We all say this, but it’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. At the beginning of last year, I challenged you to resolve to enjoy the outdoors and get out and camp. Based off of your feedback and the photos we’ve seen, I’d say you all took the challenge to heart and made plenty of great camping memories throughout the year. From watching a child or grandchild catch his first fish to seeing family members talk about planning just one more camping trip, we were happy to be there along the way. This year, we hope to see you even more.

An interesting study was conducted by Harris Interactive last year. It focused on the number of vacation days Americans take, versus how many of those go unused. Would you believe that over 400 million paid vacation days go unused each year? That means employees use an average of a mere 51% of their paid vacation time.

As a part of Thousand Trails, these numbers surprised me. We see so many of you each and every year, and we all seem to understand the health benefits – both mental and physical – of vacationing in the great outdoors. How can there be over 400 million days that are missing this type of experience?

And so, we have a new challenge for you this year. Focus on your well-being and take advantage of your vacation days!

Be sure to check off that one hike you’ve been hoping to take or visit one more national park in the area to maximize your time. If you’re retired, make time for a bucket list trip this year. Check out the beautiful red rock formations in Sedona, or hit all the trails you can in Olympia National Park.

Try not to let 2016 turn into a number of “I wish I would have gone to…” conversations. Now that it’s January, you can begin to plan out the year to take full advantage of your time in the great outdoors. Our goal is to help you personally move the needle on the amount of days you vacation this year. We’re here for you and your family! Just look at the photos above for inspiration. Wouldn’t you enjoy an extra day or two of moments like these? We have a hunch that view is better than the one from your desk.

Though we’re coming off of the holiday season, the gifting doesn’t have to end. Gift yourself with the guarantee of even more outdoor vacation time this year. It will be the one that keeps on giving and leaves a smile on your face!

Marguerite Nader
President & CEO