COLUMBUS — Every year more than half of all Americans fail to use all of their time off, creating a stockpile of 705 million unused vacation days. Ohioans alone failed to take a whopping 21,253 vacation days, leaving 22 percent of available vacation on the table and placing the Buckeye State in the top 10 among U.S. populations that skip vacation. Advance planning is the easiest way to secure that much-needed time away and ensure that workers use all the time off they have available.
The Great Vacations Travel EXPO, presented by AAA, offers the perfect place to start, whether travelers have a destination in mind or need to find the perfect escape from their normal routine for a few days. The EXPO runs Friday, Feb. 8-Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.
The Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau will have a booth at the event, highlighting all Preble County has to offer tourists who want a day-trip destination, like the county’s extensive collection of historic covered bridges, and more. The day will also mark the first distribution release of the 2019 This is Preble County, Ohio Visitors’ Guide.
While there, guests will have the opportunity to speak with experts from more than 150 top destinations. Travel professionals will pack Kasich Hall, offering tips, trips and discounts for guests seeking a quick getaway close-to-home, an awe-inspiring Alaskan Cruise or an exotic, far-away escape.
“Vacations offer a much-needed breath of fresh air and a change of pace,” said Kimberly Schwind with AAA Ohio Auto Club. “Taking advantage of remaining vacation days before they are gone ultimately improves performance, mental health and physical well-being.”
Schwind added that vacations also benefit Americans by strengthening personal relationships and inspiring creative thinking. While many Ohioans want to use their paid time off to visit bucket list destinations, most want to travel someplace warm and plan to get away for at least a week. At the EXPO, a large contingent of experts from Florida will be on hand to help plan the perfect trip to St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Marco Island, Central Florida and more than a dozen other warm weather spots. For visitors seeking balmy destinations a little further from home, experts from Jamaica, Saint Lucia, the Dominican Republic and other hotspots in Mexico and the Caribbean will be stationed inside the Paradise Pavilion to answer questions and book travel.
The AAA Travel Stage, presented by Royal Caribbean, offers a long list of fun, fascinating and informational travel presentations that will entertain and help guests plan their next adventure. Headliners Eivin and Eve Kilcher, stars of Discovery Channel’s Alaska: The Last Frontier will appear on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. PBS travel expert Rudy Maxa takes the stage on Friday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m.