National Plan for Vacation Day

Save the dateWe understand the value of vacation time for our relationships, personal well-being, and professional success. Yet, 51% of Americans skip the one step that could help them vacation: planning. Individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness in every category measured. 

Join Project: Time Off on January 30, 2018 for National Plan for Vacation Day and encourage Americans to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year, at the start of the year.

This year, on the first-ever National Plan for Vacation Day, more than 600 organizations participated by implementing creative activations encouraging Americans to plan—and take—their time off.

The Power of Planning

According to the State of American Vacation 2017, the most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. A majority (52%) of workers who say they set aside time each year to plan out their vacation days take all their time off, compared to just 40 percent of non-planners. They also tend to take longer vacations. While three-in-four (75%) planners take a week or more at a time, non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42% to 18%).

The benefits of planning extend beyond the days spent away from the office. Planners are happier than non-planners in every category measured. Planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships, health and well-being, company, and job.

The increased professional happiness among planners is reinforced by workplace cultures that encourage vacation. Thirty-nine percent of planners say their company’s culture encourages taking time off, versus just 27 percent of non-planners.

Planners also feel more supported at work when they take time off. Nearly half (48%) of planners say their bosses support them when they take vacation, compared to 37 percent of non-planners. Half (50%) of planners say their colleagues support them when they go on vacation, compared to 40 percent of non-planners.

Geographic implications of unused time off.

Breaking down the vacation picture in America reveals profound geographical differences—some encouraging and some deeply worrisome—in workers’ vacation perceptions and behavior.  

Understanding the dynamics of a particular area can be key to lessening the challenges to taking time off. See where your state or city ranks in the interactive map below and start thinking about how to create a more positive vacation culture in your area.

Under-Vacationed America


The more voices that join the conversation, the more successful we can be at motivating Americans to take their time off. The National Plan for Vacation Day toolkit provides turnkey resources to easily leverage research and customize the message for your channels and communication strategies. 

We will continue to update the toolkit with new resources. If you aren't already, make sure you're on our list to recive notifications for new content.