I Know You’re Burned Out. Plan for Vacation to Boost Your Mood.

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, Calif.

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Psst. Fellow Americans. I know you’re burned out because I can see it in your eyes when we pass in the aisles of Walmart. Plus, data proves it. Here’s something to boost your mood, Jan. 25, 2022, is National Plan for Vacation Day!

National Plan for Vacation Day, Jan. 25, 2022

Traditionally, the day is recognized the last Tuesday of January to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the whole year and travel within the United States. Look, I know planning during the pandemic is challenging and we’ve all learned to be Gumby. But planning at least one vacation will lift your spirits.

Like you, I’m mentally drained of nearly two years of pandemic-related stressors. While data proves we’re burned out it also shows we are ready to travel and planning a vacation makes us happy!

The U.S. Travel Association released data provided by Destination Analysts sourced in 2021 which reveals:

Planning for Vacation Reduces Burnout

  • About 68% of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely burned out.
  • More than half of remote workers are working more hours now than they were in the office (Yikes!)
  • One-quarter of Americans used all their earned time off in 2021. On the flip, American workers left an average of more than four days or 29% of their paid time off on the table last year!

Planning for Vacation Gives You all the Feels

  • Avoiding burnout ranked higher than travel and discounts as the primary motivator to book a trip in the next six month.
  • Demand for travel surged as vaccines rolled out in 2021. About two thirds of paid time off was used for travel away from home.
  • Guess who’s excited for planning a vacation in the next six months. Eighty one percent of Americans!

Employers, We Need You

From a media release released by the U.S. Travel Association:

“After nearly two years of living with the pandemic, Americans are in serious need of the reset that a vacation offers, no matter how near or far it may take you,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity to sit down with family and friends and make plans for much-needed time off for the rest of the year.”

Even the simple act of planning a vacation can help to chase away the winter blues. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of planners reported being extremely or very happy anticipating and planning vacations for the coming year versus just four in 10 of non-planners.

What’s preventing Americans from using their time off? Heavy workloads and staff shortages are some of the work-related barriers.

“Rested and recharged workers create a better, more productive workplace,” Dow added. “I encourage business leaders and team members to make vacation planning a priority, particularly frontline employees who have been working harder than ever during the pandemic.”

Where Should You Vacation in 2022?

The U.S. is your oyster when it comes to travel in 2022 and here are my picks:

Looking for more inspiration for planning for a vacation? Follow #PlanForVacation on social media. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on that hashtag, although I have several destinations on my bucket list.

Bon voyage! I hope vacation planning brightens your day.


Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is the voice behind Solo Travel Girl. She's 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. 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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