National Plan For Vacation Day: Using your vacation days to the fullest

Whether you’re traveling locally or internationally, here are a few tips for your planning

ROANOKE, Va. – In 2018, 55% of Americans left vacation time on the table. One of the many reasons US Travel Association is powering this national day, to encourage people to plan their time off.

Another reason this holiday is bringing awareness, according to the US Travel Assoc. 768 million vacation days went unused in 2018, 9% more than in 2017.

Visit Virginia Blue Ridge represents three counties and two cities. When it comes to planning a vacation Visit Virginia Blue Ridge reminds people that exploring somewhere local is an option.

Vice president of public affairs and destination development, Catherine Fox said, “It’s affordable, keeps your transportation time down, your travel time down, it gives you a little bit more of opportunity to see things, do thing. It’s a great way to recharge and be a part of the region and seeing some of the gems that are here.”

A helpful resource Visit Virginia Blue Ridge offers is its website that gets 5,500 people visiting a day.

“We have a spot on our website, visitvbr.com 'Things to do’. It’s a list of things that narrow it down to either inside or outside and we also have a list of free things to do," said Fox.

Click here to take a look.

If you’re looking to explore places across the commonwealth, Virginia Tourism has its own website with things to do whether it’s a hike, history sites, eating at great restaurants or laying at the beach. Click here to browse.

For those with bucket-list destinations all over the country and world, a little research and help from a travel agent can go a long way.

Martin Travel in Roanoke suggests first decide where you want to travel and what time of the year.

Even if you have multiple destinations in mind, they can help you narrow it down, figure out if you’ll need a visa or a passport and what time is it best to travel to that location.

Judy Miron, travel advisor at Martin Travel said, “Different destinations have different times they should plan. So they really need to do their research to know is it off-season or on season, is it a holiday where you know it’s going to be crazy busy, is it a country that has the opposite seasons, like Australia.”

Another reason why a travel agent or advisor may be helpful is sometimes people spend hours online trying to plan a trip and some of the sites they use can’t always be trusted.

“I love helping people plan that vacation, letting them know sometimes this isn’t quite what you really think it is. Or maybe I’ll tell you what it is and you see if this is you and they often say, oh that’s not me. We don’t charge you that service fee to plan that vacation, " said Miron.

Click here to see all the services, travel tips and reminders Martin Travel offers.

Still need a few more resources to kick-off your vacation planning? US Travel Association has a tool kit to help, click here.

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