Plan for Vacation!

Did you end the year with leftover vacation days? Take time now to plan for 2020 and use the time you earn. National Plan for Vacation Day is Tuesday, January 28–make a plan to claim your days for the rest of the year at the start of the year! Take a peek below at the staggering statistics revealing the work martyr syndrome of the average American.

  • Last year, more than 768 MILLION vacation days went unused—many of which cannot be regained.
  • 55% of Americans left days on the table.
  • Additionally, these are days Americans have earned and when they are completely forfeited (236 million in 2018), they are losing a key benefit, amounting to $65.5 billion. In other words, Americans essentially donated an average of $571 in free work time to their employer.
  • Those who actually plan their vacation days in advance are far more likely to use all of their earned time off than non-planners.
  • Taking time off is associated with higher productivity, better performance, a more positive attitude toward work, increased happiness, improved mental and physical health, better relationships and social life.

On Tuesday, January 28, we encourage you to take some time with your family to plan out your 2020 vacation. Whether it’s an extended weekend or a week-long journey across the country, it’s YOUR earned time off and you should be the one in charge of it!

If Kansas City is on your radar of 2020 destinations to visit, we invite you to explore nearby Merriam! Just a few short miles from downtown KC, Merriam is ideal for a couple’s road trip , a girlfriends’ getaway or a family-friendly visit. Tree-lined streets, walking trails, flower baskets on lampposts, striking public art, unique dining options, attractions within minutes, and a variety of year-round events and activities deliver plenty of fun things to see and do for everyone.

Use those hard-earned vacation days in 2020! Learn more about visiting Merriam at or follow us socially @ExploreMerriam! Happy travels.

Project Time-off!

It’s only February, but never too soon to begin dreaming of your next vacation.  Sometimes it’s a staycation right in your own home-town, a girlfriends’ getaway just a few hours from home, or maybe it’s an all-inclusive 10-day ocean-view that you covet.  No matter where you drift, perhaps more important than the actual destination is the physical and emotional break you receive when taking time away from work.  But, did you know tNTTW_TE_Infographic_0hat in 2013, Americans skipped out on 3.2 days of earned time off?  That’s a whopping 429 million unused days annually across the U.S. workforce.  As the Travel Effect Playbook suggests, it’s time for Americans to shift how we view time off. It’s NOT frivolous, but helps to strengthening families and improving personal health and it’s a business investment yielding great economic returns.

The Playbook says it best…”taking time off is essential for a fulfilled life and productive workforce.”  Take a look at how the tourism industry is impacted when earned days off are left on the table:

  • Unused leave cost the industry $120 billion in spending, $67 billion which is direct travel spending
  • That spending helps support 1.2 million jobs across the nation

As a child, I fondly remember the annual family vacation.  My parents were both teachers in small rural districts which meant no trips to Disney or beach vacations, but we never skipped a summer loading up the family wagon and heading east to our grandparents cabin in upstate New York.  I will never forget those memories along I-70 or the time spent with cousins around a campfire roasting marshmallows or telling ghost stories.  You see, it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you just go.  But, if people continue to forego the benefits they earn in the workplace, the childhood vacations of generations not long ago could completely disappear.  Don’t let that happen — you earned that time off and it’s yours to take!  Build memories, recharge and rejuvenate, stimulate the economy and enjoy your time off!

There are tons of options to consider:  discover local ideas right in your own community; plan an extended 4-day weekend with your partner to reconnect; grab the guys for a fishing excursion; or, pack up the entire family for a flight or drive to discover a new destination.

Kansas City has a great resource for those wishing to visit (or those who live here and want to explore locally).  KC Destinations offers suggestions by theme so you can build an itinerary suited to fit your travel needs.  Take a peek at to get started!  We are happy to host you and help you enjoy those remaining 3.2 days!

Hans Christian Andersen was spot on…”to travel is to live.”  Enjoy your journeys and please let us know if we can serve your travel needs when visiting Merriam!




Travel & Tourism Week

National Tourism Week: May 4-12, 2013SMALL-SummerInMerriam-Pinterest-graphic

The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984.  The theme this year is “Travel Effect” which touts the importance travel and tourism has on our relationships, our workplaces and our economy.  Convention and Visitors Bureaus across the U.S. will wear red for tourism on Tuesday, May 7 and many will launch their summer campaigns and host specific events and activities related to tourism during this designated week.  From rallies to luncheons, visitor appreciation gifts to contests, this is the week to learn more about tourism and how vital this industry is to our very own hometown communities.

In Merriam, we invite your participation in any and all of our tourism week activities, many of which continue beyond May 12.  There’s something for everyone and we hope you’ll take part in our efforts:

Speaking of tourism….did you know?

  • Tourism in Kansas is the 3rd largest industry employer with over 148,000 jobs
  • Travel and tourism in Kansas provides $917 in tax relief to each Kansas household
  • For every 217 visitors to our state, one job is created in Kansas
  • 93% of kids say vacations lead to quality time with parents and 60% of kids say vacations with grandparents bring them closer
  • Studies show that employees who take vacations experience less work-related stress, burnout and exhaustion and miss work less often

Don’t miss out on the positive effects travel can have on you!  Kick-off your summer and explore new and fun ways to connect with those you love!  Please give us a call if we can help you or your summer visitors coming to Merriam!

Travel Effect

travel effectVacations!  We all need them, but how often are we really traveling and what does that mean for our health, relationships, workplace efficiency and overall happiness? According to U.S. Travel Association’s most recent campaign, Travel Effect, “the travel experience and the travel industry as a whole actually have a measurable and purposeful impact.”

In fact, KC Destinations, a group of metro area convention & visitors bureaus cooperatively marketed that exact message in 2012 through a campaign called “Reasons”.  Citing all the reasons to visit the Kansas City region coupled with a health, love or happiness benefit helped spread the word that taking a vacation pays off in the long run.

Vacations are proven to have a lasting impact on our lives both personally and professionally.  Take a look at these facts and then start planning your next getaway!  If you happen to live here in the metro, invite your visiting friends and family to explore Merriam and Kansas City for their next vacation!  As you can see below, the benefits are definitely worth it.

Travel + relationships  (source:

  • Couples that travel together are more likely to feel their romance is alive and well, and 72 percent say travel inspires that romance
  • More than 3 in 4 respondents said traveling together is a way to not only relax together but also be adventurous and share new experiences
  • People pick travel over expensive gifts 4 to 1 when asked what’s better for sparking romance
  • Couples who travel together are more likely to make it past the 5-year relationship mark

Travel + health (source: U.S. Travel Association)

  • An annual vacation can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by 50 percent
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – decline on holidays of only one or two days
  • Travelers rate their overall health one full point higher (on a scale of 1 to 5) while on vacation. They also get three times more deep sleep after their vacation and sleep almost 20 minutes longer after their vacation

Travel + workplace (source: U.S. Travel Association)

  • Three out of four executives believe that vacations are necessary for them to prevent burnout (78%) or that vacations improve their personal job performance (75%)
  • Travelers experience a 25% increase in performance on vigilance tests after returning from vacation – travelers 45 or older show a 50% increase in performance
  • One in four American leisure travelers would be willing to trade an increase in pay for an increase in vacation time