Sixty-two percent of Los Angeles residents fail to use all their vacation time – the second-highest percentage in the country next to only Washington, D.C. and the Bay Area, where 64 percent of workers don’t use all their vacation. The Automobile Club of Southern California, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, knows the most effective remedy for workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning, so it is supporting National Plan for Vacation Day on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
“In Los Angeles, workers leave 32.5 million vacation days unused. In Riverside-San Bernardino, 59 percent of employees don’t use all their time off, and in San Diego, half of workers don’t take all their vacation,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “By planning, we can all reap the benefits of taking a break, This National Plan for Vacation Day, January 30, AAA encourages Americans to prioritize planning.”
Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.
- 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
- 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42 vs. 18 percent).
- More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83 vs. 70 percent), health and well-being (57 vs. 48 percent), company (57 vs. 51 percent), and job (59 vs. 50 percent) compared to non-planners.
“Vacation planning doesn’t have to be stressful,” said Andre. “Make it easy by using a travel agent to plan the perfect vacation if the thought of combing through a lot of information is overwhelming.”
AAA suggests the following tips to make your vacation planning a reality:
- Create a tentative budget and schedule so your trip planning can be accomplished in a realistic manner.
- Research and understand the pros and cons of traveling to a destination during your preferred timeframe. Identify attractions or activities you are most interested in and determine if they will be available.
- Leverage your AAA exclusive member discounts for car rentals and hotels, as well as exclusive member benefits on cruises and other travel packages.
- Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. AAA has travel agents at all their branch locations. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, AAA has relationships with most major travel suppliers, including cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often negotiated special rates and added benefits for AAA members that are not available elsewhere.
- Plan ahead. If you are leaving the country you will need a passport, and possibly a visa or health documentation. It can take up to six weeks to get a new passport, so allow time to secure all necessary documents.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance, it is designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen events. Check with a travel agent and carefully review insurance policies before purchasing, as coverage options vary.
In addition to AAA’s tips, Project: Time Off offers a vacation-planning tool to help employees get their vacation days on the calendar.
The decision to travel is a very personal one that must be made by the traveler. No matter where you go, always remain informed of travel alerts and consult a travel agent for their expert advice. AAA travel agents are available to assist members with this information. Travelers can get started planning their next vacation at their closest AAA branch. You can find a AAA location near you at AAA.com/office.
About National Plan for Vacation Day
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.