National Plan Your Vacation Day: Where will your travels take you?

Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, ND.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, ND.

Four in 10 Americans work more than 50 hours a week. The United States workweek is longest in the world, according to CNN Business. So, it’s easy to see why 662 million hours of vacation time go unused annually. That equates to 82.75 million days of unused vacation.

Americans work the longest and receive the least amount of vacation time, averaging 15 days. Europeans get 28 while Asians chip in with 19 days of time off.

So, why not take the time you’ve earned? People can come up reasons not to take time off. But, let’s look at reasons TO take time off – family time, quiet time, down time, recharge time, fun time, relaxation time. The list can go on and on. No one is saying you need to take a week off and travel to Fiji or the North Pole. Take a day off and go to the zoo, a museum or a ball game. Just lose the business suit and wear your civilian threads.

This year presents a challenge for us in planning time away. With our new book, “100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die,” coming out April 15th, we’ll be spending a considerable amount of time promoting it with book signings and other events.

Cover of book 100 things to do in Omaha before you die
Our book comes out April 15th with our official book launch set for April 22nd.

We are also involved with a couple of travel conferences. In April, we are part of a discussion panel on Midwest blogging at the 2018 Ecotourism conference in Kearney called Plains Safaris with keynote speaker Joel Sartore, an award winning photographer. In May, Lisa and her partner Sara Broers have organized a blogging conference in Clear Lake, Iowa called Building Community. They’re working with Libbey Hohn of the Clear Lake visitors bureau, the host destination.

The Walking Tourists
Clear Lake, Iowa, quickly became one of our favorite Midwestern spots. We’ve made five stops there in one year. It’s a beautiful area with friendly people.

When we do travel, we’ll likely be taking weekend trips to Midwest attractions. Our goal this year is to mark off some area attractions we’ve discussed visiting. Western Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota will likely top our itineraries.

McCook is the home of some great Nebraska politicians and have has turned their homes into a museum complex. So, the homes of US Senator George Norris and Ben Nelson will be on the tour.

We want to plan a return trip to Red Cloud and visit the new Willa Cather center. In addition, we’ll travel to Santee for the annual powwow in June.

Willa Cather childhood home in Red Cloud.
Willa Cather childhood home in Red Cloud.

Minnesota beckons for a few of the world’s largest attractions – the largest peace pipe and more. In addition, a trip or to the Twin Cities will be on the list.

I’ve longed to visit Hutchinson and check out the Cosmosphere and salt mines. This summer, we will cross that off the list. Plus, trips to Lindsborg and Topeka are on the travel bucket.

We have our annual Seattle trip planned for late July and early August. With a daughter living in the Pacific Northwest, we can plan some fun trips to that area.

Entrance of the Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum hosts impressive exhibits.

That’s just a start for us. We keep our plans fluid to have flexibility with opportunities that may come about.

If you need help planning time off, check out stories we’ve done on your area, visitors bureau sites and other bloggers you follow.

Wherever your road takes you, follow it and enjoy it. But, most importantly, take the time off. Spend it with family and friends, or just some solo downtime.