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Every year more than half of Americans fail to use all their time off, creating a stock pile of 662 million unused vacation days, while Marylanders accumulate nearly 18 million days.
AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, knows the most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. Yet only 54 percent of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year.
At 78 percent, Idaho ranks first among the nation’s 50 states with the highest percentage of unused vacation days, while Maine ranks last, as employees embrace and use their time off with only 38 percent leaving vacation days on the table at the end of the year.
Maryland ranks seventeenth, as 58 percent of employees neglect to use their vacation days. The direct spending potential of these unused days by Marylanders is estimated at $1.8 billion dollars.
Fifty-seven percent of Baltimoreans leave 9.2 million vacation days unused, ranking Baltimore eleventh in the report’s survey of 30 American cities, resulting in a loss of $756 million dollars of potential spending. Washington, D.C. ranks first with the most unused vacation days at 64 percent, while a greater percentage of workers in Pittsburgh take advantage of their vacation days benefit, which ranks the city number one - only 40 percent do not take vacation days.
“On this National Plan for Vacation Day, we encourage workers to prioritize planning a vacation today, so they don’t have any regrets come December 31,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “By planning, we can all reap the benefits of taking a break, while giving ourselves something to look forward to on the calendar.”
Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.
“Vacation planning doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming, and can be made easier by letting someone else do the planning,” said Nancy Tabares, a travel agent at AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Towson Car Care Insurance Travel Center. “Travel agents can be a trusted resource as they have the expertise to plan personalized vacations and ensure that travelers’ precious vacation dollars get them the experience they want.”
AAA suggests the following tips to make your vacation planning a reality:
In addition to AAA’s tips, Project: Time Off created a vacation-planning tool to help employees get their vacation days on the calendar.
The decision to travel is a very personal one that must be made by the traveler. No matter where you go, always remain informed of travel alerts and consult a travel agent for their expert advice. AAA travel agents are available to assist travelers with this information and travel services are offered at all of AAA Mid-Atlantic stores.
Travelers can get started planning their next vacation at AAA.com/Travel, downloading the AAA Mobile app at AAA.com/mobile or by meeting with a travel agent at one of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s 16 Maryland locations.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.
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