2016: The Year to Use Your Vacation Days | Brownell Travel

2016: The Year to Use Your Vacation Days


Every year, Americans leave 429 million vacation days on the table and are taking the least amount of vacation in over 30 years. However, science says travel makes you smarter and more creative and you should spend money on experiences, not things. So let’s make 2016 the year to use your vacation days! Whether you plan a long two-week adventure or have a few long weekend trips, take the time to unwind and unplug. We share the top trips for 2016 based on how many days you have below.

3-4 Days


Especially if you’re based on the East Coast, Bermuda is just a quick flight away. If you’re into golf, spas, or just relaxing on the beach, this is the place to be.

Jackson Hole

Ahhh, Jackson Hole: where amazing outdoor activities meet fine dining and five-star hotels. Head here if you need some R&R and fresh mountain air.

Turks & Caicos

Paradise is only a short flight away. Turks & Caicos features pristine beaches, crystal clear water, amazing restaurants, and fabulous properties.


With the vineyards in the north and the sunny beaches in the south, California has something for everyone. Explore one area at a time, or if you have more than 4 days, plan a road trip up the coast.


Thanks to 2 major airports and a central location, Chicago is easy to get to from many cities in the US. And with fabulous shopping, plenty of sports teams, tons of dining options, and top hotels, the Windy City is sure to satisfy everyone!

5-7 Days

Costa Rica

This Central American country is bursting with adventure—surfing, wildlife, volcanoes, and beaches – pura vida!


Though it’s less than a 6 hour flight from New York, Iceland feels like you’re worlds away. The geography, the Northern Lights, and the outdoor activities have kept this chilly destination on the hot list.


And for a less than a 6 hour flight from the West Coast, Hawaii is the place to go. The lush landscape, warm culture, and a myriad of activities keep the 50th state on everyone’s bucket list.


This 90-mile journey from the US will take you back in time. Vintage cars line the cobblestone street and give you the feeling that time stands still in this once forbidden fruit of the Caribbean.


In 2016, Turkish Air will start its direct route from Atlanta to Istanbul—a fabulous way to explore this fascinating city without the hassle of changing planes and dealing with layovers. Added bonus: kill 2 continents with one stone! This cultural hub straddles both Europe and Asia.

8-10 Days


Though you could explore this country in a week, 8-10 days allows you to see the history in Athens and island hop. And this country is as beautiful as the photos. Trust us.


An expedition through the Galapagos attracts travelers of all ages. The wildlife is incredible to behold (penguins, turtles, and iguanas – oh my!) and the landscape is pristine.


Jet down to the Southern Hemisphere, and experience Brazil. You can enjoy city life, explore the jungles, see the famous Iguassu Falls, or relax on the pristine beaches—or do a combination of it all!


Known as the Last Frontier, Alaska beckons travelers to explore her vast landscape. You can travel by both land and sea to experience this gorgeous state.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom goes far beyond just London and is a top family destination. Whether you start or end in the city (or skip it all together) there is much to explore, from golf to falconry, castles to cliffs, whisky to beer.

11-14 Days


If you’ve got more than a week to take off, you’ve got to head down under. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or want to enjoy the cities, Australia is a must-see destination.


In 11-14 days, you can explore much of Chile, the world’s longest country. In the 2700 miles that stretch up the Pacific, there are deserts, vineyards, cities, lakes, mountains, and snow.

South Africa

Though South Africa is known for incredible wildlife and safari, there is so much more to do! After you’ve gotten your fill of lions, elephants, and giraffes, unwind on the coast (and take in other wildlife like whales, sharks, and seals) or explore the winelands.

Portugal & Spain

Spain has always been on the hot list, but adding Portugal takes this trip to the next level. Lisbon’s thriving art and culinary scene and the country’s gorgeous coast paired with Spain’s vibrant cities make this a trip for the bucket list.

Southeast Asia

Focus on one country or experience several during a two-week trip to Southeast Asia. Start in Thailand, seeing the elephants and beaches. From there the options are endless. Cambodia features the famous Angkor Wat, Vietnam has incredible history, and Myanmar offers undiscovered beauty.

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