National Plan for Vacation Day Date in the current year: January 30, 2024

National Plan for Vacation Day National Plan for Vacation Day is observed annually on the last Tuesday of January. It was created to remind people to use their PTO/vacation days and to plan their vacations in advance because early planning can help save quite a lot of money.

National Plan for Vacation Day was launched in 2017 by Project: Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association designed to encourage employees to take the time off they deserve and use it to decompress and travel (or have a staycation, which is a totally valid option).

According to a survey conducted by the project, more than half of Americans leave vacation days unused, accumulating to 768 million days in 2018. The overwhelming majority of employees say that they are more comfortable taking time off if they can access work during vacation should they choose to. Only 27% of employees entirely unplug from work during vacation, another 27% check in frequently while they are away, and 46% check in occasionally.

The idea behind National Plan for Vacation Day is to encourage employees to use their vacation days in a way they are most comfortable with. And the best way to do it is to plan your vacation early in the year for a number of reasons:

  • It gives you something to look forward to and helps prevent burnout.
  • It allows you to plan your vacation around work priorities and/or coordinate it with important events in your personal life.
  • Informing your manager about your intention to take time off gives your team time to prepare for your absence.
  • Planning ahead for trips allows to save money on tickets and accommodation.

The best way to celebrate National Plan for Vacation Day is, well, to plan for your next vacation. Your first step would be reaching out to your HR department to learn how many PTO/vacation days you have left. Once you know what you are working with, you can figure out when to take your vacation. There are several factors to consider when choosing when to take your vacation:

  • Busy and quiet seasons in your industry or company, if there are any.
  • Whether you prefer to travel during the peak season or the off-season (both approaches have their pros and cons).
  • The schedules of the people you want to spend your vacation with.
  • Public holidays (planning your vacation around public holidays will help you extend your leave without taking more vacation days).
  • Important events in your personal life such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Other important early steps are setting the travel budget and choosing the destination. They are intertwined with scheduling your vacation, so it’s hard to say what you should do first; it depends on the situation. Sometimes you have to choose the destination while keeping your budget and available dates in mind; sometimes you have to adjust travel days depending on your desired destination and budget.

Once you know when and where you’re going to travel and how much money you can spend, it’s time to book flights and accommodations, learn about public transportation in your destination of choice (or maybe renting a car would be a better option?), search for deals on activities, and build your perfect itinerary. You don’t have to do all of it on National Plan for Vacation Day, but if you get some ideas, don’t forget to write them down for future planning!

Remind me with Google Calendar


Other Observances



National Plan for Vacation Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, Project Time Off, unused vacation days