Monday, January 21, 2013

What's Ailing You? A Vacation Can Cure It

Long hours at the office. Restless nights. Stressful deadlines. Struggling relationships. Intense training sessions. Overwhelming obligations. The list of our daily ailments goes on and on, and at times it feels like there is no end to the turmoil, no cure.

But there is!

A vacation!

There have been studies---yes, scientific proof--that travel has a positive effect on health, education, relationships, and overall quality of life. Sadly, this fact escapes most people--especially Americans--and they are left suffering through their troubles with no relief.

A new national awareness campaign is hoping to change that, showing people the benefits travel has on life, business and community. The campaign tries to help people understand the impact traval has by conveying research findings that support the claims. The reseach looks at the effect travel has on relationships and how it creates lasting memories for families, couples and friends. It will even display state and district data providing travel impact measurements--and who could argue with that?

And if the personal effects of travel are not enough to convince people to take a vacation, how about the economical impacts? Travel supports 14.4 million jobs in the U.S. and $1.9 trillion in output. Therefore, the more people who travel equates to more money being pumped into our economy.

You can find all the facts here.

So, now that you know a vacation will help, what kind should you take? Enter Hilton Hotels' new website that lets users diagnose their vacation needs and get a customized prescription to cure what ails them. The website is called "Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Center," and it asks visitors to take a quiz to get their diagnosis. Hilton collaborated with satirical newspaper, The Onion, on the site, which features humorous cartoons that represent ailments that afflict workers. The cartoons illustrate teh 14 symptoms of "vacationitis," and visitors are encouraged to stop it before it spreads by sharing the cartoons via social media.
The remedies are vacations of various lengths and types, based on the severity of "vacationitis." There is also a "global vacation alert level" on the site, which features an interactive map that showing levels of need for vacations in different countries, as well as research from Hilton dating back to 1989. Of course, since it is tied to a hotel, all diagnoses and suggested treatments are accompanied by links to Hilton Hotels and Resorts' online booking form. (FYI, Hilton is running a contest through Feb. 28, offering 15 weekend getaways to those who visit the new website and fill out the questionnaire.) (Also, throughout the year, 550 Hilton locations are participating in a sale, called Any Weekend, Anywhere, with discounts up to 40%.)

The fact that many people--especially Americans--are starved for vacation time is nothing new. In fact, annual studies are performedto gauge how vacation-deprived we are, and trying to get people to take more vacations is something many other businesses have done before. Still, looking at it as an ailment is a little different, and the cartoons are certainly humorous.

So if you are in need of a long vacation or just a quick break, check out the website to receive your diagnosis and suggested prescription.

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