Does it pay to take vacation days?

Have you fallen into the “I’m too busy to take time off” trap?

If so, you may not only be sacrificing your personal happiness, but your work productivity as well.

According to the Project: Time Off 2018 State of American Vacation report, 52% of Americans left vacation time on the table in 2017. In addition, 24% of respondents said they have not taken a vacation in more than a year.

So what’s going on?

While Americans rank cost (71%), children (45%), and pets (39%) as the top barriers to travel, the true barrier has its roots in the workplace.

Sixty-one percent of those concerned that taking vacation days would make them appear less dedicated or replaceable were less likely to use all their vacation time. Other workplace concerns included “their workload was too heavy” (57%) and “no one else could do their job” (56%).

Here’s why taking time off matters.

Beyond the happiness derived from achieving a work-life balance, it’s the mega-travelers (those who use at least 75% of their vacation days to travel) who are getting rewarded at work. Fifty-two percent of mega-travelers earned a promotion and 86% reported receiving a raise or bonus.

Here are a few more reasons to skip the overtime and plan even a midweek getaway.

Creative boost: The status quo and day-to-day routine is a fast track to fostering tunnel vision. Stumped by a particular problem? A change in scenery can make all the difference. An added bonus is that exposure to new experiences can lead to new perspectives.

Greater focus: If you are overworked, it’s likely you are also exhausted. Taking time to rest will go a long way in jumpstarting your focus.

Happiness: Yes, happiness matters. Those who use 75% of their vacation time reported greater happiness with their personal health and wellbeing, their job, and the company. They also were happier in their personal relationships. Numerous studies also show that happy people earn more money, have better performance evaluations and are more often promoted.

Myriam DiGiovanni

Myriam DiGiovanni

After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help ... Web: Details

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