Can Travel Bloggers Influence Americans to Use Their Vacation Time?

Denali National Park, Alaska, Aug. 2011
Denali National Park, Alaska, Aug. 2011
Denali National Park, Alaska, Aug. 2011

Can travel bloggers influence Americans to use their vacation time? On average, they travel 88 days out of the year, compared to the average American who has 12 days of vacation time.

Earlier this year I blogged about the millions of vacation days Americans toss aside annually. The U.S. Travel Association has launched a movement called Project Time Off to encourage employers and their employees to use their earned time off. In theory, doing so will infuse the economy with vacation spending dollars, strengthen family bonds and create a less-stressed workforce.

Attending TBEX 2015 North America in October reinforced what I’ve already known, travel bloggers are influencing readers to travel. We don’t share our thoughts, experiences, photos, videos and selfies because we’re bragging. We’re doing it to share and inspire. Okay, I realize I can’t speak on behalf of the entire travel blogosphere, so let me say, I blog and share my content on social media to inspire others.

TBEX 2015 North America Friday Keynote, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 30, 2015
TBEX 2015 North America Friday Keynote, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 30, 2015

During TBEX’s Friday morning keynote the results of a study commissioned by TBEX and The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (SPG Amex) regarding travel were shared. Travel Bloggers, Travel Content Creators and Travel Industry Professionals were surveyed earlier this year and William Tsang with American Express shared the results with commentary provided by David Griner, the digital managing editor of Adweek; Johnny Jet, a pioneer in travel blogging, jet-setting and travel expert; and Rick Calvert, Rick Calvert, CEO & Co-founder of NMX Events (which owns TBEX)

A #TBEX conference attendee questioned if there is a disconnect between travel bloggers and the average American, a disconnect because the average American cannot take off 88 days from their job to travel.

“Travel bloggers are inspiring people to take those days off,” said Rick Calvert.

Travel bloggers can write articles similar to the New York Times’ “72 Hours In” format by “taking a week and boiling it down,” said David Griner, they can help travelers “use those days more efficiently.”

“We are so lucky to be in the industry we are in,” said Johnny Jet and added, “I think we’re inspiring people.”

Jet prefaced his statements by sharing he “used to be afraid to leave the house,” and now travels 300 days out of the year.

To help others travel, Johnny Jet encouraged attendees to “use your miles on someone you love.”

And if you don’t have anyone to donate your miles, he recommends donating them to charitable organizations, which I’ve done in the past, in addition to share them with people I love.

If you’re not sure about how to donate to a charity, visit these articles, or contact the charity you wish to donate miles and ask if they have a policy for doing so.

USA Today: How to Donate Frequent Flyer Miles

Peter Greenberg: How to Donate Frequent Flyer Miles

When it comes to spending your American Express points, Johnny Jet said rather than spending them on goods, “spend it on travel.”

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity and ability to travel and enjoy sharing and inspiring others. I also enjoy sharing my travel opportunities with others.

Has social media inspired you to travel? Have you shared the gift of travel with someone you love?

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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