Work is called work for a reason. It can be a lot to handle, with the commuting, deadlines, performance reviews, customers, coworkers and bosses. You need to get away from these responsibilities now and then.
That said, many Americans don’t take advantage of all the time they have available for leave. As a nation, we left 768 million vacation days on the table last year, 9% more than we did the previous year.
Is this really the best decision for our wallets, our health and our productivity? Research answers with a resounding No. Read on to learn why employees across the U.S. are opting out of their vacations and why that’s a big mistake.
At Vantage, we shudder at the thought of missing out on a vacation. We have an amazing variety of Myrtle Beach, SC, rentals to help you make the most of your time off.
The 411 on PTO
The Center for Economic and Policy Research has deemed the U.S. a “no-vacation nation,” thanks to our zero mandated paid vacation days. Compare that to other advanced economies like France, where people get 30 days, or the 28 mandated by the United Kingdom.
Still, 90% of full-time workers and 40% of part-time workers in the U.S. were granted paid vacation this year. In that case, why do only 28% of us plan to use all our vacation days? Some suggest the expansion of the U.S. workforce contributes to unused vacation time, speculating that people are earning paid time off (PTO) faster than they can use it.
Additionally, studies have shown that many personal factors are at play. A major drawback of taking a vacation, according to the U.S. Travel Association, is cost, followed by difficulty abandoning work duties and hassle related to travel.
A significant portion of workers report feeling guilty when they request vacation days. A quarter of Americans experience negative emotions when they ask for time off—and most of these individuals are millennials, reports the Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index. That’s a bit of a head scratcher, since this age group seems to comprehend the importance of taking vacations more than their older counterparts.
Guilt may be one of the factors causing people to work even while trying to enjoy their PTO. According to Glassdoor, 29% of employees who took time off were contacted for a work-related matter while on vacation. As a country, we need to stop treating vacations as a luxury and start prioritizing them as necessities. That’s not just our opinion—it’s science.
Pack Your Bags and Go. It’s Good for You!
Unchaining yourself from the desk or jobsite has serious, long-term implications for your physical and mental health.
According to researchers from Syracuse University, people who use PTO reduce their risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions like high blood sugar, increased blood pressure and more body fat around the belly. Metabolic syndrome can escalate to heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
As for those who don’t take vacations. Aside from having less fun, they struggle to get a good night’s sleep, which is linked to adverse health effects like diabetes. And let’s say you spent a decade working more than 10 hours a day for at least 50 days per year. You’re 45% more likely to suffer a stroke, according to the Journal of the American Heart Association. That number rises if you factor in a stressful work environment or off-peak work hours.
Still can’t bring yourself to set an Out of Office reply? A German psychology professor found that those who are able to detach from their jobs experience less burnout—and are therefore more engaged at work and more capable of handling stress.
It’s important that you give yourself time to rest and recharge with friends, family or even by yourself. Studies show that even short vacations help reduce stress. You work hard, and you deserve a getaway!
High Returns for Your Vacation Investment
This higher-quality work resulting from your time off can translate to career growth. A research group funded by the U.S. Travel Association discovered that 84% of people who used all their paid time received a raise or bonus in the past three years, while only 78% of those who forfeited some PTO can say the same.
To top it all off, your travels help boost the economy as well. Recent analysis revealed that Americans used 9 out of 17.4 days on average for vacation traveling. More days spent on trips would translate into approximately $151.5 billion more for the travel industry and up to 2 million new jobs.
Take a Healthy Break in Myrtle Beach
We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the pluses of taking a vacation. We’ll share plenty more about the benefit in future installments of this series.
In the meantime, start your vacation planning with help from Vantage. Our Myrtle Beach rentals are just what the doctor ordered. Browse all the options and book direct with Vantage for the best rates.
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Founded in 2007, Vantage Vacation Rentals specializes in delivering exceptional experiences for both vacation property owners and their rental guests in popular Maryland destinations such as Ocean City, Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as the Delaware beaches and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Vantage serves owners with extensive property marketing and promotion as well as comprehensive property management services to help maximize rental income opportunities. With over 550 managed properties, Vantage makes it easy for vacationing guests to find and reserve the perfect option—then enhances their stay with exclusive benefits and discounts. To learn more about Vantage Vacation Rentals, visit VantageOceanCity.com, EasternShoreVacations.com and VantageMB.com.