It’s a sad truth, but despite what endless social media posts and movies might show you, most Americans are not going on vacation. In fact, according to research done by the U.S. Travel Association, Americans left 768 million days of vacation on the table in 2018, and of those that did use some of their PTO time, only nine were used for travel.

Naturally, if most people aren’t taking vacations, they definitely aren’t spending time planning for them. However, the U.S. Travel Association wants to put an end to wasted vacation days and stressed out employees, that’s why they’ve created what we’re sure will become your favorite day of the year – National Plan For Vacation Day. The initiative seeks to encourage Americans to plan time off and make the most of vacation days throughout the year.

Now we here at ESSENCE don’t just write about travel, we live it. That’s why in honor of National Plan For Vacation Day we’ve asked our dope team of editors where they’re planning to jet off to this year. From the ice-capped mountains of Norway to the endless blues of Zanzibar, our editors are planning to see some world, and hopefully inspire you to use your precious PTO days to see some world too.

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“I’m dreaming of traveling to Israel. I want to go to Tel Aviv and hit the beaches, the eateries, and work on my Hebrew language skills.”

Shalwah Edwards, Associate Beauty Editor
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I’m trying to plan a vacation to Norway for Christmas to see the Northern Lights. I’m hellbent on making it happen!

Julee Wilson, Global Beauty Director
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I’m excited to go to Greece because I’m finally going on my honeymoon. When my husband and I got married, we had just welcomed our sweet little baby boy six weeks earlier so naturally, we postponed it. But now, we’re ready to roll and experience Greece’s amazing food and memorable sunsets.

Joi-Marie McKenzie, Senior Entertainment Editor
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Mauritius is a stunning African island that surprisingly many people don’t consider when planning a vacation. I can’t wait to explore the amazing marine life, indulge in the mouth-watering seafood and just relax. I might even hop over to nearby Reunion which is just as gorgeous!

Danielle Pointdujour, Associate Lifestyle Editor
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Amsterdam, Paris and London! I am excited to vacation in Europe because I studied abroad in London when I was in undergrad. The food and intertwining communities in London really drew me in and I knew I wanted to come back. I also heard the best thrift shops are in Amsterdam and Paris.

Nandi Howard, Assistant Fashion Editor
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As a birthday present to myself, I have planned a trip to Cuba! Despite the infamous travel restrictions, I’ve always been drawn to Cuba’s rich history and the impressive resilience of our people here. My travel agent put together a pretty epic itinerary including a trip to the Partagás Tobacco factory, a cooking class taught by a Cuban local, and a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home. Most of all, I’m excited to unplug for a few days, since Wi-Fi on the island is extremely limited.

Jasmine Grant, Associate Relationships & Wellness Editor
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Zanzibar has been on my travel bucket list since a 2018 trip to Nairobi. And if you ever saw pictures of the East African nation, you would know exactly why. The beaches look like they belong on a postcard and I hear the snorkeling is next level.

Tanya Christian, News & Politics Editor

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