Studies show that most people struggle to keep all of their New Year’s resolutions. The most recent Marist Poll found that a third of those who made a resolution did not keep any of their promises. The top resolutions when this data was mined included being a better person, weight loss, exercising more, spending less money/saving more and improving one’s health.
But what if, this year, people made a resolution to do something that’s good for them – and fun? For 2018, make a resolution to take your time off. Whether you decide to take several long weekends throughout the year or take a week or more off at once, Visit Wichita is encouraging everyone to plan now for how to use your vacation time in the coming year.
“One way to improve your chances for success is to tie resolutions to things that you love, and people most certainly love a day off to go and have fun,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita.
Project: Time Off
According to Project: Time Off, an overwhelming majority of American workers believe that time off helps them relax and recharge, and offers the opportunity to do what they enjoy. Nearly two-thirds of employees say their concentration and productivity at work improve with taking time off.
Senior business leaders echo this sentiment: 91 percent believe employees return from vacation recharged and renewed. For decades, Americans took an average of 20.3 days of vacation, but in 2000 that fell below the long-term average and has yet to recover. The latest data shows we’re back up to 16.8 days used but we’re still collectively as a nation forfeiting 206 million vacation days a year.
In Kansas, a state in the top 10 of states with the worst vacation usage, 64 percent of workers are not using up their available vacation, leaving 5,779,310 unused vacation days.
Additionally, unused vacation days cost the U.S. economy $236 billion in 2016, due to lost spending. That spending would have supported 1.8 million American jobs and generated $70 billion in additional income for American workers. In Kansas, this amount is $528,701,560 in untapped economic impact.
To encourage people to decide on their vacation days for the rest of the year at the beginning of the year, Project: Time Off has declared Jan. 30, 2018, as National Plan for Vacation Day. “If people start thinking about their vacation time now, that could make a big difference in Kansas’ ranking as an under-vacationed state – one that ranks in the top 10 for leaving vacation time unused,” said Santo. “This National Plan for Vacation Day, resolve to have a plan to take all your time off. Whether the plan is to stay in the area or to travel to places far away, it’s important to take the time you’ve earned to recharge.”
Explore your backyard
Not sure what to do with time off from work? Traveling doesn’t have to involve faraway destinations or a huge budget. Planning a staycation can be fun way to be a tourist in Wichita and the surrounding area.
Go back to favorite attractions or create an itinerary to explore unfamiliar places. Try new restaurants or breweries, explore attractions or parks you’ve not yet visited, pamper yourself at Wichita’s many spas and shopping centers, take in a live show, keep an eye out for the many murals and other versions of urban art or learn about a new culture or way of life at one of the city’s 33 museums.
With less time and money spent on getting there, more resources can be spent on visiting, enjoying and learning more about the place you call home. Get started with a staycation itinerary.
There’s also much to be found just outside the city. For a fun day trip idea, consider one of these eight suggestions.
The power of planning ahead
One step we can all take towards keeping a resolution to use time off and putting vacation days to use is planning. According to the Project: Time Off study, individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness at work and at home.
A majority (52 percent) of workers who say they set aside time each year to plan out their vacation days take all their time off, compared to just 40 percent of non-planners.
Use these simple steps to get started:
1. Confirm time off benefits
2. Review a calendar to find potential timeframes
3. Write down some ideas
4. Select dates and submit them for time off
“Planning out vacation for the year is an easy step we can all take; all you need is a calendar and a little inspiration,” said Cait DeBaun, director of communications for Project: Time Off.
For more information on the Project: Time Off study, visit www.projecttimeoff.com.
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About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2016 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.