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Many workers leaving vacation days unused, with wide-ranging impact

Special to the Legal News

Published: February 7, 2019

The AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO will take place at the Ohio Expo Center this weekend, offering opportunity for travelers to start their vacation planning by working with some of the top travel companies and destinations in one location.

But many Americans, including Ohioans, don't take advantage of the vacation days they receive from their employer. Ohio ranks eighth in unused vacation days with 76,000 days unused in 2017, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Travel Association.

"Leaving vacation days on the table takes a toll on families, worker productivity, stress levels and overall well-being," said Kimberly Schwind, senior public relations manager of the AAA Ohio Auto Club.

Schwind said taking vacations can strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance, boost physical and mental health and stimulate the economy.

But more than half of Americans failed to use all of their vacation time in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association. It created a stockpile of 705 million unused days.

"The increase marks the third straight year of increased vacation usage and brings the national average up to 17.2 vacation days taken per employee," the U.S. Travel Association report stated. "The increase in vacation usage from 16.8 to 17.2 days delivered a $30.7 billion impact to the U.S. economy. It also produced an estimated 217,200 direct and indirect jobs and generated $8.9 billion in additional income for Americans."

According to the report, work-related challenges were the main barriers for Americans to use their vacation days, including fear of looking replaceable, heavy workload and lack of coverage at work.

So-called workcations have emerged as an appealing option for workers reluctant to take vacation. Workcations involve a decision to travel somewhere with the intent to work a regular schedule remotely but allow time to enjoy a destination.

Nearly 40 percent of millennials are interested in workcations, followed by Generation X (28 percent) and baby boomers (18 percent).

"For Americans who are not using much of their earned time off, workcations do have more appeal. Thirty-seven percent of Americans who used little or none of their vacation days said they found the idea of a workcation appealing, compared to 29 percent overall," the report stated.

For more information about AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO go to www.AAAGreatVacations.com.

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