers safe.

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