Jumping on a plane to use up some of those vacation days is, in my opinion, always a good idea. However, many people are thinking twice before taking their rightfully earned paid time off.
Have you ever gotten weird vibes from a coworker over taking vacation-for using the days you've earned? Whether it be weird looks, a roll of the eyes, or a passing comment, it happens all the time.
Vacation Shame is something that many Millennials experience. Luckily, I never have and I'm a big advocate of taking vacations. Our minds need the break from the daily grind. Much like our beloved cell phones, we need to be restarted every now and then.
Still, so many people aren't comfortable taking their vacation. This is where Project: Time Off comes in with a goal to change the game.
Take You Time (Off)
Project: Time Off's website states that, starting in 2000, vacation time used by US employees began to drop. From an average of just over 20 days of used vacation days, it dropped to just under 16 days in 2014. With a slight rise in 2016, it's moved up to just under 17 days. That jump had a $37 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
With a goal to raise awareness of the importance of taking time off, Project: Time Off boasts sponsors like Walt Disney Parks, Mariott, municipal tourism boards, and more.
-Project: Time Off is leading a national movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior. We aim to shift culture so that taking time off is understood as essential to personal well-being, professional success, business performance, and economic expansion. - -projecttimeoff.com
They are certainly raising awareness, and many companies are now offering more time off as well as incentives to take that time. Some companies are offering drawings of more vacation time and even bonuses for taking earned time off.
Why the Anxiety?
Other than office shaming, many employees are worried that they cannot afford to take time off from work, even with paid vacation. Student loans are often to blame for this way of thinking. But you should still enjoy life with a work-life-loan balance!
There are a lot of inexpensive ways to enjoy a long weekend off from work. Consider camping. Compared to hotel rooms, camping fares are much less expensive and it's a great way to unplug and reconnect with nature.
With the extra cash you're saving, you'll have more money to put towards your airline ticket!
Be sure to book your plane ticket at the right time. The best time to book a flight is mid-afternoon on a Tuesday. Why? Because airlines often issue discounts around that time. However, you don't want to book a flight too close to your trip. Book a ticket no less than 30 days before your departure.
Check out the Getaway Map from farecompare.com. This will allow you to choose how much money you want to spend on a flight, when you want to fly, and will map out some destinations for you. This is great for anyone with a travel bug who is willing to travel anywhere, though you can choose a more targeted location.
What Can You Do?
When people take a vacation, they rarely disconnect from work entirely. Most of us are guilty of checking our email while we're away, at the very least.
So, how can you get away from this? It's hard. Trust me, I know. My least favorite thing in this world is seeing little red bubbles with a number in them just begging to be taken care of.
One of the easiest ways is to turn off your notifications while you're away. If nothing else, this will eliminate the immediate need to check your email so you can enjoy your time off a little more.
Unplugging from work is essential to your productivity and longevity, so take the time to use up that vacation time.