Today is National Relaxation Day – do you need a vacation?

For the majority of Americans, today isn’t a national holiday. It’s simply a Monday in the middle of August. Roughly one in four Americans say they haven’t ever taken a relaxing vacation, and for those who have, it’s been roughly three years since their last break from it all.

A new national study, commissioned by Princess Cruises, suggests that 74% of Americans say that an inability to relax negatively impacts their health.

Americans are busier than ever – be it for work or family,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “The overwhelming support for an official, nationally recognized day of relaxation demonstrates that we need reminders – and in some cases, permission – to simply relax and escape from our everyday routine.”

While we at Gadling can’t force you to relax or to book a vacation, we can suggest a few things you can do to decrease your stress and make even a small escape feel like a vacation:

  • Plan your next vacation early. Studies show that anticipation is nearly as valued as the travel itself.
  • Plan multiple short jaunts rather than one long break. In today’s plugged-in world, getting away from it all for a long period of time isn’t always possible. Break up your vacation days by taking long weekends to single-flight or drive-able destinations.
  • Do your research. Use a site like to ensure that you’re booking the best possible seat for a longer flight – nobody wants to sit in the non-reclining back row.
  • Consider a flash sale. More and more flash sale sites are offering substantial discounts to some of your favorite destinations. One of our top picks,, even offers trip planning services, combining discount travel searching with traditional travel agency services.
  • Start dreaming. Change your desktop background regularly to a photo from a previous vacation or a must-visit spot on your travel list. Jam out to Jimmy Buffett or your favorite travel ‘tunes.

And, of course, keep reading Gadling for great travel tips and stories from adventures around the world.

[Flickr via virtualphotographystudio]