By Kristine Puckett,  Deputy Director, Arkansas Tourism

This time of year, many of us make a resolution to relax and recharge. Travel is a great way to achieve that resolution. Travel can have a positive impact on your emotional and physical health. Plus, it’s an effective way to reconnect with friends, family or even yourself. Yet, more than half of Americans (and a quarter of Arkansans) don’t take advantage of their vacation days.

The key to making the most of your time off is to plan ahead. The U.S. Travel Association offers a free trip planning tool that can help you schedule your next journey.
And, what better location to visit than The Natural State? Arkansas is the perfect spot for a week-long adventure or a quick weekend getaway.
The benefits of planning extend beyond days spent away from the office for rest and rejuvenation. Planners report greater happiness than non-planners with their relationships, health and well-being, company, and job. Their bosses may be happier, too, since they’re in the loop on when you’re going to be out of the office and can prepare accordingly.
The secret to achieving your travel goals this year, while also maintaining your excellent employee status, is planning. It’s time to take back your calendar and put vacation at the top of your list of priorities.
Planning for vacation can be achieved in three simple steps:

  1. Determine how much time off you earn and identify the vacation policies at your workplace.
  2. Start dreaming! How do you want to spend your time off this year?
  3. Plan out your days with Project: Time Off’s vacation planning tool and share with your manager, your colleagues, your spouse—everyone!

This year, make a commitment to use your vacation days and explore new places. Need some ideas? Visit for trip planning assistance, sample itineraries and other travel ideas.
Find out more about the importance of planning at

About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit

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