Imagine now, visit later on national plan for vacation day | PennLive letters

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that we need to focus on

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that we need to focus on prioritizing our self-care and overall wellbeing. Believe it or not, part of prioritizing wellness includes having something to look forward to.

Jan. 26 was National Plan for Vacation Day, and while we may not be ready to travel just yet, we can take the time now to plan for what’s ahead. The U.S. Travel Association found the simple act of booking future travel generates happiness, and happiness is something we could all use a little more of right now. The Institute for Applied Positive Research says 97 percent of survey respondents report having a trip planned makes them happier, and 71 percent reported feeling greater levels of energy knowing they have a trip scheduled in the next six months.

Travel also has the benefit of helping local economies and struggling small businesses – the hotel you stay in, the restaurants you eat in, and the charming main street stores you shop in. While we stay home now and support those businesses virtually or curb-side, brighter days are on the horizon.

Over the past year, COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. It has impeded our ability to gather and to travel, but it hasn’t taken away our ability to imagine a not-so-distant future when things are back to normal.

Start planning your Pennsylvania getaway today using inspiration from our free travel guide at visitPA.com, and imagine all the ways you’ll be free to pursue your happiness in Pennsylvania.

Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism, and Film at Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development