Planning Your Pennsylvania Summer Vacation

Did you miss National Plan for Vacation Day on January 29? If so, it’s time to get into high gear and make plans for that all-important summer getaway!

For some reason, Americans are squeamish about taking time off from work. It seems their kids are following suit, as they don’t want to miss out on their summer activities (or be away from their friends). According to the U.S. Travel Association, in the years immediately following the recession, more than half of America’s workforce ended the year without using all their vacation days. The numbers were astounding – anywhere between 550 and 662 million vacation days went unused per year during that time period.

Fortunately, those numbers began to improve in 2015. Project: Time Off reports that the number of unused vacation days fell to 212 million last year.

The reversal is viewed as good news. After all, vacations are important. A break in routine improves our health and well-being, boosts morale and alleviates burnout. Project: Time Off maintains that people who use their vacation time are happier and healthier than those who don’t. Spending quality time as a family – or with friends – is also beneficial.

I’m not suggesting you take a month-long cross-country camping trip or a cruise around the world. Instead, you could consider a getaway to … Pennsylvania. You’re probably thinking why. Project: Time Off also finds that workers who have access to stellar scenery tend to take the most advantage of their vacation days. To whom does that apply? Residents of Colorado, Arizona and Virginia are at the top of the list.

Now, consider Pennsylvania, which in my opinion is very scenic. Do you have your heart set on seeing the Grand Canyon? Pennsylvania has its own version near Wellsboro. Is Williamsburg on your agenda? Have you ever explored Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia? America’s oldest neighborhood dates to 1702.

Are the kids begging to go to an amusement park? Hershey and Dorney parks are about an hour apart. The beach? A Great Lake borders Pennsylvania. The mountains? There’s a lot to do in the Poconos, and don’t forget that the Appalachian Trail passes through the state.

The arts? Bethlehem becomes Music City for nine days in August.

Do you love history? It was made in PA!

Hopefully, you’re feeling intrigued by the possibilities. Fortunately, our sister publication, Where & When Pennsylvania, a quarterly travel guide whose sole focus is events and happenings in Pennsylvania, will be hosting the 2nd Annual PA Family Travel Fair on April 27. (Singles, couples and groups are welcome to attend.) The one-of-a-kind event is designed to showcase the fun and affordable vacation opportunities the Keystone State has to offer.

Exhibitors will include destination marketing organizations, attractions, historical sites, amusement parks, lodging, campgrounds and more. In addition to answering your questions, the exhibitors will be raffling off getaways (believe me, there are some good ones), admission passes and other goodies.

The travel expo will also be hosting an array of children’s activities, including a scavenger hunt, a balloon artist and magic shows. Mascots will also be on hand. WJTL’s Kid’s Cookie Break will broadcast from the show (9 a.m.-12 p.m.), and at 12 p.m., Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland will present a show whose theme is the tropical rainforest.

Food trucks will be on-site, as well, selling food, drinks and treats.

The PA Family Travel Fair will be held Saturday, April 27. Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (rain/shine). The expo is being held at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road. Admission is free. For more information, visit pafamilytravel.com.


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