What's New

Peter Roth, ARDA
202-207-1156, proth@arda.org

Christy Moran, Weber Merritt
703-299-2602, cmoran@webermerritt.com

New infographic depicts timeshare vacation as recipe for happiness

WASHINGTON – September 15, 2015 – If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a new infographic from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) showing the lasting benefits a vacation has on one’s health and life should leave an impression beyond the length of your next trip.  The graphic also shows the long-term savings of $18,160 over 18 years of vacationing with timeshare, compared to an average hotel vacation over the same time period—as an additional metric of measuring vacation value.

Over the past decade, metrics for evaluating the value of vacationing have evolved as research continues to show the positive effects of vacation on health, wellness, job performance, relationships and lifestyle.  “There is finally a large body of evidence that supports why taking time away from the stresses of daily life and spending time creating memories with family and loved ones is good for you,” said ARDA’s president and CEO Howard Nusbaum.

For instance, the on-going Framingham Heart Study, found 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.  And 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.

Further research from the Harvard Business Review analyzed the effects an engaged brain has on job performance and that to be truly engaged at work, your brain needs periodic breaks to gain fresh perspective and energy.

And approximately 169 million Americans still did not take all of their earned vacations days last year—a sure recipe for burnout, as the infographic shows!

To underscore the inherent value of vacations, the timeshare industry promotes taking regular time off with loved ones and family.  Having the space to spread out but privacy to unwind is what makes vacation ownership the antidote to burnout—plus, you have thousands of resort-options all over the world.  “Vacation ownership guarantees that you will vacation at least once a year and ensures you take future vacations – all at a substantial savings over regular hotel vacations,” said Nusbaum.  “Timeshare owners tend to think of vacationing as a necessity not a luxury, as a recipe for happiness.  How do you place a value on that?”

For more information and to learn why timeshare vacations make for better vacations, visit www.VacationBetter.org.


The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Do you measure a vacation’s value by finding a good deal on airfare? Getting a chance to relax?  Spending precious time with your loved ones?  Chances are, it means different things to different people.  Over the last decade, there have been numerous studies conducted to measure the value of vacation.  The good news is that the research has found vacations are good for you—that taking regular time away has positive effects on health, well-being, job performance, relationships, and lifestyle.

The bad news is that millions of Americans each year choose to ignore the evidence.  Last year, 169 million Americans did not take all of their earned vacations days!

In a new infographic from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), taking time to get away has important health and lifestyle benefits that, if neglected, can lead to negative consequences.  Ever hear of burnout?  Yes, research has found that people who don’t take time to reset their batteries are more likely to suffer from burnout.  Everything from work performance, added stress, strained relationships, and decreased mental stamina are among the many negative results from not taking time to get away from the everyday schedule and pace of life.

The timeshare industry and its owners say that in addition to the lasting health benefits, the pre-paid nature of ownership guarantees that you will vacation at least once a year and ensures you take future vacations.  In fact, owners save $18,160 over 18 years of vacationing with timeshare, compared to an average hotel vacation over the same time period.

But the real value of taking regular time off with loved ones is the special memories it creates.  How do you place a value on that?



Your vacation was relaxing, but now you’re back at work and staring at a mountain of emails and work that piled up while you were away. How can you attack the chaos without undoing all the benefits of your vacation?

Aaah, summer vacation — a chance to get away from the daily grind, visit a new city or simply lie on the beach and watch the sun bake all those tourists covered in oil (to steal a line from Jimmy Buffett).

You probably wouldn’t hesitate to call in sick if you had the flu. But would you take a day off when your stress levels have catapulted into the stratosphere? For many of us, the answer is no.


When it’s finally time to take a vacation, is it better to take a few long weekends or plan a bigger getaway? According to a recent Wall Street Journal study, longer vacations aren’t necessarily better for your well-being than shorter ones. If your goal is to create an ideal vacation—one that boosts your well-being, relieves the stress that can impact our health, and helps your recharge before returning to work—then it’s more than just the amount of time you spend away that you need to consider.

Vacations are like sleep. You need regular recovery from work in order to stay healthy, so those weekend getaways might be just what you need, especially if you’re only taking one long trip a year. But a long trip also gives you the time to really relax and disconnect. Both are necessary for your well-being.

How do you get the most out of your vacation, regardless of its length? Consider these tips:

Plan farther ahead and anticipate the trip – the days before and after a vacation are almost as important as the vacation itself. Anticipating the vacation is when you’re the most excited because anything is possible! The longer you spend being excited about getting away, the more time you spend reaping the benefits of vacationing.

See or do something new – for those who struggle to decide whether to go someplace new or return to somewhere they love, The Wall Street Journal reports that psychologists recommend a new experience every time—either by visiting a new place or trying a new activity. New memories have the greatest impact on your vacation happiness since similar trip to the same place tend to blend together over time.

Maximize the start and finish of your vacation – the beginning and end of a vacation will usually leave the greatest impression. You remember the feeling of walking into your luxury room for the first time and the last family meal you shared before catching your flight home, so try to make those days extra special.

Vacations improve our lives, and research proves they help keep us happy and healthy. Studies show that vacations reduce the risk of heart attacks and depression, relieve stress and can lead to improved work performance and creativity.

So, however you decide to take your vacation days, just be sure to take them all!


Will you use all of your vacation days this year? Do you have plans to jet off to someplace new and exotic, or are you headed back to relive the memories at an old family favorite? How are you going to use those last few days off?

Whatever your plans are, it’s your time off—so use it!

Pledge to use every last one of your vacation days this year, and then share your plans with us!

We’ll share our favorites here and on social media to remind everyone: Vacation shouldn’t be a luxury—it’s a necessity!


Several news stories this summer have focused on the notion that Americans—American workers in particular—-have a vacation complex. The number of vacation days taken by Americans each year has steadily declined over the last 20 years—an astounding 429 million vacation days went unused in the United States last year. The pervasive work culture of putting in long hours at the job has resulted in a “No-Vacation Nation” syndrome. Americans get fewer vacation days than their overseas counterparts, and those who do take time off often take work with them or remain plugged-in while on vacation.

The top reasons for not taking a vacation include:

  • Proving work dedication to colleagues or supervisors,
  • Fear of returning to a heavy workload,
  • Can’t afford it, or
  • Feeling guilty leaving the work for someone else.

One could almost say the notion of a vacation complex is sweeping the nation. And yet, this complex is a perception that needs to change—and it can.

A growing body of research quantifying the benefits of vacationing on health, work performance, personal and professional relationships, productivity, and mental wellness is the first step toward changing the mindset. The next step is for employers to embrace vacationing and encourage employees to use their vacation days to reset their batteries. Already, 90% of senior business leaders surveyed in a 2014 study by GfK for Project: Time Off agree that employees return from vacation with improved focus and creativity and a sense of well-being—cutting down on turnover and sick days.

Another study conducted by Nielsen found that:

  • More than 75% of respondents who vacation regularly reported feeling happier;
  • 71% reported more satisfaction at work; and
  • 80% reported increased romance in their personal relationships.

And the most quantitative evidence that vacations are good for our health comes from the 2010 Framingham Heart Study, which found the likelihood for heart attack increases without vacations (30% higher chance for men and 50% higher for women).

The last step to changing the vacation complex is to act.

Take the #VacationPledge. Pledge to use all your paid vacation days. Take time to recharge. Take time with your family or loved ones. Take time for yourself. With the dog days of August upon us, there is no time like the present!

A vacation isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.