Feeling under the weather? It might just be that you’re under-vacationed. We’ve talked about the health benefits of vacations and the hidden costs of leaving vacation time on the table in earlier Distinctive Inns of New England blogs. Project Time Off, a national movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior, supported by the travel industry in the U.S., has made the study of unused vacations the focus of its attention. The Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) join others in the travel industry in encouraging workers to use all their vacation time. Why? Because vacations are healthy and good for the body, mind and soul.
According to the Huffington Post and Forbes, the benefits of employees taking vacation time involve higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits including reduced stress, heart and mental health. And vacations are good for relationships too. A five-year study of women in rural Wisconsin published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal showed that women who take vacations at least twice per year are “less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriages,” and that the “odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased.” A romantic getaway to any of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England is not only healthy but an investment in your relationships.
While Americans are taking slightly more vacation days than two years ago, according to Project Time Off, 54-percent of Americans did not take all their allotted vacation days last year. That means that one in two Americans are leaving vacation behind! In fact, 662 million days of vacation were left on the table last year across America. When studying this picture, Project Time Off reveals that there are some distinct geographic differences between states and cities for vacation-time perceptions and behavior.
GfK conducted an online survey from January 26-February 20, 2017 with 7,331 American workers, age 18+, who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid time off from their employer. We found that the New England states vary from being among the worst offenders of using all vacation time to some of the best takers of vacations. According to Project Time Off’s regional study, workers in New Hampshire —number two on the list of states with the highest unused vacation time (Idaho tops the list) with 77-percent of workers using vacation time unused – are far more likely than the average worker to fear what their boss thinks about time off (38% to 18% overall), believe that skipping vacation will make them appear more dedicated (42% to 26%), and worry that getting away will make them appear replaceable (37% to 23%). Vermont comes in the number ten spot, with 64-percent of workers leaving vacation time on the table, accounting for 1.3 million unused vacation days.
On the other hand, Maine comes in as the number one state for workers using all of their vacation days. According to Project Time Off’s study, “Maine holds the top spot when it comes to vacation usage, with just 38 percent of its workers leaving time on the table. “Overall, Mainers are less affected than the average worker by the barriers to taking time off, particularly the fear that they would lose consideration for a raise or promotion (11% to 21%). Pine Tree State workers also report better vacation cultures at their companies. More than half (54%) of Maine’s workers say their company encourages time off, far more than the 33 percent of workers nationally who say the same,” according to Project Time Off.
When Project Time Off took a closer look at the cities where vacations are utilized or not, Boston was identified as the number five city for unused vacation time. A full 61-percent of those living in Boston leave vacation time behind. DINE inns appeal to their Boston guests. It’s time to start using that vacation time.
What does this mean? Distinctive Inns of New England fear for those workers who suffer from being over worked, especially in New England. Being under the weather often results from under-vacationed work schedules. Are you leaving vacation time behind? It’s time to start planning your vacation today – even a two-day getaway to a romantic New England inn will help ease the strain of the day-to-day stress involved in work. Don’t wait for Project Time Off’s National Plan Your Vacation Day on January 31st. Start planning now. Be among the minority in your state and city that use all their vacation time. It’s good for you and good for your health.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport