How vacations can improve your work performance and boost your marketing efforts

Vacation days are all that Katie Denis thinks about. Jealous, right? Well, she’s just as concerned with your vacation days as she is with her own. Katie is the Lead Researcher for Project: Time Off, a non-profit initiative of the U.S. Travel Association that strives to get us workaholic Americans to use more of our allotted vacation time. P:TO’s campaign is especially advantageous when marketing for travel, leisure, and destinations!

This week’s episode delves into the importance of taking time off from work as both a benefit to yourself and your company. We’ll also go into how planning your vacation days ahead of time will ensure you’re using them efficiently. And of course, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can use Project: Time Off’s campaign to market your destination or attraction.

Time off increases personal happiness and career growth

With the rise of the Internet and the ability to work “anywhere” came the expectation to work everywhere, and the number of vacation days Americans use dropped to an outrageously low number in the past 20 years.

The leisure and tourism industry needs to “take a dose of its own medicine,” as Katie says, and actually make time to get away from marketing your company to take some time off, relax, and go somewhere new. It’s difficult to 100% “unplug” while on vacation. Katie stresses how important it is to set boundaries while enjoying some time to yourself. Maybe only check your email once a day, and then don’t think about work the rest of the day. Live in the moment!

“The people who travel with more of their vacation time are 56% happier with their health and well-being.”

And it’s not just your own happiness that is reaping the benefits from your time off; your company wants the most productive version of yourself you can be, as Katie points out. Without some rest and time to yourself, there will be no “breakthrough moments.”  Vacations are the perfect way to refresh yourself mentally. Reboot the creative part of your brain so that when you do go back to work, you’ll be full of fresh new ideas and ready to wow your boss with some zesty new marketing strategies.

“When we ask people if they’ve received a recent promotion raise, or bonus, the people who are more likely to say yes are also more likely to take their vacation time.

Vacation time as a target point for travel and destination marketing

When it comes to the tourism and leisure markets, a precondition to get more traffic on your website and more foot traffic at your destination is people actually taking time off work to plan a visit.

Katie shares some great statistics about Americans and vacation time in the podcast, and Project: Time Off provides free videos and embeddable materials to boost your business’s marketing efforts. Encourage your audience to take a break from work and come see what you’re all about!

Check out Alamo Rent A Car’s “Don’t Ignore Vacation” marketing campaign and how they leveraged vacation time statistics to create a hilarious video series!

Plan your PTO in advance

Katie encourages you to plan out your vacation days ahead of time to increase the likelihood that you use all of your paid time off in the most sensible way possible. A good time to start marking days off your calendar is the beginning of each year, so take part in next year’s National Plan for Vacation Day! Take P:TO’s advice: “It’s time to stop making excuses and start making plans.”

So practice what you preach — live the product! Plan your vacations ahead of time and encourage your customers to do the same.

About the expert: Katie Denis is the Vice President and lead researcher for Project: Time Off, a U.S. Travel Association initiative. Before joining P:TO, Katie was the Director of Communications and Strategy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys finding unique ways to make time for herself while traveling for work, and she uses all of her vacation days.