The only thing better than going on vacation is planning a vacation. But most American workers not only don’t plan a vacation each year, they don’t take one!
According to the US Travel Association, Americans fail to use nearly five vacation days per year per worker. Project Time Off did a study and found that employees who leave vacation days on the table are lower performers, less likely to have been promoted or gotten a raise within the last year, and they are more likely to report feeling stressed.
Vacations not only make you a better employee, they make you happier. When you take time for yourself, you can…
- Visit another part of the world.
- Go for a long drive and see new places.
- Stay in bed and read that pile of books on your night table.
But the best part of using up your vacation days is planning how you’ll use them. Think about it – the possibilities are endless, so you can imagine going anywhere and doing anything, and all of that imagining costs you nothing.
At Cornell University, research into the money vs. happiness question has been going on for over 20 years. What it has shown is that buying a thing you want will make you happy for a little while, but buying an experience you want will give you lasting happiness. In the contest between a new car and a once-in-a-lifetime trip, the trip will make you happier every time.
Once you decide how you’ll use your time off, you get the joy of anticipation. Remember how it was to be a child, anticipating your birthday? You can recapture that “butterflies in the tummy, eager awaiting” feeling as the time before vacation grows shorter.
Want to be happier? Use those vacation days intentionally – plan your vacation and savor the waiting. And don’t forget to send me a postcard!
I’d love to hear how a vacation has brought you lasting happiness – please contact me here or on my Facebook page and share your wisdom. And if you’d like a happiness quick tip to show up in your “in” box to start each week off right, sign up and it’s yours. Just scroll to the bottom of any page on my website – sandy j weaver dot com – the sign-up form is in the footer. Have a happier day!