It’s no surprise that spending quality time with your loved ones is important. But it seems that many Americans are sacrificing vacation time at the expense of their relationships.

A new study has revealed that while most Americans believe they have a healthy “work-to-live” relationship with their job, the reality is a starkly different story. The study, titled The Work Martyr’s Affair: How America’s Lost Week Quietly Threatens Our Relationships and undertaken by GfK Public Affairs, shows that while most are well aware that skipping out on time off will cut into quality time spent with their loved ones, almost half leave time on the table each year. In fact, over the last 15 years the amount of time off taken has dropped by almost a week to an all time low of just 16 days a year. As a consequence, many people are now missing out on important life events because of work - 10% of respondents even mentioned that they’d missed a funeral due to work commitments. 
 
It’s not surprising that this is taking a toll on relationships. Michael Gurian, family counsellor and New York Times bestselling author noted that while the effects of overworking aren’t immediately apparent, resentment can build up over time when children or your significant other feel as though they haven’t been given priority. It all seems to paint a fairly grim picture - however, the experts claim that there is a simple solution.
 
Most of us have ample vacation time at our disposal - all we have to do is use it. Katie Denis, author of the report, concludes, "Our relationships shouldn't be casualties of our work martyr complex. This report should serve as a warning that our loved ones deserve our time. The solution is straightforward; it's using the time off we already earn to prioritize our relationships and reclaim America's Lost Week."
 
If this study has you thinking about ways you can spend more time with your family, we may be able to help. See below for our top picks of family vacation destinations. Take the time to make some special memories with your loved ones!
 
 
Yellowstone National Park
 
There’s a reason that Yellowstone has garnered its world-class reputation - this king among national parks really has it all: majestic scenery, a stunning array of rarely seen wildlife and easy access to campsites and facilities. That’s without even going into the spectacular thermal activity that, combined with everything else, makes Yellowstone a prime choice for a truly unforgettable vacation. Pick up a Salt Lake City car rental, throw your camping gear in the back and prepare to be amazed.
 
 
Coastal California
 
Those who aren’t familiar with the state tend to think of boardwalks, palm trees and movie stars when someone mentions California, but there’s an entirely different experience to be had as you head out of the desert climate of the L.A. area and into forests of the north. Big Sur in particular is breathtaking at the Santa Lucia mountains rise from the Pacific. A road trip down the coast from San Francisco to Big Sur shows off northern California’s best side and provides travellers with ample opportunities to stop by the wayside and appreciate the charm and hospitality of the small towns along the way.
 
 
Blue Ridge Parkway
 
Striking the perfect balance between camping and road tripping, a journey down Blue Ridge Parkway is ideal for shifting to a slower pace of life and appreciating quality family time. Try to visit the Parkway in spring or fall as the beauty of new bloom and autumn foliage make this iconic route even more lovely. This is certainly not an experience to be rushed - I’d recommend staying in one spot for at least a day or two before moving on to another. Get your car rental in Richmond, make sure you bring a camera and set out on a journey of beauty and serenity.
 
 
Is there somewhere that you’ve found is perfect for the whole family? We’d love to hear from you - give us your inside scoop in the comments.

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