Labor Day is often known as the last gasp of summer before fall ushers in cooler temperatures, and it's a great time to take a trip. Reasons to vacation on Labor Day 2017 include relaxing, recharging, and taking advantage of the long weekend because you might not get another one until Thanksgiving. If you haven't gone on a getaway all summer, Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to treat yourself to an end-of-summer celebration, even if you stay close to home.
Labor Day was initiated by the labor movement in the late 19th century, and became an official federal holiday to celebrate the achievements of American workers, according to History.com. The holiday was born out of poor working conditions during the industrial revolution that had many people working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It's a day you're supposed to take off to relax, and if you can get away for a mini vacation, Labor Day festivities are happening in almost every city in the country, which widens your travel options considerably.
According to Project Time Off, 55 percent of under-vacationed Americans left a total 658 million vacation days unused on the table at the end 2015, the largest number recorded to date. In today's always-on, over-connected work culture taking a vacation can feel taboo, which is exactly why you need to do it.
Here are seven good reasons to get out of dodge for Labor Day 2017.
1. You Deserve A Break
While Project Time Off reported that many Americans don't take vacation time because they fear returning to an overwhelming mountain of work, Labor Day weekend is a time when most people with office jobs won't be working, which makes it a great time to get away, and return refreshed without the anxiety of eleventy millions emails to respond to.
Additionally, the website California Casualty noted that taking a vacation actually makes you better at your job. Some of the benefits of tuning out include allowing your brain to connect and consolidate, which creates better problem solving skills; people who take time off live longer (reducing risk of disease by 21 percent); vacations improve work quality and stimulates creativity; vacation time helps prevent depression and improves sleep; and taking vacations improves your attitude and motivates you to achieve higher goals.
2. Caribbean Camping Is A Thing
If you like camping, and you don't hate the heat, here's an opportunity to live out your Blue Lagoon fantasies. I went to St. John about 10 years ago and stayed in a tent; it was hands down one of the best trips of my life. The island is located in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, most of which is under water. This means truly epic snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities are a given, and all you really need is a bathing suit, a hat, and some sunscreen.
You can pitch your own tent at Cinnamon Bay for less than $40 a night, or rent one of their eco-tents or cottages. If you've got a little more cash, you can stay in an amazing glamping resort on the other side of the island. Concordia Eco Resort offers both tent camping (already pitched glamping tents), and more cottage-like options, and they also have a cafe, activities, yoga, and massage offerings.
It's off season in the Virgin Islands, and if you don't mind the heat, St. John, population 4,170, is a true exercise in relaxation with some of the bluest water — not to mention the most amazing fish — you've ever seen.
3. You Can Do It On The Cheap
A home-sharing group just for female travelers can help you find a safe, and affordable place to stay at the destination of your choice. This new network launched, by peer-to-peer travel-booking platform Overnight, in conjunction with Girls LOVE Travel, is a community of 350,000 travel-loving women who strive to empower each other to experience the world, a press release from Overnight noted. Join the Girls LOVE Travel Facebook group to start your adventure, and start packing your bags.
4. Travel Apps Can Make It Super Easy
In the olden days before the internet, when everything was in black and white, planning a last-minute trip was a huge headache that likely included multiple phone calls to airlines and hotels, or working with a travel agent. Thanks to the digital revolution you can do most of your travel planning right from your phone.
Travel app Liligo even has a function where you can enter in your desired dates, your destination, and your price point to return results that fit the criteria you want so you're not spending all day searching for something you both want and can actually afford.
5. Planning Mini Vacays Increases Happiness
One of the best things about taking a trip is planning it, and counting down the days until bon voyage. A study reported in Science Daily found that just the act of planning a vacation made people happier than those who weren't planning a trip. So, if you feel like you can't get away for a long jaunt, planning mini vacations and long weekends throughout the year means you'll always have something to look forward to.
And, if you start planning your trip now, before Mercury Retrograde starts Aug. 12, you can have a fun weekend to keep you going when it feels like everything is bananas.
6. Vacations Make You A Better Person
It's always good to get some perspective that the world is larger than the little bubble you live in day-to-day, and Psychology Today reported that taking a vacation can actually make you a better person. Clay Routledge Ph.D. noted that traveling to awe-inspiring destinations is good for your health and wellbeing, and promotes pro-social behavior.
Awe, a positive emotional experience of wonder or amazement, reduces self-focus and makes you feel connected to a larger world, Routledge explained. If you've been a little anti-social lately, as in you've seen everything currently on Netflix, grab your girls and go on a road trip to a national park, or myriad other beautiful places in the United States.
7. You Only Live Once
Consider this: "20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do," according to H. Jackson Brown's book P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote, She Always Saved the Best for Last. "So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
The advice was given to him by his mother, and I think it's pretty great guidance. I know that sometimes you simply can't get away for a variety of reasons, and that's OK. However, if you're depriving yourself because you think you don't deserve a vacation, that's a different story. Everyone needs time off to reboot, kind of like updating the software on your phone when things start going haywire. If you do have Labor Day off, consider relaxing for real, even if it's a staycation, or a daycation. You won't be sorry.