Report: Coloradans leave $3.1 billion on the table

52 percent of working Coloradans have unused vacation days


DENVER (Jan. 29, 2018) - Looking to snag a raise or promotion? Would you like to be more productive at work? Want to be happier in your job?  Improve your social life? Consider planning a vacation: It's good for you, and it's good for the economy.

That's the takeaway from AAA & Project: Time Off's The State of American Vacation 2017 report. All told, 52% of Colorado employees have unused vacation days, with more than 12.2 million combined vacation days left on the table each year. That unused time has significant economic potential: If Coloradans were to take every vacation day allotted to them, it would generate an overall economic impact of $3.1 billion for the U.S. economy. For its part, Denver clocks in at number 6 on the list of American cities with the most unused vacation days – with a total of $1.2 billion in untapped economic benefit.

"Taking a vacation is good for you, it's good for your employer, and it's good for the economy," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "If you take the time to plan a vacation, you'll be much more likely to take a vacation – and you'll reap a lot of rewards along the way."

Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Per Project: Time Off's report, planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.

  • 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
  • 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days-zero to three-than planners at once (42 vs. 18 percent).
  • More planners report they are "very" or "extremely" happy with their relationships (83 vs. 70 percent), health and well-being (57 vs. 48 percent), company (57 vs. 51 percent), and job (59 vs. 50 percent) compared to non-planners.
  • Employees who take their vacation time are more likely than forfeiters to have been promoted within the last year (27 percent to 23 percent) and to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years (84 percent to 78 percent).


Looking to plan a vacation but don't know where to begin? You're in luck: Join AAA Colorado's travel experts this coming Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3 at the 2018 Vacations Showcase. This two-day travel event features over 70 exhibitors, cruise companies, convention and visitors bureaus, hotels, and more. Visitors can enjoy a range of presentations and demonstrations, pick up some travel merchandise, meet with travel experts, and win great prizes – including an 8-day cruise on the Rhine or Danube River.

2018 Vacations Showcase presented by AAA Travel
February 2, 2018 4:00 - 8:00pm
February 3, 2018 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
1701 Bryant St., Denver, CO 80204


About AAA Colorado

More than 660,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state's most prominent advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services - as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit

About National Plan for Vacation Day

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year.  Launched by the U.S. Travel Association's Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.