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Spending too much time at work, instead of with family? Can’t remember the last time you took a real vacation?  The toll this takes on your personal life may be harming you more than you know,” says Today Show’s Sheinelle Jones. Citing research from The Work Martyr’s Affair study, Jones notes that a curious thing has happened in America. In less than 15 years, U.S. workers have lost a week of vacation time. For decades, Americans used more than 20 vacation days, but now they have hit an all-time low, taking just 16 days off each year. This results in Work Martyr Syndrome, which quietly creeps into employees’ home lives, creating a major divide between the people American workers want to be and the people they are.

Project: Time Off’s study, “The Work Martyr’s Affair: How America’s Lost Week Quietly Threatens Our Relationships,” warns that America’s Lost Week is harming relationships with the people who matter most and, what’s worse, the damage may be done before it’s realized. Respondents assert that people who fail to use time off are losing out on quality time with their significant other, their children, and themselves, but still four in ten workers leave time off on the table!

Not taking these extra days off has been statistically proven to damage personal relationships.  More than one in three couples argue about the time needed for work versus the amount of quality time needed for each other.  The average person misses more than three events a year. The number one missed event is a child’s activity (35%). But employees are also missing out on vacations (25%), visiting family (20%), and even funerals (10%) due to work. As Dr. Lotte Bailyn put it “There is an obvious disconnect with what people say they want from life and what they actually do.  You see a conflicting identity. You’re supposed to be the good family person, but also this ideal worker.”

Because so many days off are not taken it is recommended to plan out a vacation in advance, which can really make a difference.  In fact, the 54 percent of households that set aside time to plan out the use of paid time off for the year are happier in almost every category measured in the survey.  With a timeshare you are prepaying for your vacations each year, guaranteeing a regular vacation. And with options all over the world a timeshare could be the perfect getaway to combat your work martyr syndrome and bring the family closer together.

Jenna Birch of Yahoo! Health has examined the key roles vacations play to our overall health, and the many detriments of overworking ourselves.

Why are we OK with burnout?

Americans are work martyrs. We leave $224 billion in unused vacation time on balance sheets each year and there are a lot of reasons for this! First, you won’t be in the office for that presentation your team’s been working on. Second, someone else will inevitably have to pick up your slack. Third, how much of a break will you really be getting? You’ll be tuned in to your buzzing phone anyway, (just in case of a work emergency, of course) or sifting through emails (so you won’t have to dig through them when you return, right?). On second thought, maybe it’s easier to put off that vacation until things “slow down.”

There is a high tendency to rationalize skipping vacation days to prevent the feeling of falling behind. Vacation time is not wasted time, though. It’s valuable time that we aren’t utilizing.

Why Aren’t We Taking Time Off?

Today, our work defines us more than ever before. Imagine going to a dinner party, where you must introduce yourself to a handful of new people. What do you say? According to psychologist Karla Ivankovich, PhD, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Springfield, we used to define ourselves by our own interests, our families or relationships. But these days, “most people introduce themselves by what they do, rather than who they are,” Ivankovich says.

Our minds are always consumed by the demands of the job, probably more so now than ever before. Workplace culture has shifted — even from just a couple decades ago. Seniority, loyalty, and longevity have been replaced by youth, productivity, and economy.

How Do We Break Away?

But it is important to leave work behind. If possible, you should go bigger rather than smaller, because more than a couple days off will give you the best mental boost.  While scheduling that time away is definitely doable, it’s not as easy to actually rest while you’re taking time off.

Can’t take your mind off what you might be missing? Then you might need to really remove the temptation of checking in on work. Maybe leave your phone behind on the beach trip — except for a half hour of checking emails in the morning, at lunch, and at night. Or maybe you designate one full hour at night dealing with work correspondence. Or maybe — eek! — you decide to go completely Internet-free.

Timeshare vacations can help ensure you take regular vacations, since you are pre-paying for them. This discipline will help you find that week you need to break away from your job, and with locations all over the world, you can get as far away from work as you may need.

To read Jenna’s entire article visit Yahoo! Health here.

 

American workers are overwhelmed. After years of being asked to “do more with less” workers are overstretched, stressed out, and exhausted. The always-on, 24/7 American work culture is taking a heavy toll, leading to 429 million wasted vacation days that completely undermine personal well-being. In fact, Americans are taking the least amount of vacation in nearly 40 years. Vacations can have significant results in boosting a person’s health and well-being.

Some of the most compelling statistics in favor of vacations revolve around an individual’s heart health. According to a recent Health Net article:

  • A study that followed 12,000 men over a nine-year period that had a high risk for coronary heart disease, found that the men who take frequent annual vacations were 21 percent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 percent more likely to die from heart disease.
  • A second study – the largest and longest-running study of cardiovascular disease – revealed that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who did take time off.
  • In addition, women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.

Beyond heart health, there is a case to be made for vacations helping to decrease depression, lessen stress and improve productivity. Health Net also cites other studies that find:

  • Women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year.
  • Vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress.
  • For each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent, and frequent vacationers also were significantly less likely to leave their job.

It is clear and proven that consistent work without taking a break is detrimental to a person’s well being. Yet workers are still not taking all of their earned vacation days.  For a healthy lifestyle it is essential to try to vacation regularly.  Timeshare owners are great at this, since by prepaying for their timeshare they will be more likely to take a yearly vacation…resulting in increased health and wellness benefits!

Each year, research shows us that Americans are using less of our vacation days. But not taking a break can lead to stress overload and other potentially damaging effects on your health, experts say.

According to U.S. News & World Report, vacations offer the chance to relax and restore your overall well-being. But simply taking a hiatus from your demanding workday schedule isn’t enough. Traveling somewhere new can enable you to immerse yourself in new surroundings, boost your brain power and fully recharge. With this in mind here are five key reasons why taking a vacation is beneficial to the mind, body and soul.

  1. You’ll Recharge Emotionally and Increase Empathy – Vacationing – especially near the water – can help us reset your emotions and actually increase compassion.
  2. You’ll Get Back in Shape – It may seem backwards to think of a vacation as a way to increase your fitness routine, however travelers are often more active than sitting in an office chair all day. Tourists also may walk as much as ten miles a day while sightseeing in places like Europe or Disney World.
  3. You’ll Engage in New Surroundings and Eliminate Stress – according to Dr. Margaret J. King, director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis, “’There are lots of psychological benefits from change of venue devoted to just experiencing the environment. With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind and body can reset…with stress relief the main outcome.”
  4. You’ll Wind Down and Rest Up — Max Hirshkowitz, Chairman of the Board of the National Sleep Foundation, says traveling is a great opportunity to catch up on sleep due to the already relaxing nature of a vacation.
  5. You’ll Boost Your Mood — Many studies suggest that travel can improve your emotional state. A 2014 survey conducted by Diamond Resorts International found over three-quarters of respondents reported feeling happier when they planned a trip at least once a year.

Timeshare vacations are a great way to make sure you experience all of these benefits. Timeshares are prepaid, which increases the likelihood that you won’t skip vacation! These regular vacations result in many health and wellness benefits.  In addition, timeshare offers an endless variety of vacation options with resorts all around the world and flexible programs, so that you can vacation when and where you want.

 

Spending Easter at the timeshare this year? Fresh spring flowers and egg hunts are just the beginning! Why not take a bright new, travel-sized twist on your family’s classic traditions and bring the holiday along for the ride!

Enjoy the whimsical fun of Easter right in your timeshare kitchen. Add a pop of color to your trip with these simple, two-ingredient tricks for decorating eggs—perfect for any age! Then dig in to a simple and tasty Easter brunch. We promise you’ll go back for seconds!

Decorating Eggs

Tie-Dye Shaving Cream Easter Eggs

Shaving Cream Dyed Easter Eggs
(Source: Crafty Morning)

Tie-Dye Koolaid Colored Easter Eggs

Kool-Aid Tie-Dye Easter Eggs
(Source: Kraft Recipes)

Sharpie Decorated Easter Eggs

Sharpie Easter Eggs
(Source: Mom.me)

Easter Brunch

Bunny Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls
(Source: A Girl and a Glue Gun)

Maple Brown Sugar Crockpot Ham

Crockpot Maple Brown Sugar Ham
(Source: Life in the Lofthouse)

Ham and Cheese Scones

Ham and Cheese Scones
(Source: Baker By Nature)

Fresh Berry Bruschetta

Fresh Berry Bruschetta
(Source: Better Homes and Gardens)

 

For more tips, tricks and recipes, check out our Travel Size Easter Pinterest board! pinterest logo

 

 

 

 

The March 2016 issue of Consumer Reports delves into whether timeshare vacations are a good value.  They examine the costs of vacationing at the Disney World Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando, Florida from two perspectives: renting and owning.  They find that after a certain number of years, owning a timeshare pays off.

Read the full Consumer Reports article.

In a sister article, “The Timeshare Comes of Age,” Consumer Reports reviews the changes the industry has seen through the years, including becoming more consumer-friendly and transparent.  The article talks about the appeal of timeshare for a younger demographic and what to consider if you are thinking of buying.

Consumer Reports serves consumers through unbiased product testing and ratings, research, journalism, public education, and advocacy.  This kind of unbiased assessment of timeshare is a testament for this type of better vacationing.

Have you ever gone on vacation, opened up your suitcase and realized you forgot something? Figuring out what to bring can sometimes make or break your vacation. | Vacationbetter.org

Source: Pinterest

Have you ever gone on vacation, opened up your suitcase and realized you forgot something?  Figuring out what to bring can sometimes make or break your vacation.

Whether a winter vacation means outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding or sledding or playing family games huddled together around a fire, take a few minutes to make a list of items that would help make your vacation great.

For timeshare vacationers, a packing list is about creating a cozy atmosphere for your entire family! Here are five items to add to your suitcase:

  • Slippers. Slip your feet into a comfortable pair of slippers on lazy mornings or after a tiring day of outdoor activities. It instantly makes your timeshare feel like home!
  • Robe. It’s easy to forget a robe but it adds such a cozy touch when you tuck it into your bag…
  • Favorite spices. Most timeshare kitchens have the basic spices, but bringing a few of your favorites mean you have them if you need them – whether it’s nutmeg for egg nog or cinnamon for French toast. Put a tablespoon of each in a Ziploc bag – it takes up very little space!
  • Freshly brewed coffee. Adding a bag of ground coffee to a corner of your suitcase will surely make you happy the morning after you arrive!  It will save you from making a trip to the grocery store when you first get there.
  • Favorite book. Timeshare accommodations usually mean quiet space for everyone.  Take advantage of the time and space to get into that book that has been laying on your nightstand for weeks. Just don’t forget to pack it!

5-Things_Cozy2

What is on your list of “must-haves” to take on your winter vacation with you?  www.vacationbetter.org

As we wrap up another year, many of us begin to think about what we might do better next year – to get healthier, spend more time with our families, or even just be more relaxed.   There’s one resolution we can all make that should be easy to do.  Take your vacation time!  All of it.  You’ve earned it and you deserve it!

But, that’s not happening.  According to Expedia.com’s Vacation Deprivation study, Americans were given 15 days off this year, but the only took 11.  This is even worse than 2014.  We are not moving in the right direction.  In fact, 53% of Americans feel they are “somewhat or very” vacation deprived; understandable, as Americans take about half the number of vacation days as their peers worldwide.

But, when looking at timeshare owners, it’s a different story.  A recent survey of over 1,000 vacationers conducted for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA)* by research group Leger shows that an impressive one third of timeshare owners took four or more vacations in the last three years, compared to only 18 percent of non-owners.

They are taking their vacations because they are pre-paid, they are easy to plan and owners know when they arrive at their resort destination, they will have a great vacation.  So, in 2016 make it a priority to use all of your vacation time.  And learn more about timeshare as a better way to vacation.

* 2015 Leger omnibus survey