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18 Jan 2024
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Vacation Rentals

Burnout might not reset with the new year, but studies show that planning for a trip boosts morale, reduces stress and prevents burnout. National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity to plan your time away for the year ahead— because we’re happier when we plan for vacation! So, what’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on a little rest and relaxation? Start planning your next restful and relaxing Outer Banks beach vacation now!

In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, (January 30, 2024), here are some helpful tips to #planforvacation on the Outer Banks.

Vacation Statistics

If we've learned nothing else over the last few years, it's just how important it is to prioritize self-care and spending time with our families and the people we love. However, many Americans are still not using all of their vacation days. As of 2023, 50% of people said they were more burned out on work than they were just a year prior. Add onto that the fact that over 50% of US employees report working while on PTO and over 765 million vacation days have gone unused by Americans, and you can see that we are approaching a self-care crisis where we find ourselves unable to step back and take a much-needed break.

One of the surprising blessings that came out of the recent pandemic was the ability for more people to work from home and increased scheduling flexibility for many workers. But researchers are also starting to see that workers are less likely to actually separate themselves from work now, not only when they're at home, but also when they're on vacation. Failure to truly disconnect like this can often result in burnout, anxiety, and added stress with little to no reprieve, something that is definitely not good for your body. Fortunately, National Plan for Vacation Day hopes to encourage people to start thinking about your next vacation NOW to help you heal, rejuvinate, and have something to look forward to all year. And with 40% of Americans planning to travel more in the new year, things are looking promising for making a dent in those numbers and using the PTO that you've earned!

Planning Vacations Reduces Burnout

• More than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely
burned out
• More than half (53%) of remote workers are working MORE hours now than they were in the office and 61% now find
it more difficult to unplug from work
• COVID-19 related concerns followed by work-related barriers such as heavy workloads and lack of coverage are top
reasons preventing Americans from using their paid time off
• Just one-quarter of Americans used ALL of their earned time off in 2021
• Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
• Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months—ranked even higher than
travel discounts/deals.

According to Forbes, over 764 million earned vacation days were unused in 2023. Over 236 million of those days were completely forfeited meaning over $65 billion dollars in benefits were lost to employees. And by the end of 2023, things weren't much better, with Americans leaving, on average, 6.5 unused vacation days on the books. This is an improvement from a few years ago, but that's still earned time that's not being used - leaving workers burnt out and craving the chance to rest and relax throughout the year.

Show Your Kids a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Working parents do everything they can to provide for their children while still showing them how important it is to spend time with their families and prioritize their loved ones. Unfortunately, according to Project: Time Off, 75% of kids say that their parent(s) can't stop working at home while 6 out of 7 children admit to seeing their parents bring home work stress. And the parents aren't the only ones experiencing stress! Studies show that childhood stress is on the rise, meaning that it's more important now than ever to show our kids how to step back, focus on self-care, and spend time together with our families. Many school systems around the country are allowing more remote learning days, teacher work days, and extended weekends, making this the perfect time to plan those vacation days around the times when your kiddos are going to be out of school. Show them how important it is to step away from the stressors of daily life and just take a fun, relaxing vacation.

Traveling is Good for the Economy

We understand that sometimes a “staycation” can be very relaxing but when polled, 83% of Americans said they wanted to use their vacation days to travel. The current travel industry is already a $649.9 billion dollar industry that supports over 5 million American jobs and generates over $100 billion in tax revenue. Economic studies have shown that if Americans used their remaining vacation days for traveling, there would be an increase of over $151 billion dollars in travel spending. This has the potential to create over 2 million more jobs in the United States.

Traveling is Good for your Health

Skipping out on vacation is a very bad and unhealthy practice!

In dozens of studies, taking vacation has been scientifically proven to:

  • Reduce/fight depression, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and burnout
  • Reduce risk of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, asthma, and autoimmune disorders
  • Improve your mood and overall outlook on life
  • Decrease mistakes, boost creativity and increase job performance
  • Increase job satisfaction
  • Increase company morale
  • Increase patience with clients and co-workers

Plus, studies conclude that you will be happier overall by spending your money on experiences instead of on “things.”

Planning Your Vacation Early

So, is it really necessary to plan your vacation early? Of course you can still take a vacation at the last minute but you’re more likely to travel when you plan ahead. Statistics show that 76% of those who plan their vacations early will actually use their vacations for travel while only 50% of non-planners will travel. In 2018, an average of 12 paid days off were used for travel by those who planned early while those who did not plan only used an average of 5 days for traveling. In fact, only 36% of non-planners have taken a trip in the last 6 months while 23% of non-planners haven’t even taken a single vacation trip in the last 2 years. Considering the health and work productivity benefits to taking vacation, these numbers are incredibly alarming.

Planning ahead has many other benefits on top of the benefits you get while on vacation. When you plan ahead, you are less likely to find an excuse to not take a vacation, you will be able to prepare your co-workers for your absence and schedule work accordingly, you will be less likely to check your work emails while away, and you will have time to budget for trip spending. Studies have even shown planning a vacation can even give you similar effects of being on vacation. Mental health can be boosted for up to 8 weeks before the trip even occurs because simply knowing a vacation is coming up soon is such a great feeling.


Start Planning an OBX Vacation

You’re convinced—you have the vacation days to use and you know that if you don’t plan now, you likely won’t ever get around to hitting the beach. And let’s face it... everyone needs a beach vacation. So, let’s start planning!  Take a look at our available rentals and book yourself the perfect Outer Banks beach vacation rental today. Whether you're looking for a two-person getaway space or a larger home for your whole family, we've got what you're looking for to make make the best use of your vacation days! Give our wonderful Guest Services Team a call today at (866) 884-0267 to get started planning your next epic Outer Banks getaway.


Book your Seaside vacation home using our convenient layaway program—that means booking your trip for only $300 dollars down and paying your remaining balance in monthly installments interest-free! (The payment plan only applies to reservations booked a minimum of 3 months in advance of the check-in date.Learn more about our layaway plan.  

Seaside Vacations Blog Author Jessie See

About the Author: Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with a good book, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure. 

About the Author: Lauren is an Outer Banks local, mom, trained historian, and travel enthusiast. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with her nose in a book or cuddling with her cats.