The American Resort Development Association(ARDA) encourages Americans to participate in the second annual National Plan for Vacation Day. This day is a call-to-action for Americans to take back their calendars and plan their time off.

More than half (54%) of Americans fail to use all the time off they earn, adding up to 662 million unused vacation days each year. National Plan for Vacation Day, launched by Project: Time Off, aims to remind vacationers of the importance and benefits of planning a vacation ahead of time.

“The solution for our ‘no vacation nation’ is simple,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA. “Take the time to sit down, plan your vacation days out, and give yourself and your family something to look forward to. Our timeshare owners are great at planning their vacation, since they know they have a pre-paid vacation to take each year. In fact, the ARDA International Foundation’s recent study on timeshare owners found that they take three or more vacations in a year.”

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.

  • 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners
  • 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners took significantly fewer days – zero to three – than planners at once (42% to 18%).
  • More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83% vs. 70%), health and well-being (57% vs. 48%), company (57% vs. 51%), and job (59% vs. 50%) compared to non-planners.

This vacation deficit also represents missed economic opportunities throughout the country. Americans’ 662 million unused vacation days presents a $236 billion economic opportunity. Timeshare vacationers alone contributed $6.6 billion in consumer spending outside of the resort and in the surrounding communities.

“America’s vacation deprivation shortchanges the time we invest in our personal relationships, undermines our performance at work, and threatens our economic well-being,” said Katie Denis, chief of research and strategy for Project: Time Off. “In 2018, Americans need to plan for their bucket list, instead of the to-do list.”

To help employees get their vacation days on the calendar, Project: Time Off created a vacation planning tool.

About National Plan for Vacation Day

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.