New Year’s Resolution – Travel

New Year’s Resolution: More Vacation Travel

Americans are known for their love of vacations and travel – aren’t they? Here’s a statistic that may surprise you: only 57 percent of American workers use all of the vacation time they are entitled to. That compares with 89 percent in France, 77 percent in Great Britain and 75 percent in Germany. America’s northern neighbor, Canada, doesn’t do much better than the U.S. – just 58 percent of Canadian workers use all of their vacation time.

In addition, according to the World Tourism Organization, the average American worker receives just 13 paid days off each year. In contrast, workers in Italy average 42 paid days off, French workers get an average of 37, and German workers get 35.

So, why don’t more Americans use more of their limited vacation time? Experts cite pressure to be at work as much as possible, employers’ preference for briefer vacations, and the expectation that employees will stay connected to work via phone or email even while they are on vacation.

However, studies show that taking relaxing vacations can be as important to good health as regular exercise. Common sense also tells us that it’s essential to take time away from work to relax and recharge. That’s why many European and South American cultures encourage workers to use their vacation time to the fullest.

This year, resolve to take care of yourself by taking a great vacation. To truly get away from work and the other obligations of daily life, consider a far-off location where you’re not too easy to reach. While the U.S. offers an incredible variety of domestic vacation destinations, don’t limit yourself. There’s a whole world of vacation possibilities out there. And, traveling to a different culture can provide the kind of experience that separates you from your work long enough to really decompress – and to return with renewed enthusiasm.

There’s at least one sign that Americans are becoming more open to international vacations: more Americans now have passports than ever before. According to the U.S. State Department, as of January 2012 more than one-third of the population had passports, which are now required for travel to and re-entry from international locations, including Mexico and Canada, as well as cruises.

Our advice is that as long as you have that passport in hand, why not venture far beyond the phones, texts, emails and social networking to truly get away from it all.

For more information about securing a passport and the many places that it can take you on your next vacation, talk with your travel professional.

Courtesy of Travel Leaders and www.owentravel.com

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Copyright © Margaret Owen, Cruise Pro