Every two years, the US Travel Association releases a report focused on something that many of us hold near and dear: vacation time.

The latest report came out in August of 2019. And the numbers contained within were, frankly, staggering.

The report explains that, in 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion trips were taken by Americans that year. And, yes, by any measure, 1.8 billion is a huge number. But it could’ve been bigger; much bigger. Because get this: 768 million vacation days were left unused.

To put that in an, even more, mind-blowing way:

Americans didn’t use a combined 2+ million years of vacation time in 2018.

Team Heli visits Niseko, Japan

Those figures are hard to believe. And, of course, buried within them are plenty of valid excuses: perhaps your schedule was truly packed wall-to-wall, you had personal hurdles, or your financial means didn’t allow for it. We understand vacationing is not always as simple as it seems. But for those who were able to take time off and didn’t, what came next was a sobering reality check: COVID.

Suddenly, we found ourselves dreaming about having dinner with friends—much less traveling the world with them. We’d do anything just to look out a plane window—even if it flew in circles all day. And we didn’t travel, at all—because we simply couldn’t.

Heli visits Turks and Caicos Islands

And here we are now. The world hasn’t returned to normal, and it never truly will. But, nonetheless, when it comes to our vacation time, we have the opportunity to turn things around. Rather than letting those days pass us by, it’s time we destroy them—the right way—through travel.

Book a last-minute kite-surfing trip in Mexico. Go learn to surf in Costa Rica. Map out a legendary heliskiing experience in Canada. Find time for a safari in Tanzania. Whatever you’ve dreamed of doing, we suggest you go ahead and do it. Because the next US Travel Association report should be coming soon—reflecting on travel numbers from 2020. And without seeing those numbers, we think it’s more than safe to say the world has some catching up to do.

Destroy. Your. Vacation. Days.