New holiday encourages people to start scheduling time off

By Kamala Kirk

According to the United States Travel Association, American workers left an average of 33% of their paid time off on the table in 2020, a trend that has remained the same every year sans the pandemic. About 76% of full-time employees report experiencing job burnout at least sometimes.

On Jan. 25, National Plan For Vacation Day will debut and is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year. The holiday will be celebrated on the last Tuesday of January every year.

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism is joining the 7,000-plus participating organizations including the United States Travel Association to celebrate and help people wave goodbye to the burnout by planning for their time off. They encourage locals and visitors to travel responsibly by following current health orders, taking advantage of public transportation, and bringing patience and vacation spirit when visiting local businesses.

“As Americans in general are encouraged to take a vacation, and Santa Monicans specifically are urged to enjoy a staycation within their own cityscape, there are enormous opportunities for Angelenos in the region to alleviate the burnout of routine and everyday stresses of work,” said Misti Kerns, president and CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism.

University of Southern California physician and New York Times best-selling author Dr. David Agus said employees may see numerous benefits from a vacation, including having higher mental acuity, feeling more engaged in the workplace, experiencing better interpersonal relationships with co-workers, undergoing improved self-esteem and confidence on the job, and returning to their jobs with increased energy and feeling more rested.

“Taking time off is critical for productivity,” Agus said. “Down time has been shown to recharge one’s creative side and enable one to do more. I would encourage everyone to go with the science and take some time away from work with family and friends.”

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism