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Friends toasting each other on beach

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Don’t stress if you haven’t, or frankly can’t afford to, make summer travel plans. When you take a vacation isn’t as important as simply making sure you actually take one.

According to a recent study by Project Time Off (PTO), travel increases happiness. In fact, 76 percent of people who spent their vacation time traveling reported overall satisfaction with time off—compared to only 48 percent of non-travelers. It doesn’t end there. Vacationers rated higher levels of satisfaction in almost every life category, from relationships and physical well-being to job and professional environment. In short, making time to get away can change your life. It’s not about doing it for the ‘Gram. It’s about focusing on de-stressing and truly achieving a better work/life balance.

Claim your paid time off days. Don’t let these excuses stop you from living your best life.

Work Martyrdom

Many folks are concerned that days away from the office will undermine any progress made at the job. According to PTO, some employees report feeling “replaceable” if they are out of office. Another complaint is having too heavy of a workload to hit pause. While all concerns are valid, they aren’t an excuse to limit self-care. Talk to your boss and team to strategize how best to get ahead.

Budget Issues

Money isn’t everything but not having it is. Paying for a vacation can be tough, but there are ways around it. You can create a vacation fund and stash money for a few months to ensure you can pay for your trip. There’s also the option of getting a side gig with an airline or at an international hotel for free flight and hotel discounts. Last but not least, you can keep your travel stateside. There are beautiful beaches, towns to explore, and luxurious spas all over the United States. Traveling locally gives you a break without ruining your personal finances.


Planning to work on vacation sounds savvy, but undermines the whole reason for a getaway. You can’t unplug if you stay on your work e-mail chain or devote time to a project. Don’t plan major vacations around work projects. And if you can’t commit to a week off, bookend a weekend and chill out.