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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Marriott.com for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Almost 60% of Americans don’t use their allocated vacation time. I find this a shocking and sad statistic. Whatever the reason for this oversight, missing out on the benefits of a stay away from home means you miss out on some of the best times in your life. For goodness sake, get away this Holiday Season!​

Most of my favourite memories are from holidays, from childhood road trips sitting tucked up in the back of the car watching landscapes change. Experiencing the change in climate when you drive South for two days. A warm breeze on your face after a month of frosty mornings. Magic. The smell of pine trees as the sun sets after a warm day will stay with you forever. For me, I cherish the smell of my mother cooking up beans, sausage and smash on our camp stove in our caravan many years ago. Each experience and memory formed, a moment in time that would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been special and different.

Benefit 1: Take A Break From Your Life
A quote that has always stuck with me is “the problem with travel is that you have to take yourself with you”. Certainly travel won’t take you away from yourself, but it will drag you out of your world, leaving many of your troubles behind. Your brain will be cleared of the mundane grocery lists, school runs, your commute and you will be left with the space and time to think a bit about what you want to do or be.

Benefit 2: Get Perspective
I seem to go round in circles chasing bills, following up on electric companies or retailers that haven’t bothered to refund me, often wasting hours of my day and ending up no further forward than I was first thing in the morning. ARRRGGGHH. Get away from this. You will soon realise none of these annoyances are anything more than annoyances and are certainly not worth developing extra wrinkles for!

Benefit 3: Workers Are More Productive After a Holiday
This has been scientifically proven, so whether you work for yourself of others, a refreshed version of you will be better at your job after your break.

Benefit 4: Re-Connect With Your Loved Ones
I am as guilty as the next person in not spending as much time with my loved ones as i would like. Be it playing with my son or chatting with my husband, there never seem enough hours in the day to fit in everything in. I really have to make the effort to peel my way away from my blog and concentrate on those who I love the most. . Take just acouple of days out, spend quality time doing something fun with your family. They deserve it!

Benefit 5: Vacations Improve Your Health
Admittedly the travel itself can be stressful, but getting away will reduce your stress levels (once again this have been proven) and lower stress levels will directly improve your health, leading to lower blood pressure, lower depressions levels, less heart problems, arthritis and anxiety.

Benefit 6: Exercise
It is so easy to destress and unwind from work by plonking yourself in front of the TV. This sedate lifestyle is just not what the human body is designed to do and the result is all sorts of health problems, mainly obesity related. By going away you are naturally more active by exploring and trying out things that are not all sofa or drive-through based. i also find my appetitie decreases when travelling as i’m not bored because there is so much more to do.

Benefit 7: Step Away From Your Computer
It is so easy to while away days online on forums price comparison sites, reading reviews, making online purchases, but how about having some real life experiences?

Benefit 8: Embrace Your Inner Child
What did you do when you were a kid? Skip for no reason? Roll down hills? Jump in puddles? Well there is nothing stopping that inner kid from getting out when you are away. You dont know anyone, so what if you look insane! DO lie on your back on a beach at night and look at the stars, DO paddle until your shorts are soaked, DO push your nearest and dearest into the pool when they aren’t expecting it. It will make you feel so much better!

Benefit 9: Do Something For Yourself
We all work very hard trying to make ends meet. Please, once in a while, be selfish and remind yourself why you work so hard.

Benefit 10: Smiles = Better Wrinkles
All the above reasons culminate in my last reason. Roald Dahl described The Twits in his book as ugly because they think ugly thoughts. I like to think that if you have a happy disposition, although you can’t avoid wrinkles, your wrinkles will be attractive ones based around smiles. Getting out of town for the holidays will give you smiles and hopefully enable you to smile more on your return home, which equals “smiley wrinkles” rather than “frown wrinkles”. And if you go away for long enough and avoid the stresses of every day life for long enough you might even avoid getting some of those wrinkles altogether.

If you are struggling with just where to head for your holiday vacation, Marriott.com are taking the pain out of your choices with their holiday-themed “Pick Your Package” promotion, launching 11/1 through the end of the holidays, 12/31. Choose from golf, spa, resort credit, or suite packages to customize the perfect vacation for you and your family! The promotion includes the following package options:

Spa La La – Standard Room Accommodations + Two 50 Minute Spa Treatments

Two for Tee – Standard Room Accommodations + Two Rounds of Golf & Access to Practice Greens/Facilities

Credit Is King – Standard Room + $100 Nightly Resort Credit

Something Suite – Suite Accommodations + $50 Kids Credit

How about visiting your family, make them all smile, and then treating yourself to a wonderful spa treatment at one of the wonderful Marriott Resorts. Why not enter the Marriott Pick your Package Contest Comment Contest for a chance to win 1 of the 4 Pick your Package options? Enter Here!

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Marriott Pick your Package Contest Comment Contest for a chance to win 1 of the 4 Pick your Package options

Get Out of Town During the Holiday Season. Treat yourself to a Marriott Pick Your Package experience at a beautiful Marriott Resort.

Or, even better, win yourself one of these tasty packages from Marriott.com:

Spa La La – Standard Room Accommodations + Two 50 Minute Spa Treatments

Two for Tee – Standard Room Accommodations + Two Rounds of Golf & Access to Practice Greens/Facilities

Credit Is King – Standard Room + $100 Nightly Resort Credit

Something Suite – Suite Accommodations + $50 Kids Credit

Enter the contest by commenting on this blog post with an answer to the following question: If you could give the gift of a Marriott U.S. Resort to your friends or family, which resort would you send them to and why?

4 Winners will be selected. 4 Prizes will be awarded.

Entrants must be U.S. only; 18+

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Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.