What's New

ARDA-Value-Prop-2-Value-of-Vacation-090115-sm

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.

WhichIsBetter

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!

VacationPledge

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!

beach-vacation-people-sand

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.

 

SOI-Info-Crop

Vacationers are loving their timeshares!   The industry association’s research group, along with Ernst & Young, just released its State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study for 2015.  It shows that the timeshare industry enjoyed steady growth in 2014.  Here are a few of the highlights:

When comparing 2014 to 2013:

  • Sales volume increased more than four percent, to $7.9 billion.
  • There are 1,555 timeshare resorts in the United States, representing about 198,490 units.
  • The average resort size was 128 units.
  • The average sales price was $20,020.
  • Occupancy increased two percent, up to 78 percent, compared to a 641 percent hotel occupancy rate.

There were some other interesting facts to note as well:

  • 70% all timeshare units are two-plus bedrooms. An average one-bedroom unit is 700 square feet; an average two-bedroom unit is 1,160 square feet and an average three-bedroom unit is 1,590 square feet—compared to the average hotel room size of 350 square feet.
  • Beach resorts are the most common type of resort.
  • Theme park resorts have the highest occupancy.
  • Florida has the most resorts—23% of the national total.
  • Nevada has the largest average resort size—182 units on average.
  • Hawaii has the highest occupancy rate for a region, at 85.3%.

aif_15SOI-Infographic_7.14.15

Check out the latest facts and figures about the timeshare industry!

aif_15SOI-Infographic_7.14.15