Have you ever heard of National Plan a Vacation Day? It's a real thing and is observed each year on January 31st. It's a day to encourage Americans to plan their time off for the whole year at the start of the year. Why do we need to promote a day to plan travel for the rest of the year? Read through this list of stats and you will understand:
The average American takes 17.4 days off of work, but only 9 days to travel.
55% of Americans do not use all of their Paid Time Off.
Unused vacation time in the USA totals 768 million days of Paid Time Off.
46% of Americans admit to not planning for vacation.
83% want to use their time off for vacations.
79% of Americans believe vacations are important to their overall health and well being.
68% of American workers feel at least moderately burned out.
77% of full time employees agree that taking vacations is important to their job satisfaction.
Why is traveling so important? Here are five scientifically proven benefits of traveling internationally:
Travel makes your healthier. Women who vacation at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack. Men who do not take an annual vacation show a 20% higher risk of death and a 30% higher risk of heart disease.
Travel relieves stress. One study shows that 3 days after taking a vacation, travelers report feeling less anxious, more rested, and in a better mood. The best part is that these benefits last for weeks after the trip has ended, up to 45 days!
Travel boosts happiness and satisfaction even BEFORE traveling! A study from Cornell University found that people experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip, which technically means I have the happiest job since I am planning a trip for somebody almost every day!
Travel enhances creativity. A Columbia Business School study found “foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.” However, travel alone is not enough. International travelers have to be purposeful about engaging with local culture.
Travel lowers the risk of depression. A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression than those who vacation less than once every two years. I am not sure why the men were left out of this study, but I think that this is a sign that I need to start planning an annual Women Wander trip to combat depression around the world! Is anybody in?