You deserve a break. Really, you do. Unfortunately, taking a vacation is often easier said than done. There’s the planning, the budgeting, the packing—oh lord, the packing. Thankfully, taking a staycation is all the glory of taking a much-needed break without the aforementioned gross parts. (Be honest: nobody likes having to figure out how to fit their shampoos and lotions into airport security-friendly bottles.)
It’s no secret that Americans aren’t very good at taking their allotted vacation days. A 2017 survey by Glassdoor found that U.S. employees are only using about half of their paid time off. So many vacation days just left to shrivel up, unused. However, using those vacation days is good for us both physically and mentally. I know that sounds like an excuse you’d give your boss but science backs it up.
“It puts you in a different frame of mind, gets you out of your standard patterns and can give you time with family,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, an adjunct professor of gerontology (the study of aging) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, told TIME.
There is certainly a time and place for a full-blown vacation. (The place is Hawaii and the time is whenever someone wants to give me an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.) But for that other 50 percent of our vacation days that are just sitting there, a staycation is more than worth your time.
Here are eight reasons you should consider making your next vacation a staycation.