Studies show that many Americans do not take their vacations every year. It could be because they are afraid to take time off of work, may not be able to afford it, or have family issues. According to a new report by the Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 51% of U.S. vacationers admit they’re more stressed today compared to a year ago, and it’s even causing more than one in three (37%) to cancel or delay a trip they already had planned. Regardless, here are five reasons why you should book that trip this year after all:

  1. It improves your heart: According to this HealthNet article, he landmark Framingham Heart Study revealed that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who did not take time off. And women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.
  2. It reduces stress: Travel planning can actually cause stress because there are so many choices, money can be an issue, and taking time off comes with its own set of stressors. When you actually get on vacation though, your body begins to relax and it does reduce your stress level.
  3. It reduces depression: The same HealthNet article talks a University of Pittsburgh’s Mind Body Center which surveyed some 1,400 individuals and found that leisure activities – including taking vacations – contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression. The benefits of vacationing also extended to lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines.
  4. It makes you more productive: According to TakeYourTimeBack.org, studies show that more vacation time for workers actually increases company productivity, and has been found to decrease the number of sick days taken off. The site says that workers also report feeling more creative after taking time off, and more than 70% of them reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs when they took regular vacations.
  5. It makes you friskier. Well, kind of. The U.S. Travel Association recently released the results of their study where they found that 86% of respondents who travel as a couple believe that theromance is still alive in their relationship, compared to 73% of respondents who do not travel together. In addition, 94% of respondents who travel as a couple reported that they feel very close to one another, compared to only 86% of respondents who do not.

Now that you know the benefits of why you should take a vacation, contact your travel agent to book it!