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National Plan for Vacation Day 2021 - Palm Springs
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Visit California Makes Big Trip-Planning Push on National Plan for Vacation Day

By Kristen Bonilla 01/25/2021

U.S. Travel Association’s National Plan for Vacation Day occurs Jan.26. This year’s event comes with an added sense of urgency, both for pent-up travelers and the tourism businesses eager to receive them. Given that trip planning translates directly to actual travel, Visit California is launching several first-time initiatives to leverage this national spotlight on trip planning to help restore tourism to California.

National Plan for Vacation Day 2021
U.S. Travel Association created National Plan for Vacation day in response to a persistent challenge in American life: Americans are not using their vacation days. The Institute for Applied Positive Research found that while 77% of American workers are very happy while on vacation and 93% believe travel is important, Americans left 33% of their paid time off on the table. Put simply, Americans appreciate the importance of travel to their wellbeing, but the country’s work-centric culture prevents many from following through on vacations.

In past years, Californians have had the dubious distinction among states of leaving the most paid time off on the table. Now they expect to take 39% more time off in 2021 than they did last year, according to research by SMARInsights. More than half said they will travel as much as they did before the pandemic, while 18% said they will travel even more to make up for lost time.

Unsurprisingly, encouraging trip planning increases the use of paid time off for travel and tourism. Planners use an average of about four more days of PTO than non-planners.

The pandemic has only underscored the importance of trip planning. Americans have had far fewer opportunities to travel — six in 10 feel they desperately need a vacation. Regardless of a particular destination’s current travel restrictions or a given consumer’s sentiment toward travel, everyone can start planning their next trip. Simply taking this step significantly boosts happiness according to Destination Analysts, and importantly for the tourism industry, drives future travel and tourism activity while also improving the travel experience.

Support National Plan for Vacation Day with additional research, talking points and media in U.S. Travel’s industry toolkit.

Visit California Encourages Trip Planning  
Visit California has big plans for this year’s National Plan for Vacation Day to help consumers chart their escape:

Help get the word out by pitching media contacts on National Plan for Vacation Day, especially the research on paid time off and pent-up demand, the link between planning and an improved outlook and the boost to California’s economy when travel resumes. While you’re pitching, tell them about the Dream Dial. And engage your social followers by encouraging them to ask travel planning questions using #PlanForVacation.


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