Blog

Overwhelmed-America_sm

Guest Blog By U.S. Travel Association/Travel Effect

American workers believe that taking paid time off (PTO) helps them relax and recharge, offers them the opportunity to do what they enjoy, and makes them happier people. Yet, despite almost universal recognition (96%) of the importance of using their vacation time , four in ten workers (41%) say they will not use all of their PTO in 2014. A closer examination of these findings reveals that companies that encourage their workers to take PTO have happier, healthier and more productive employees.

ENCOURAGING WORKERS TO TAKE TIME OFF MAKES THEM HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AND MORE SUCCESSFUL.

  • Happier personal lives. Employees whose companies encourage the use of PTO have happier personal lives, with nearly three-quarters (74%) reporting being “extremely” or “very” happy with their personal relationships with family and friends.
  • Happier at work. Workers who are “extremely” happy with their jobs work within corporate cultures that encourage PTO. Over half (55%) of extremely happy employees are encouraged to use PTO, versus just one-third (32%) of the total population.
  • More successful and financially secure. Companies that encourage PTO employ more people who are “extremely,” “very,” or “somewhat” happy with their professional success and financial situation—compared to those companies that discourage PTO, send mixed messages, or send no message about PTO (91% vs. 79% and 84% vs. 68%, respectively).

SENIOR BUSINESS LEADERS AGREE: PAID TIME OFF IS GOOD FOR THE COMPANY.

  • More productive employees. Senior business leaders agree that employees who use their PTO return recharged, renewed and ready to work more efficiently and productively (91%).
  • Fewer sick days and improved morale. The vast majority of senior business leaders agree that using PTO cuts down on sick days and burnout, reduces turnover rates,  improves morale and boosts employee focus and creativity (90% for each).

Get more details here.

Vacation Better: 76% of timeshare owners take their vacation every year.  It’s pre-paid, easy to plan, and they love it!

Learn how timeshare vacations can help you take the time off that you deserve.

StepAway-3_FINAL-2

Is the thought of returning to piled-up work preventing you from taking a vacation altogether? According to a recent NBC News story, going on vacation is becoming too much work for many Americans.

In fact, a survey conducted by Randstad, a human resources and staffing firm, found that returning to work is a painful chore for many workers.

  • More than three-quarters of the respondents who said they found taking vacations difficult said the first day back in the office was their main deterrent.
  • Older employees were even more likely to cite first-day woes—a full 84 percent of Gen X’ers saying they dreaded the return to the office.

“Vacationing” has carried a stigma for generations. Americans have convinced themselves that taking time off is a bad idea, either earning them the title of “slacker” or leaving them too overwhelmed to function upon their return. But recently we’ve started to witness an attitude shift among employers who are seeing the benefits of taking time away to recharge as good for one’s health, relationships, and job performance–with research to back it up. Still, Americans earn and use less paid time off than other countries.

In addition to feeling guilty for taking time off from work, otherwise known as Guilty Vacation Syndrome, there is now the dreaded return workload causing some to forego their vacation, and for others to stay connected to the office via email during their break (44% of adults check email while on vacation!).

The timeshare industry champions the concept of “vacation discipline”: taking time at least once a year to recharge your batteries and spend time with your family and friends away from the stresses of daily life.

Research continues to show that overall health can deteriorate over time if we don’t take a break from work. In fact, leaving vacation days unused, like most Americans do, can decrease your overall productivity and increase stress, other health risks, and the likelihood you’ll burnout at work.

So, take two weeks …your health will thank you!

economic-impact-blog-edited

It’s not only the vacationers that love timeshare; the local cities and towns where timeshare resorts are located love it as well.   That’s because it adds so much to their local economy.

For instance, timeshare represents:

  • $68.7 billion in consumer and business spending
  • 473,000 full- and part-time jobs
  • $23.6 billion in salaries and wages
  • $8.5 billion in tax revenue

Spending by timeshare owners and guests during timeshare stays was estimated at $10 billion in 2013. About $2.1 billion was spent on-site at resorts, while $7.9 billion was spent off-site in the communities where the timeshare resorts are located.

For more details, check out our infographic and to learn more about vacationing with timeshare, go to www.VacationBetter.org.

Families Across America Celebrate National Family Reunion Month: Get Tips on Planning Yours Here!

By Peter Roth, American Resort Development Association

Portrait Of Three Generation Family On Beach Holiday

What better way to ensure fun and camaraderie on an extended family vacation than to have beautiful, spacious accommodations? Everyone gets their space, with the added benefit of having a kitchen to gather for dinner, fabulous outdoor facilities to celebrate and incredible destinations that are convenient for everyone. This is what timeshare offers to families looking for more than just a picnic.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) offers “how-to” travel options to help make family reunions fun, affordable and stress-free. “Take Time for Togetherness” is an ARDA initiative that provides suggested reunion activities, location ideas and success tips. Download it here today! Time for Togetherness

Everyone deserves not just a vacation but a better vacation—especially when it’s a family reunion.

By Gary Oster, Executive Vice President—Member Services & Managing Director—Travel Effect, U.S. Travel Association

OxfordPostcard_2.19.14

America has one of the longest workweeks in the world. So it’s good news that nearly three in four employees earn some kind of time off, with an average benefit of 20 days per year.

I’m thankful for the time I get away. I think of the trophy rockfish I reeled in on a recent long weekend fishing with my son, or escaping the endless winter in Key West with my wife. With summer quickly approaching, I’m flooded by memories of the long family car rides, squeezed in the back seat with my brothers, our bickering slowly silenced by the building anticipation of the endless ocean with every mile marker that passed.

What about you? Did you use all of the time off you earned last year?

More than 40 percent of Americans finished 2013 with unused paid leave. In fact, we left a total of 429 million days of earned leave on the table last year — an average of 3.2 days per employee. That’s three days that could’ve been used to tackle your own to-do list, visit with friends and family, or make new memories on a dream vacation. It’s time you need away from the daily grind to relax and recharge.

By not taking time off, we’re suffering from a Day Off Deficit. I know I’m constantly reading about how we’re too busy and need to slow down.

If all of us took just one more day, we would be a happier and healthier country. Research shows that taking time off can improve your physical health, social life, and family life. After just one day away from the office, Americans report feeling happier with their overall outlook and closer to loved ones. The benefits of taking time off rollover into the workplace, too: HR managers link the use of time off with higher-performing employees, greater productivity, and less lost work due to sickness.

It’s time to refuel your tank. Join me in taking one more day off this year. You’ve earned it.

P.S. Need extra incentive? From May 3-11, visit TravelEffect.com to enter our “What’s Your Travel Effect?” video contest for a chance to win a getaway.

Gary Oster is Executive Vice President, Member Services and Managing Director, Travel Effect at the U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.