How are you using your remaining PTO this year?

More than half of U.S. workers left some vacation time unused in 2015, and Hotwire wants to make sure that doesn’t happen in 2016. Feeling conflicted about taking advantage of those vacation days? No need!

According to Project Time Off, employees who take 10 or less days of vacation time are less likely to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years than those who took 11 or more days. If that isn’t enough motivation for you, it’s actually better for the U.S. economy if employees use up all their vacation days. As a matter of fact, if Americans had used all their vacation in 2015, it would have meant $223 Billion in spending for the U.S. economy. So, not only is it good for you…it’s also a win-win for the country.

Travel writer and photographer, Kristen Gill, gave us just the motivation we need to take a trip and explore. “Traveling gives us wings to see the world from a new perspective. It challenges all of our senses, inspires us, and can even transform us. Taking a break from the usual — whether it’s visiting another culture in a far off land, or simply taking a hotel break in your own city — can do wonders for the psyche.”

If you’re looking for ways to use your remaining PTO for 2016, take a lesson or two from these travel experts.

Matthew Long of Land Lopers says, “I’m a big fan of exploring places within an easy drive for a three or four day weekend. No matter where you live, I guarantee there’s something you haven’t seen yet and taking a few days off to explore more of your own state or region isn’t just fun, but it’s recuperative in the same way any other vacation is.”

Our very own travel editor, Carrie Peters, said that with just seven weeks left in 2016, it’s all about being spontaneous. “Plan a spur-of-the-moment trip and embrace your spirit of adventure – you can almost always get great deals when booking last-minute. During this busy season it can feel like the rest of the year is already planned out for us, so have fun, take a long weekend and definitely get out of town for a few days. You’ll never regret taking that extra trip.”

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