As part of National Plan for Vacation Day on Tuesday, Jan. 26, Visit Lake Charles is encouraging everyone to plan time off for the year. 

“It’s been a challenging year, and I know we have all missed traveling and exploring our great country,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “While many are not yet ready or able to take a vacation, we are encouraging Americans to pull out their calendars on January 26 and get a future trip on the books—even if that just means dreaming about your next getaway. In the face of so much uncertainty, and with more than 63% of Americans saying they desperately need a vacation, National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity for Americans to renew their love of travel and to look ahead to better days.” 

There is a wealth of information that says simply planning a vacation can increase happiness, with 97% of survey respondents saying that having a trip planned makes them happier. Further, survey data shows that 84% of Americans are excited to plan a vacation in the next six months, indicating an impending surge in travel demand once conditions improve. 

Using vacation days to travel also improves the U.S. economy, creates American jobs and has a positive impact on health and overall well-being. In fact, if Americans used all their time off to travel, our economy could see a boost of $151.5 billion in travel spending and an additional 2 million U.S. jobs. 

“Whether it’s planning to travel or simply planning a stay-cation to explore your city, research shows that taking time off improves professional performance and strengthens personal relationships,” said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “By committing to planning on January 26, people can enjoy all the benefits of taking a break.” 

To help employees get their vacation days on the calendar, U.S. Travel Association has created a Vacation Planning Tool. By simply entering the number of days off they earn, users can plot out their trips or vacations for the year, export to their work or personal calendar and share with their friends, family and co-workers. 

Visit Lake Charles also encourages residents of Southwest Louisiana to enrich their relationships with friends and family who live outside the area by inviting them to visit Calcasieu Parish. For itinerary ideas on things to do in Southwest Louisiana and inspirational photos by visitors to the area, go to www.visitlakecharles.org/planvacation and search for #VisitLakeCharles or #PlanForVacation on social media. 

For more information on Visit Lake Charles, visit www.visitlakecharles.org or call 337-436-9588. 

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National Plan for Vacation Day takes place during the last Tuesday in January as 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 at a single moment 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.