Use Your Vacation Days for a Better You
5/27/2015, noon | Updated on 5/27/2015, 5:40 a.m.
SENDONA, Az It’s common knowledge that employees in the United States are some of the hardest working in the world, but there are times when that isn’t such a good thing. Americans accumulate more than four hundred million unused vacation days every single year, which adds up to a 224 billion dollar vacation liability for their companies. This number is more than twenty-four times the annual revenue of the National Football League and almost half the size of the Gross State Product of half of the states in the country. Even though the number does not include sick leave or personal time, it has still managed to grow by over 65 billion in the last year alone. These liabilities average out to about 1,800 dollars per employee that the company must pay out when an employee leaves their service. It seems unlikely that these numbers are going to go anywhere but up; according to the Time Off Project started by the US Travel Association, Americans are taking less time off than ever before.
Employers aren't the only ones losing with this system of long hours and “always on” work schedules. Employees who don’t take the time to take care of themselves often see health and productivity decline as they continue to grind away at the office with no break in sight. It can often be difficult to take that time – there’s always the possibility that a boss or a coworker might call and interrupt a trip – but that is not reason enough to pass on paid time off. Taking vacation days provides a boost of happiness and wellbeing that stays with employees when they return to the office.
Taking vacations also provides workers with a chance to remember how to relax, which in turn gives them a chance to develop resilience in the work place. Taking time off renews the neural connections in the brain that produce feelings of calm and peace, according to clinical psychiatrist Deborah Mulhern. Taking the body out of a stressful environment gives it a chance to restore and makes it easier to return to that environment and function in it. People who are worried about losing an edge in the office shouldn’t be so concerned either. There is no evidence of a link between putting in more time at the office and getting a pay raise or bonus. In fact, employees who left eleven to fifteen days of paid time off unused last year are ctually less likely (6.5%) to have received a raise or bonus in the past three years than those who used all of their paid time off.
Taking time away from work to rest and rejuvenate is a great idea for both economic and health reasons, and there’s no need to go across the Atlantic or Pacific to find those benefits. There are many places here in the United States to vacation where it would be impossible to hold on to stress. For instance, the American Southwest is known for its beautiful weather, gorgeous natural spaces, and an eclectic mix of traditional and modern. In Sedona, Arizona, vacationers can access incredible state and national parks like the Grand Canyon and miles of hiking trails where walks through nature can help shed off office worries and anxieties. There are museums and cultural sites to see as well, including Native American ruins from hundreds of years ago, incredibly well preserved for visitors to experience. There are championship golf courses set amongst the stunning red rocks. Sedona is also becoming increasingly known for its vineyards, art galleries, and shopping – there’s no need to travel far abroad for these experiences!
Of course, a vacation can be made or broken by what accommodations are booked, but visitors to Sedona need look no further than El Portal Sedona Hotel. El Portal is a luxury boutique hotel that offers quiet privacy, a central location, and top-line amenities to their guests. With only twelve suites, El Portal is personal and welcoming to both humans and their pets as one of the best pet friendly hotels in the nation. Each room may include such features as an adobe corner fireplace or a river rock stone fireplace, French doors, hand-painted detailing, stained glass, high beamed ceilings and arched windows. The pet friendly hotel offers a unique and beautiful atmosphere that makes it easy to relax away from the office and make the most of those paid vacations days. www.ElPortalSedona.com