While the travel industry is booming and employs millions of people around the globe, we’ve been on a different track here in the U.S. According to Project Time Off, there were 705 million unused vacation days reported in 2018 in the United States. Ahem, we’re going to repeat that … 705 MILLION!
On a positive note, the outlook doesn’t look so grim for future years, despite the fact that number increased from 2017, but there is definitely a long way to go. Companies are beginning to recognize the value in encouraging their employees to take their time off, as much as they are implementing mindfulness, play and other practices into the work culture. Science shows that travel has been proven to increase creativity and productivity, reduce stress, decrease sick days and improve overall well-being. What boss doesn’t want that?!
There is a renowned 1992 study that still upholds today called The Framingham Heart Study. After tracking workers for twenty years the results concluded that men were 30% more likely, and women 50% more likely, to have a heart attack if they hadn’t taken a vacation. The results held even when they added in other risk factors such as cigarette-smoking, diabetes, income levels and obesity. Travel is a major stress-reducer, according to a study completed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and many others just like it with the same findings.
Vacations are so much more than pretty pictures posted on Instagram. And, we can do a better job here in America. Our hope with Wild Bum is that we build a tool that further encourages people to travel, with real, trustworthy information. We know that after you’ve decided to use your vacations days, the first step is choosing a destination and/or do the research to make it a meaningful trip. This is where people get stuck. People often get overwhelmed by the piece-meal tools that exist and after one page on a Google Search they throw their hands in the air, declare that they will do it later and … poof! There went the remaining part of the year and your vacation days along with it!
Another interesting finding by the University of Massachusetts Amherst study noted above: results indicated that life satisfaction after vacation is positively influenced by perceived control, psychological detachment from work, relaxation experience, and mastery experience during vacation. A Wild Bum Guide provides that perceived control and real experiences by the Guide Architect. And, just like mindfulness, yoga and that client presentation — vacationing is a practice. We’re here to make it that much easier and exciting!