No PTO Left Behind — It’s Time to Plan a Vacation


National Plan for Vacation Day encourages workers to commit to health, happiness, and a few days off

True or false: You could use a vacation.

You could use some sand in your toes, some snow beneath your skis, or, let’s face it, a good night’s sleep.

Find out!

If you work in an office, are a human, or exist on planet earth, chances are your gut reaction was to shout “True!”

But if you’re among the 31 percent of employees who only earn five or fewer days of paid time off (PTO) each year, taking a vacation is easier said than done. For many, taking a vacation means sacrificing sick time and holiday hours. It means going to work under the weather, missing special occasions, or skipping a day of pay when your child care plans fall through.

And if you’re among the lucky — the 69 percent who earn anywhere from six to 31 days or more paid days off — the outcome isn’t much better. For you, going on vacation likely means taking your laptop to your destination, as more than half of employees who take PTO are prone to doing.

That’s IF they take PTO in the first place.


A culture of ‘not taking time off’

Sixty-five percent of employees left PTO hours on the table at the end of the year. Three percent left 31 days or more of hard-earned PTO untouched.

Why? One in 3 workers feels pressured NOT to take time off.

Six percent of employees say (begrudgingly, we hope), “We have a culture of not taking time off.” Others say their manager would never approve their PTO requests, they didn’t feel comfortable asking to use PTO, or their workload prevented them from even considering it.

Unsurprisingly, many of these same employees admit they struggle with unhealthy stress levels.


A plan, a tan … a healthier, happier you

If you ask the U.S. Travel Association, the buck stops here.

The case for taking PTO.

In 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day, to be celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, was enacted as part of Project: Time Off, an initiative that encourages employees to take full advantage of their well-earned paid time off.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, people who plan their vacations ahead of time are more likely to use all of their time off. These employees report higher levels of happiness in the workplace and at home.

For those of you following us in real time, we’ve got good news: Today is National Plan for Vacation Day! Use the U.S. Travel Association’s vacation planning tool to get the ball rolling and start down the path toward a healthier, happier you!

It’s never too late to make the most of whatever PTO you have left. And Project: Time Off features tons of resources to help you overcome a culture of not taking time off and maximize your PTO.

After all, you could use a vacation.