It’s common knowledge amongst Americans that we do not travel as much as we’d like, either due to lack of time, money, fear, or other reasons. What’s worse is that many Americans have paid vacation days, and other employer benefits, but don’t take advantage of them. Honestly, I don’t understand that. Why would anyone give up free time off and the benefits vacations provide when they were so hard earned? Do Americans look for excuses not to travel?
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7 American Excuses Not to Travel Debunked
Excuse 1: I Don’t Have Enough Vacation Time
The U.S. Travel Association reported that by the end of 2017, the average American vacation days taken per employee was 17.2 days. However, 52% of American employees reported unused vacation days that year totaling an accumulated 705 million unused vacation days.
It makes sense to save up some days for an emergency or, perhaps, save up for that big vacation. What doesn’t make sense, though, is why Americans would actually forfeit their earned vacation days – all 212 million of them.
Uh, do you all like losing money, because that is what happens when you forfeit your employer’s paid vacation days. More detrimental, in my opinion, is the time lost to have to yourself, either to take a traveling vacation or a staycation.
So, with millions of vacation days accrued and forfeited, why do Americans make this an excuse not take a decent vacation to travel?
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Excuse 2: I Can’t Afford a Travel Vacation
Does your employer offer a vacation “buy-sell” program? Perfect. Cash in some of those many paid time off days and use them towards a travel vacation you’ll use with the rest of your paid-time off days.
No, don’t use them for a measly 3-day weekend. Use them for a decent vacation, say, 2 weeks long?
Two weeks (10 business days) is less than the American average number of vacation days used a year.
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Excuse 3: I Can’t Afford to Be Away from My Job
Oh, boy, this is the excuse I loathe the most. Throw that, “I’ve got too much work to do,” excuse out the window. Why?
You may be a superstar at work, but your employer can exist without your superstar abilities for 10 days. If they couldn’t, then how did they get by without you before they hired you?
Besides, if you’re so valuable to the point you’d never be able to take time off work, why didn’t you tell them at first hire that they can just forgo letting you accrue vacation days in the first place?
Sounds silly, right? Accruing vacation days are done for a reason. You’re human, not a machine, and humans deserve paid resting periods for hard work.
So, go on. Take those two weeks off and treat yourself to some traveling. That is plenty of time to recharge.
Excuse 4: Vacations Are Overrated
You might even be surprised to find after your vacation that your superstar abilities become super, superstar. Why? Vacation benefits for employees are widely known. One study’s results that show vacations:
- reduce stress and anxiety,
- reduce heart disease,
- improve productivity, and
- improve sleep.
Don’t just take one article as gospel. Do some research for yourself.
Many studies show vacations have positive medical and psychological benefits. By the way, this means you cannot check your work email while you’re out of the office. I consider that a workcation, and that’s cheating.
So, if your boss balks at your mentioning you’re using your vacation time, just point them to Project: Time Off. Another excuse not to travel debunked. Check.
Excuse 5: Travel is Overrated
Thought the benefits of vacations were enough? Nope. Travel also provides benefits to humans.
I know I point out that travel has many benefits, like broadening your horizons and breaking down social barriers, but don’t just take my word for it. Travel benefits have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, improve your health, and more.
Excuse 6: I Don’t Like to Travel
Americans do like to travel! The most popular travel is within the U.S., but that is starting to shift. Even though only 42% of Americans have a passport, this number has doubled since 2004, and it’s been reported that 85 million Americans traveled abroad in 2017.
Excuse 7: I Don’t Know Where to Go
Still not inspired to use those vacation days for travel? Here, let me give you a little nudge.
I’ve provided a little ‘2 Week Vacation’ series that anyone can do – budget traveler to solo traveler. Considering Europe is one of the top destinations for Americans (41%), I started there.
Each 2 week itinerary is not only in an appealing destinations but also list top activities and sights worth seeing, transportation between cities, where to stay in each city, and more, even as a solo traveler without a car for the best eco-friendly and budget-friendly travel. Check them out:
- How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy
- How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks
- Best of Austria and Germany in 2 Weeks
These itineraries come from my own travel as an older solo traveler, so if I can do them, so can you.
If you are one of those lucky people who live in a country where you get mandatory and/or extended vacation time, these may appeal to you as well. In the end, travel inspiration should abound and the excuses not to travel will fade away. Hopefully.
Let Me Hear From You
I would love to hear if debunking excuses not to travel was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!