Travel Tips

U.S. Travel Association To Americans: Take the Time, and Plan for Vacation

Prepare for a year to remember — don't let your vacation days go unused

The Vacationeer
Couple laughing and embracing on the beaches of Los Cabos Mexico while visiting La Pacifica by Hilton Club.

Every January, the U.S. Travel Association encourages Americans to look ahead and plan the year's vacations. While many travelers have no problem using hard-earned time off to explore the world, the truth is, Americans give up a lot of vacation time. 

"Each year, more than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table, accumulating to 768 million days in 2018."

U.S. Travel Association 

In the spirit of upcoming National Plan For Vacation Day, we're sharing fun facts from the last State of The American Vacation survey. 

National Plan for Vacation Day promotional image of a woman walking across a bridge in the rainforest.


Who takes the most vacation days?

Colorado led the pack with 20.3 days. Following the leader is Virginia with 18.9 days and Arizona with 18.8 days. These three, vacation-day-loving, states come in well above the national average of 17.2 vacation days annually. 

By contrast, Montana (16.3 days), Delaware (16.5 days) and Rhode Island (16.5 days) are home to the nation’s most over-worked employees.

Who spends their vacation days traveling?

Virginia is at the top of the list for vacation days spent traveling (12.2 days), with Colorado (11.7 days) and New Jersey (11.1 days) rounding out the top three.     

Who needs to travel more?

South Dakota (4.3 days), Missouri (5.2 days) and Iowa (5.4 days) are traveling the least, falling well below the national average of eight days. 

National Plan for Vacation Day promotional image of a father and son hiking through the desert.    

Which state has the happiest workers?

Workers in Arizona and Washington report feeling the happiest in their jobs, with a resounding 68% saying they are happy, compared to 54% nationwide. Their contentment at work translates to leaving work behind while on vacation, as 50% of Arizona employees unplug when they take time off.         

What is the American travel style?

The way Americans like to travel varies state by state. The majority of Americans are looking for a warmer climate on their vacation. Those living in D.C. will most likely have a passport, while West Virginians don't typically visit cold travel destinations. 

However, those living in Hawaii and Louisiana prefer to embrace falling temperatures when choosing vacation destinations. 

Americans are pretty split on whether they prefer to save or splurge on vacations. The thriftiest travelers are from New Mexico and Idaho. Whereas Tennessee and New Jersey are home to the big spenders, 64% in both states say they like to splurge on travel.

Who unplugs on vacation? 

Indiana residents reported that they want to go entirely off the grid when they travel. These travelers say no thank you to cell service, email and everyday communication when looking to relax and recharge. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the most connected place in America is Washington D.C., followed by Arkansas, Montana and Nebraska residents, who also keep their phones nearby. 

Do travelers really use the gym on vacation?

For most Americans, vacations are a time to kick back, skip the gym and try new foods. Over two-thirds want to indulge on their time off by trying new restaurants and saying “yes” to a sweet treat on vacation.

How popular are luxury accommodations?

The majority of American travelers want luxurious accommodations over rustic digs. South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina are the leaders —preferring luxury.

How long are Americans traveling?

The traditional week-long trip is still the standard, as most Americans prefer week-long vacations over a long weekend getaway.

The takeaway?

Workers that use the majority of their time off for vacation are significantly happier than those who travel less or not at all. These folks are more satisfied with their relationships, experience better health and more success in their careers.

The real question is, where will you go this year? 

One of the many benefits of our flexible vacation ownership program at Hilton Grand Vacations is the access to various travel options that Owners enjoy. When you have access to more than 55 Hilton Grand Vacations properties, 6,300 Hilton properties and 4,300 RCI® vacation exchange properties worldwide, it's hard not to use all your vacation days. 

Read We're Confident Your Next Vacation with Hilton Grand Vacations Will Be Everything You Need and More for reasons to start planning your next vacation today. 



The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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