Look at you, working your day in, day out, but not caring about yourself enough.
When was the last time you took a vacation? Was it 2-3, 5 years ago.
Do you feel like going down on a rabbit whole and wish to simply stop for a moment to get away and relax, cut down your stress, have some joy, or just see and do something new?
If you feel identified, continue to read because I am going to tell you six reasons why should take a vacation now.
768 million days.
That is the record number of vacation days that American workers left on the table in 2018, a trend that has been consistent and on the rise, according to research from the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos.
Of the unused days, 236 million were forfeited completely. More than half (55%) of workers reported they did not use all their allotted time off.
Over 80% of American workers say it is important to use their time off to travel, the report found, but they do not actually take the trip.
Take some time off. Do It!
Now, what is the economic cost?
If Americans used their time off to travel, the economic opportunity just for the U.S. economy amounts to $151.5 billion dollars in additional travel spending and two million American jobs.
The U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, had this to say about the issue: “When I see how many vacation days went unused, I don’t just see a number—I see 768 million missed opportunities to recharge, experience something new and connect with family and friends,”
As of now you are losing your well earned vacation days, you don’t make the decision even though YOU KNOW is important, and at the same time the economic opportunities are not developing.
Take some time off. Do It!
Well, there must be a reason or a set of reasons of this phenomenon, right.
Yes, there are many.
The study also included the barriers to travel, which I will mention by region.
More than 70% of Americans residing in the Northeast (73%) and Midwest (71%) viewed COST as a greatest barrier to take a vacation.
Children were also cited as a reason why travel is difficult by 61% of Midwesterners—significantly higher than other regions. Here is not actually the children, is really the COST of including them in the vacation and to plan along their school’s down time.
All percentages after this paragraph should go in the screen, don’t mention it.
American employees in the Pacific region were particularly concerned about LACK OF COVERAGE AT WORK (43%).
Also, they feel like taking a vacation would make them LOOK LESS DEDICATED OR REPLACEABLE (27%).
Listen to me. Don’t get own mentally either in a job or your own company. Take your vacation, do it!
In the Mountain region the FLIGHT AVAILABILITY and OPTIONS (25%) is the main obstacle to travel, while for those living in the South it is the DRIVING HASSLES (23%).
Consistent with previous U.S. Travel reports, the study shows that vacation “planners” use more of their time and take longer and more impactful vacations than “non-planners.”
Nearly half (46%) of American households do not take the time to plan their vacations and miss the many benefits it can provide.
On average, planners used 12 paid time off days to travel, compared to five days used by non-planners.
The positive impact is visible.
Planners tend to be happier in general— whether it’s their personal relationships, their health and well-being, and definitely their job.
According to Expedia’s 2021 Vacation Deprivation study, 64% of Americans defined themselves as “vacation deprived,” an 11% increase from five years ago.
In recent years, the benefits of vacation are well-known and undisputed, yet Vacation Deprivation is on the rise in the USA.
This year’s findings point to yet another shift, one in which workers agree they will never take their vacation days for granted again.
In fact, many Americans are optimistic about travel in 2022, with 36 percent planning to resume taking regular vacations, and another third (32%) vowing to take more vacations than usual to make up for lost time in the past two years.
Here are the six main reason why you should a vacation – NOW!
1- To Relax
Relaxation is basically a state where you feel calm and can manage your stress or anxiety and it has many health benefits, including:
- Lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate
- Improving concentration and mood
- Boost immunity
- Increase confidence to handle problems
People who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Is hard to learn and find time to relax, but is doable, and the techniques can be practiced almost anywhere.
Some of these techniques include:
- Deep breathing
While vacationing, find a relaxation technique that works for you and make it part of your daily routine, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes a day.
2- To reduce stress
The Stress in America™ survey, which measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public in the United States, found that Americans are struggling with the basic decisions required to navigate daily life as the effects of pandemic-related stress continue to take a toll, especially on younger adults and parents.
Right now, one in three Americans said sometimes they are so stressed that they struggle to make even basic decisions (e.g., what to wear, what to eat, etc.), affecting the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and how they react or behave!
How a vacation reduces stress?
Taking the time for a vacation and away from the stress triggers can give you the much needed break to return refreshed and better equipped to handle situations.
A four-day “long weekend” vacation has positive effects on your recovery, strain, and perceived stress for as long as 45 days.
A study published in Springer Nature’s Journal found that a resort vacation provides a strong and immediate impact on molecular networks associated with stress and immune pathways, in addition to short- term improvements in well-being, as measured by feelings of vitality and distress.
Also, a meditation retreat was associated with molecular networks characterized by antiviral activity.
3- To make memories
I’m sure that you have a handful of memories from a vacation and once you talk about it with those who shared the experience, the moments feels like yesterday. Ain’t that right.
The best feature of travel memories is that they are unusual and differ from our everyday experiences.
When you are on a vacation, in Samaná, for example, you body and mind collects information from the surroundings through all of the sensory channels available: sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing.
Consequently, you begin to notice the waves splashing, the salty smell of the sea, the fresh air, the interesting taste of the local food, the kick of a particular drink, and even the sounds of birds around you.
Our brain has a particular skill to deeply engrain these memories. That’s why when you a look at that picture from your last vacation, your kinda “feel” it and all those memories start flashing before your eyes.
4- Because of the joy of seeing your children excited about the upcoming experience
And when is the best time for that to happen? Summertime!
Oh and by the way, the Dominican Republic has summer all year. Thumb up.
Summer vacations with your children have great benefits on their overall wellbeing and development.
In an article, published on The Telegraph by child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland, she said that a family vacation provides the child with a rich learning environment and new experiences in social, physical and sensory interaction.
This enriched environment triggers the brain fertilizers which are associated with higher IQ in kids and exploring a new place together, helps in making your child smarter. Studies have shown that children who travel get higher grades in school than those who don’t.
Family vacations help in a child’s brain development, which in turn improves concentration and is beneficial to their physical and mental health.
5 – For adventure
Adventure travel delivers meaningful and life changing experiences.
It is definitely a great confidence builder. You learn that you are capable of far more than you ever dreamed and develop tremendous coping skills as you meet new obstacles and challenges.
One of the main features of adventure travel is that it helps you feel gratitude and improve mindfulness.
Well, going out to the wild means that you need to SLOW DOWN.
Adventure travel gives your mind the chance to quiet down and as a result, you’ll have the opportunity to really SEE and APPRECIATE your surroundings.
One of the best results of adventure is that it boosts your energy and increases your drive.
Staying active while on vacation boosts your productivity and leads to significant improvements in job performance once the vacation is over.
6 – To see or do something new
Let’s do a brief exercise.
This is your view on Thursday morning, you know, driving as usual, already excited about your upcoming trip.
And this is your view on a Friday morning.
How’s that for a brain boost? You liked that don’t you?
Taking a vacation allows you to SEE something new, like this beautiful beach in Punta Cana, for example.
It also allows you to DO something new.
Now it’s the time to maybe try Yoga, to get a meaningful and relaxing massage in front of the beach, to go scuba diving, to visit a waterfall, a museum, to mountain bike in the wild, and why not, maybe learn to dance merengue or bachata.
7- To strengthen your bond with your friends or spouse.
Taking a vacation with your friends intensifies the experience.
Either vacationing inside the United States or exploring a different country, tagging along with a friend progresses your relationships to another level.
According to a research published in Psychological Science, people who share experiences with another person rate them as more pleasant than those who went solo.
The researchers suggest that sharing a vacation with a friend focuses your attention and makes you more attuned to what we are sensing and perceiving.
Moving on to couples.
Couples who travel together have healthier, happier relationships compared to those who do not, according to a survey from the U.S. Travel Association.
The three key findings emerged from the research are:
1) Travel has long-term benefits for couples
2) Travel helps build and maintain relationships
3) Travel ignites romance and intimacy
Couples reported that traveling together makes them significantly more likely to be satisfied in their relationships, communicate well with their partners, enjoy more romance, have a better sex life, spend quality time together and share common goals and desires.
8 – To learn something new about a place, culture or history.
One of the benefits of traveling abroad for vacation is the opportunity to have new experiences and witness a different culture.
When encountering new cultures, which may give you a culture shock, you have the chance to:
- Learn to adapt
- Develop new skills
- Enhance your creativity thanks to a change of environment
- Find inspiration by experiencing new types of music, art, cuisine, and architecture.
On this last topic, the Dominican Republic offers the best experience you can have nearby the United States.
We have the privilege to hold the first colonial city in the Americas, and with that also the first Cathedral, the first university, and the first street in the entire American Continent, named La Atarazana, which works started in 1509 and ended in 1544.
Basically, here is where the New World started. That’s why the country is named as The Prime of America.
In summary, experiencing different cultures, histories or customs, provides you with new insights and will stimulate learning and cause you to grow in ways which may have not been possible in your typical, everyday environment.
9- To improve the outlook of your life
A vacation can improve the outlook of your life and helps you gain a new perspective.
The act of seeing how other people live in a different city or country expands your awareness and knowledge.
You may come to appreciate the life you have and how fortunate you are for having things you may take for granted.
Also, by placing yourself outside of your comfort zone you will be much stronger and smarter afterwards.
If you don’t prioritize a vacation as part of your life, chances are you won’t experience the level of personal growth when compared to those who do take time off.
So, Take a vacation, NOW
Question of the Day
Tell me what is the main reason for you to take a vacation and why? Comment below.
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