vacation block

Each year, about 600 million vacation days go unused in the United States.

National Plan for Vacation DayWe think that’s a shame. Americans work hard and deserve some time off. Let’s examine the many physical and emotional benefits of taking a break from work to rest and relax in preparation for National Plan For Vacation Day on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

Taking time off from work is helpful in maintaining good physical and mental health. Work related pressures can increase the levels of stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. An increase in these hormones can suppress the body’s natural immune system, making one more susceptible to colds, flu and other issues. Relaxation on vacation can help restore the levels of these hormones to normal levels.

Engaging in physical activity while on vacation can mean even greater health benefits. Physical activity like hiking, biking and swimming can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and improve respiratory health. Active getaways may not be for everyone, though. There are important benefits to simply escaping from every day stress and enjoying some relaxation with family and friends.

According to an article in Forbes, a long vacation is not required to experience the important physical and mental benefits. In fact, there is an argument for shorter, but more frequent, getaways. A change of pace, regardless of the length of time, helps increase an employee’s creativity and productivity.

Let’s not forget one of the most important reasons for a vacation – spending time with the most important people in your life. Long weekends and family vacations strengthen relationships and make memories that last a lifetime.


Take advantage of National Plan For Vacation Day.

There is no better time to daydream about your next getaway than while you have mid-winter cabin fever. It’s the ideal opportunity to think about either a weekend getaway to rest and recharge or a week-long family trip… or both.


Tips for Planning a Great Getaway to the Alleghany Highlands:

Humpback Bridge in the springDecide when to visit – Spring and fall are spectacular in the Alleghany Highlands. It’s also a great destination for summer travel, as temperatures are usually a few degrees cooler here than in other parts of Virginia.

Hillcrest Inn front porchChoose your lodging Families with kids often enjoy camping or a rental home or cabin. There are lots of options in the region, ranging from state parks to private rentals. There are also traditional hotels and motels. For an unforgettable taste of mountain hospitality, some visitors return frequently to their favorite Bed & Breakfast Inn.

family biking the Jackson River Scenic TrailPlan some activities – If your travel companions like outdoor adventures, check out the endless hiking, biking, paddling and fishing opportunities. Another way to see the beauty of the Alleghany Highlands is on a scenic drive. History fans will enjoy learning about Humpback Bridge, the region’s railroad heritage and the impact of the American Civil War. Creative folks will love the vibrant arts scene, including galleries, studios and live performances.

Everything needed to plan a visit that is perfectly suited to your interests can be found at

Alleghany Highlands visitor guide cover

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