Houston, we have a vacation problem.

According to a recent study from Oxford Economics, 52 percent of Americans left vacation time on the table last year, totaling a whopping 705 million unused vacation days, up from 662 million days the year before.

But hope burns eternal. Data shows that vacation time is slowly on the rise and that taking vacation just might make you happier and more successful.

Some of the top reasons we don't take vacation:
  • Concerned that we will appear less dedicated or even replaceable (61%)
  • Our workload is too heavy to get away (57%)
  • Feel that no one else could do our job (56%)
  • Our pets (54%)
We know we should be taking vacation, but the reasons above often get in our way. Hopefully these facts will help to change your mind. 

First, Americans taking all or most all of their vacation days to travel report dramatically higher rates of happiness than those using little to none of their time for travel (76% to 48%). 

Second, when it comes to happiness with physical health and well-being, there is a 22 percentage point gap (61% to 39%) between those who take vacation and those who stay at home.

Finally, employees that take vacation are more successful when they are in the office. More than half (52%) of vacationers reported receiving a promotion in the last two years compared to Americans who use some (44%) or little to none (44%) of their time off.

The positive effects of vacation are clear, yet we continue to leave days (and great memories) on the table.

It's time to put aside our excuses and get out there. It's good for the company you work for, it's good for your overall happiness and health, and it's good for your wallet.

Until next time, Thinkers.

- Brian

P.S. Speaking of vacations. For the first time in my professional career I will be taking more than 5 consecutive days off from work to explore Lake Como and the Swiss Alps. Thinker will be on vacation with me, but we'll be back in action on Friday, September 21. I hope to serve as inspiration for your next getaway!
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