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AAA WCNY encourages Americans to plan for vacation

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Tue, Jan 30th 2018 01:20 pm
National Plan for Vacation Day is Jan. 30
Editorial by AAA of Western and Central New York
Every year, more than half of Americans fail to use all their time off, creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days. AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, knows the most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. Yet only 54 percent of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year.
"In New York state, 54 percent of employees left 38.1 million vacation days unused. By planning, we can all reap the benefits of taking a break, while giving yourself something to look forward to," said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations for AAA WCNY. "This National Plan for Vacation Day, Jan. 30, AAA encourages Americans to prioritize planning."
Research shows planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off's "The State of American Vacation 2017" report found planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier. Additionally:
•52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
•75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days - zero to three - than planners at once (42 vs. 18 percent).
•More planners report they are "very" or "extremely" happy with their relationships (83 vs. 70 percent), health and well-being (57 vs. 48 percent), company (57 vs. 51 percent), and job (59 vs. 50 percent) compared to non-planners.
"Vacation planning doesn't have to be stressful. Make it easy by using AAA.com, the AAA mobile app or an expert AAA travel consultant to plan the perfect vacation," said Brian Murray, director of travel for AAA WCNY. "AAA not only provides peace of mind when you travel, but helps you get started, and get to your destination."
AAA suggests the following tips to make your vacation planning a reality:
•Create a tentative budget and schedule so your trip planning can be accomplished in a realistic manner.
•Research and understand the pros and cons of traveling to a destination during your preferred timeframe. Identify attractions or activities you are most interested in and determine if they will be available.
•Leverage your AAA exclusive member discounts for car rentals, flights, hotels, vacation packages and more. Visit www.AAA.com/Travel or download the free AAA mobile app.
•Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. AAA offers travel services at all branch locations. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, AAA has relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators, which gives access to special rates and added benefits not available elsewhere.
•Plan ahead. If you are leaving the country, you will need a passport - and possibly a visa or health documentation. It can take up to six weeks to get a new passport, so allow time to secure all necessary documents.
•Consider purchasing travel insurance, designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen events. Check with a travel agent and carefully review insurance policies before purchasing, as coverage options vary.
If you need some inspiration for a destination, AAA has you covered. The top travel destinations for 2017 were: Florida, Caribbean cruises, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Alaskan cruises, Jamaica, Las Vegas, Hawaii, European river cruises and California. Travel experts also expect national parks to be popular this year.
In addition to AAA's tips, Project: Time Off created a vacation-planning tool to help employees get their vacation days on the calendar.
The decision to travel is a very personal one that must be made by the traveler. No matter where you go, always remain informed of travel alerts and consult a travel agent for expert advice. AAA travel agents are available to assist members with this information. Travelers can get started planning their next vacation at AAA.com/Travel or download the AAA mobile app at AAA.com/mobile. Travelers can find discounts, book a hotel and more.
About National Plan for Vacation Day
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated Jan. 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association's Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states, came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 870,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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