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Many of us are likely familiar with the frequently touted (and research-proven) positive effects of travel on our work performance, relationships and personal well-being. But, with all the national conversation about creating and keeping good American jobs, how much thought do we give to travel’s economic power in our lives?

It certainly deserves our attention. Travel is a top-10 employer in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The travel industry played a major role in America’s economic recovery post-recession—and now, travel is our country’s number one service export, accounting for 11.2 percent of all U.S. exports in 2016. The U.S. travel industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has recovered far faster than other economic sectors since 2008. Spending by travelers everywhere in the U.S., which currently totals over $947 billion annually, supports 15.3 million American jobs. That’s one in nine Americans whose employment depends upon plenty of travelers moving to and within the U.S.

The travel industry is one that relies on human interaction—whether it’s the front desk clerk at a resort, the tour guide in a historic district or the people that make your timeshare resort run.

That’s why, as part of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2017, May 7-13, the timeshare community is helping to unite and celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

This year’s NTTW is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a primary driver in the U.S. economy and an important part of our daily lives.

While all travel is important, vacations make up a huge portion of the industry.  In fact, nearly four out of five domestic trips taken in 2016 were for leisure purpose, which resulted in the direct spending of over $683 billion and generated $106.4 in tax revenue. And we know that timeshare is an important component of these numbers.

If you have yet to think of becoming a timeshare owner, the NTTW should help to persuade you.  Just look at current timeshare owners—unlike families that are constantly stressed about trying to plan a vacation when they can, owning a timeshare ensures that you and your family take a vacation each and every year.  And with destinations all across the U.S., there are limitless places to visit!

 

According to a brand new industry study, timeshare owners are becoming increasingly engaged with their timeshare and the timeshare lifestyle. Even with 9.2 million households owning a timeshare currently, the industry is attracting new buyers because consumers love the location of timeshare resorts, want to save money on future vacation costs, and want to ensure that they will take a vacation every year.

The study found the make-up of the average timeshare owner to include:

  • The average timeshare owner is just under 47 years old
  • 60% of timeshare owners are white; 20% are African-American; 14% Asian American
  • 68% are married; 17% are single, never married
  • 84% own their own home
  • 44% have children under the age of 18 living with them at home

Timeshare owners are also devout vacationers:

  • Timeshare owners took more than three vacations in 2015
  • Nearly 60% of timeshare owners either used their timeshare personally, or banked/deposited their timeshare in 2015 for later use
  • 77% of timeshare owners took a vacation at a timeshare resort during 2015

Timeshare owners are in love with their properties. In fact, seven out of 10 owners would recommend timeshare ownership based upon their experience. And not only did they love their properties, they loved how easy their buying experience was. Over seven of 10 recent purchasers (71%) found their buying experience to be excellent or good.

Timeshare vacationing is a great way for people of all ages and walks of life to get more out of their precious vacation time, and more and more consumers are realizing the benefits of owning a timeshare.

For more details, check out our infographic and to learn more about vacationing with timeshare, go to www.VacationBetter.org.

 

 

 

Taking a vacation doesn’t just help you relax and recharge—it also offers many other health benefits that can foster your success in the workplace. But can you really stop checking email when you step away from the office?  Employers are finding it increasingly more difficult to get employees to take their much-deserved time off. Even more alarming, employers are finding that a vacation alone isn’t enough to get their employees (and that inbox).

To solve this problem, many companies are starting a new trend of disabling, or suspending work email accounts while their employees are on vacations. This is an option that allows employers to manage when and how frequently their employees are receiving communication while away, and encourages employees to enjoy their vacation, worry-free.

While this popular trend is just beginning, unplugging on vacation is becoming simpler than you think!

Here a few tips to help you put down that phone and enjoy the perfect vacation:

Turn off push notifications. Instead of being alerted every time there is an incoming message, enjoy a buzz-free vacation with family or friends.

Delete your mail applications. Deleting the Gmail, Outlook, or other mail apps from your phone prevents the temptation to check email. Simply redownload it once you’re back from your trip and feeling refreshed!

Automate an email response. Setting an automated response that includes the dates of your travel and who to contact in your absence gives you the peace of mind that you are not falling behind at work. With your emails on forward to a team member or coworker to help manage your workload, everything will continue to operate smoothly while you’re gone!

Turn off your phone. The easiest and most effective way to take advantage of your vacation is to be present. Embrace every moment fully – don’t miss what you took time off to enjoy.

Try this approach the next time you travel and see even greater benefits to your vacation!

It’s already known that vacations are beneficial to a person’s well-being.  They can lessen stress, decrease depression and even improve one’s heart health. As if that weren’t enough, vacations can even lead to better sleep…and that’s not only during the vacation, but afterward as well!

It was discovered in a study conducted by a former NASA scientist who followed the sleep patterns of a group of people before, during and after a vacation.  He found that after the first day of vacation the participants averaged a full extra hour of sleep per night during the rest of their time away.

But the extra sleep didn’t stop when the vacation was over.  The study found that even when the participants returned home – they continued to average an extra 20 minutes of sleep per night for a significant period of time.  And we know that better sleep is important to our health!

Vacations are fun and exciting, but are not usually associated with sleep.  But when you break it down, there are many reasons behind why you’ll sleep better:

  • A vacation takes you away from work, reducing stress, and the lower the level of stress a person is having the better night’s sleep they tend to get.
  • During a vacation, you likely use your computer and phones less. This reduced backlight on your eyes will improve how you sleep.
  • You probably want to make the most out of your trip, so you will have a greater focus on getting more sleep and trying to get to bed at an earlier time than you would at home.
  • If you’re not a good sleeper in general, experts say a new bed can help you detach from the usual stress you feel at home, resulting in a better night of sleep.

Taking a vacation can help with your sleep, but it’s important to remember that not all vacations are the same.  Vacationing in a hotel where everyone sleeps in the same room can lead to nighttime problems.  Getting stuck in a room with a snorer, sleep talker or even a sleep walker can completely ruin your whole vacation.

But staying in a place with multiple rooms is your best option to have a great vacation—for a lot of reasons.  Check out a timeshare vacation for the space you need to get a good night’s sleep!  Your body (and mind) will thank you.

 

Can you believe we are now well into 2017? It’s true, and if you are like most people you are already feeling the need for a vacation! This is a sentiment felt in workplaces all over. Even though it’s early in the year, it is never too early to begin thinking about your next vacation. Who will you go with? Where will you go? Will you try somewhere new and exotic? Will you wait and go later in the year? Or do you need a winter getaway now?

Hopefully you experienced some exciting vacations in 2016, but 2017 may have even more to offer. Travelers have spoken up this year and it is clear there are some exciting vacation trends happening in 2017:

  1. Traveling with extended family. While it’s common to go on vacation with your immediate family, it seems this year that more travelers are opening up that invitation to include in-laws, cousins and other far-flung relatives. Travelers want to enjoy and embrace a vacation with the people who mean the most to them, spending time together.
  2. Exploring a unique location. Many vacationers are moving on from their routine vacation to something new and exciting. They’ve had enough trips to the same beach or the same amusement park. Travelers want to go on vacations that are unique and haven’t yet been done by their friends. Perhaps it’s a European country or a ski mountain in Colorado…2017 seems like a great time to explore!
  3. Reuniting with friends. As we are getting older and busier with our lives, we often grow away from some of our closest friends. Many people are hoping to change this through planning group vacations. How much fun would it be to grab some of your old friends that you are starting to feel separated from and go have a wonderful vacation in a great location?

Planning your 2017 vacation with these trends in mind could lead to your best vacation ever. There are definitely some planning considerations, however. Reuniting with old friends or traveling with your extended family means a larger-sized group that wants to stay together could be a challenge. You either need to shell out too much money for multiple rooms or decide to cram yourselves into one small room, neither an ideal situation.

Instead, consider a timeshare vacation. Timeshare offers much larger spaces that allow for group time together or individual space when you need some quiet time—even including a kitchen for a quick breakfast or a gourmet meal. And with over 5,400 timeshares across the United State and 121 other countries – you, your family and your friends can find that unique location you are craving. So look ahead now, speak with your fellow vacationers and plan your timeshare trip today!

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In our culture of packed schedules, hyper-connectivity, and work martyrdom, American workers are in serious need of a break. It’s time to start being intentional about how we spend our vacation days, and plan ahead!

In-depth research proves that Americans who take time to plan how they will use their vacation time in the year ahead are happier than those who do not. They are happier with their health and well-being, their financial situation, their marriage, and even their overall mood. Research also shows that simply having something to look forward to—like a vacation—improves your happiness. But nearly half of American households fail to take the simple step of planning their time off.

Here’s how to avoid that mistake and boost your happiness in the process:

  • First, confirm your paid time off benefits. Don’t take someone else’s word for it: some benefits may have changed from last year (many organizations offer additional days based on your years of service) so confirm what you have available by asking your manager or HR director.
  • Review your calendar for the year. It’s important to see when you could actually take a vacation. Consider:
    • Holidays during the year. If your office is closed for a holiday, could you add an extra day off and turn a one-day holiday into a four-day weekend vacation?
    • Workloads and coworkers. Think of when you are busiest during the year and when times are a little bit slower for your business. Try to plan for the slower times and make sure that your responsibilities are covered by your coworkers.
    • Family events and other important dates. Will you want to take time off for things like weddings, family reunions or birthdays – figure out when they’ll be in advance.
  • What are you going to cross off your bucket list this year? Where have you been wanting to travel? What are you dying to try? This is the fun part, where your dreams and goals come in. You don’t necessarily need to know what you’ll do with every vacation day – just plan the days off now.
  • Talk with your boss and colleagues about your time off. Don’t be anxious, nearly all senior business leaders believe in vacation time benefits for their employees.
  • Think about how you’re going to share your experience with your colleagues when you’re back at work – nearly 28% of people don’t do this. You will benefit from your time off, and your coworkers can, too, by taking a vacation by themselves!

Join Project: Time Off on January 31 for National Plan for Vacation Day. Get excited, use your time off and plan ahead to be a part of taking back the 658 million unused vacation days that Americans leave every year. Learn more about this event here.

 

holiday-stress

The holiday season is upon us. The time of year when your home is filled with cheer, laughter and family – unless of course you are the one hosting!  Your once ideal holiday is now anything but stress free; you have to cook, clean and entertain for your guests non-stop. And on top of all that, you have to think of the perfect gift for each of your loved ones, a daunting task in itself.

Maybe this year it’s time to start a new holiday tradition.  Picture how relaxing a vacation during the holiday season could be! And with most people off work around the holidays, it’s a perfect time for a getaway.  So, instead of spending money on lots of small gifts, consider a holiday vacation and give your family the gift of time together and memories to cherish.

But before you go booking your trip, make sure you don’t “treat” your family to a cramped room where the bed is not only for sleeping, but for eating and watching TV. Remember you want a stress-free holiday with loved ones, not a potentially more stressful holiday due to cramped quarters.  Not to mention, there is no space to cook Grandma’s famous holiday meals.

Fortunately, there is a way to travel during the holidays, without losing out on some of your favorite traditions – timeshare.  A timeshare vacation offers multiple rooms so that family members can stay in the holiday spirit without stepping on each other’s toes…literally!  Timeshares also provide a fully-equipped kitchen so your family can still have those favored holiday dishes.

Once you see just how great it is to get away for a holiday, you and your family may just make this an annual tradition.  So, this year be sure to give the gift of time and start a new tradition that your family will enjoy and remember for years to come.

Taking a vacation isn’t just about the fun you have while on your trip. It’s also about the long-lasting memories that you can cherish for years to come.  No one wants to jump straight back to reality after a vacation. They want to be able to bask in the good times they spent with their close family and friends, and maintain that happiness even when their vacation is over.

A recent survey by HomeAway, discovered what science says about making vacation memories.

  • Those who traveled with a mixed group of family and friends remembered their trips at least 20% better—and for vacationers who had something special to celebrate, their emotional memories soared to 69%.
  • There is no need to break the bank when planning a vacation. According to the study, the cost of a vacation has little to do with the memories you make. So whether you’re planning a luxury vacation or a less expensive stay, dollars do not equal memories.
  • Mountain vacations top the list for most memorable vacations—they’re up to 12% more memorable than other destinations.

Vacationing with timeshare naturally lends itself to retaining those great vacation memories!  Timeshares offer a variety of sizes of rooms that even include kitchens.  So traveling with a large group of family and friends does not mean everyone needs to be cramped into one small room – there’s room to be together….and alone.

Timeshares also offer a world of options at different prices.  Travelers can find a vacation trip for the price that best fits them and there are timeshare resort locations all over the world.  So if you want to have a memorable vacation in the mountains, you will surely have that option.

It is known that U.S. workers are not taking all of their earned vacation days.  In fact, more than half of American workers—55 percent—left vacation days unused in 2015, resulting in a total of 658 million unused vacation days across America!  This trend of not using all vacation days has been going on since the early 2000s, and is getting worse every year!  If the workers are not willing to change, maybe its time their jobs force change.

Offering paid vacation simply isn’t working, employees still fear they will be judged by other coworkers for taking time off or just simply fall behind on their work.  Because of the health benefits associated with vacations, businesses feel the need to get their employees to vacation.  Since offering a paid vacation is not enough, companies are now beginning to offer ‘paid, paid vacations.’

One company doing so is the marketing and advertising company SteelHouse.  Their CEO, Mark Douglas came up with a plan where the company will pay their employees $2,000 a year, through reimbursements, to go wherever they want.  He told Business Insider about the success of this plan, citing that of the 250 people in his company only five people did not use all of their vacation days!  In addition to more people using their vacation days, Douglas finds his employees returning from vacation ‘recharged and more productive.’

SteelHouse is not the only company offering paid, paid vacations.  BambooHR, a software company based out of Lindon, Utah offers a similar deal.  BambooHR offers to pay each of its 200 employees $2,000 towards their vacation.  This money can be spent on things like hotels, transportation, food and other vacation necessities.  In addition to seeing his workers become more productive, CEO Ben Peterson says “We feel very strongly that personal life doesn’t exist to support work life, but vice versa.”  Peterson and BambooHR are creating a work place where it becomes easier to enjoy your personal life through vacations and unplugging from work-life.

When talking about paid time off, Peterson says that it’s “kind of a catch 22. You have it. But then, it’s often looked down upon if you take it. Studies show people actually take less time off when they have unlimited PTO than when they actually have a policy.”

Because of this universal feeling from workers, paid, paid vacations may become more popular among businesses.  In fact there are a growing number of companies that are offering this service in the hopes that their employees can unplug and reap the benefits from a vacation.