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705 million unused PTO days: Plan ahead to take vacation

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 09:36:05-05

COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s national Plan for Vacation Day, so let’s talk about the state of vacation usage in the United States.

A recent report by the US Travel Association indicates that US workers leave more than 700 million days of paid time off unused by the end of the year.

The study goes on to disclose the following:

  • On average 52% of American employees end the year with unused vacation
  • That unused vacation has a potential $255,000,000,000 impact

In Colorado during 2017:

  • 68% of employees left vacation days unused
  • That number totaled more than 15,000,000 days

To combat this lack of vacation issue, the Travel Association created Project Time Off, a group committed to help change the way Americans think about their vacation time.

This is because the consequences of not using all paid time off is more harmful than one would think. Chelsey Offutt of Visit Colorado Springs says that “Those days equate to over $3 billion that could be put into the economy.”

Locally, Visit Colorado Springs is working to combat the problem by having staff sit down and intentionally planning out their vacation ahead of time as well as promoting the power of planning ahead.

“That’s [our] step today,” commented Amy Long, Chief Innovation Officer for the organization.

A lack of planning, in this area, can be a real detriment to taking any length of vacation, “People don’t take the time to figure out what it is they want to do early in the year; so when they get to be spontaneous, they really only get to take a day or two here or there,” stated Doug Price, CEO for Visit Colorado Springs.

Research indicates that the benefit of everyone looking ahead can be substantial; helping to lead to a healthier economy.

For more information on Project Time off and America’s unused vacation problem, CLICK HERE.

For a vacation planning tool from Visit Colorado Springs, CLICK HERE.