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Project: Time Off’s National Plan For Vacation Day set for January 31

Research shows planners take more vacation, are happier.

WASHINGTON – Project: Time Off will host the inaugural National Plan for Vacation Day on Tuesday, January 31, a national observance dedicated to encouraging Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year.

More than half (55%) of Americans do not use all the time off they earn, leading to 658 million unused vacation days a year. The single-most important step workers can take to make vacation possible is to plan their time off in advance. Yet less than half (49%) of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time. 

"Vacation has become a casualty of America's culture of busy," said Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off. "Planning is the simplest and most powerful way to use more time-and the advanced notice will make it easier for managers to say yes to requests."

Planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. According to Project: Time Off's The State of American Vacation 2016, 51 percent of those who plan took all of their vacation time, where just 39 percent of non-planners did. Planners are positioned for a longer break, with planners much more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time (69% of planners took a week or more, compared to 46% of non-planners).

Research reveals the benefits of planning and taking vacation for the individual and the organizations that employ them. The time spent planning correlated with greater happiness in the nine categories measured, including at work, in relationships, and with finances. Further, a majority (89%) of managers agree that by using time off, employees can de-stress, improve their health and wellbeing, and cut down on sick days and burnout.

Project: Time Off developed a toolkit with resources for individuals and organizations interested in joining the national observance, including planning tips, turnkey communications tools, and research.

"Through this call-to-action, we hope to have many voices join us in encouraging America to take reclaim their time off," said Cait DeBaun, director of communications for Project: 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."

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