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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work-Life Balance

Don't Get Enough PTO This Summer? Join the Company That Sends Its Hardest Workers on Vacation

When you’re knee-deep in emails or stressed out by deadlines, nothing sounds better than getting away from your desk for a couple days and jetting off to an amazing destination. But even if you’re lucky enough to have a generous vacation policy, that doesn’t mean you’re going on the getaways of your dreams.

After all, the average trip costs $1,145 per person—so even if it’s just you and a partner, you’ll be putting down some serious cash to take some time off. Plus, 89% of people say they’re overwhelmed by the time and effort required to pull off a fun trip.

Do these obstacles sound familiar? If so, you’ll love this unique perk.

Aflac, the supplemental insurance provider for more than 50 million people (and, yes, the company with the Duck), recognizes the sales achievements of its top agents with multiple all-expenses-paid trips per year. Not only are all the details taken care of—but those details are pretty fantastic. Think five-star hotels, gourmet food, cool excursions, and complimentary drinks.

“I joined Aflac for two reasons: the opportunity to move up, and the trips,” says Rachel Theriot Curry, one of Aflac’s insurance brokers.

Theriot says she’d only been to one other state when she came to Aflac. Now, she’s traveled to Las Vegas, New York, Hawaii (twice), and more.

Her sister Mia Fontenot, who’s also an Aflac agent, qualified for almost all of those trips as well.

“Our goal is always to make it on these trips,” Fontenot explains. “It definitely pushes us to be more successful.”

On the slim chance you’re not already convinced, read on to learn why getting these vacations would be such a fantastic perk—and why you should consider joining the Aflac sales crew.

1. You’re Happier and Less Stressed

Picture this: You’re learning to surf in beautiful, warm blue water off the coast of Hawaii. Next, you’ll ride mopeds with your friends all over the island, taking in the gorgeous natural scenery. You’ll end the night at a local bar, before returning to your world-class hotel.

I’m guessing that day would put a smile on your face. And science supports my hunch: A recent study found a clear link between taking vacations and your happiness level. In fact, separate research shows almost 94% of people return from a well-planned trip with more energy. And even the anticipation of traveling substantially improves your mood.

Bottom line: Hitting the pause button is great for your mental health.

(Oh, and that Hawaii scenario? It came straight from a recent Aflac trip.)

2. You’re More Connected

You probably don’t think of vacations as prime networking opportunities. But since the Aflac Honors Club trips are tied to your performance, they definitely are: As agent Brendan Deasy explains, “You’re surrounding yourself with successful people.”

Theriot Curry says she’s made connections from around the country. “You meet people from all different walks of life,” she says. “I love hearing everyone’s stories and how they came to Aflac.”

These connections aren’t just rewarding on a social level: They also helped Theriot Curry’s career. “When they know someone who needs an account in my state, they’ll contact me to handle it,” she explains.

If you’re not traveling with other professionals, but still want to broaden your network, research local events that match up with your itinerary. You can also look for old contacts who have moved to the city you’re visiting, or ask your current connections if they know anyone in the area.

And of course, there’s the tried-and-true “smile and introduce yourself” technique. Try it next time you’re in a new place; you might be surprised at the connections you make.

Learn More About Aflac and Start Working Toward Your Dream Vacation!

3. Your Relationships Are Stronger

“I really appreciate the time with my family,” Fontenot says. “My husband or my mom will come with me, and it lets us take a break from everyday life, and well, have fun while Aflac pays the bill.”

In fact, people who travel together have stronger relationships than those who do not. Three in four travelers say spending time with their romantic partners on vacation improved their relationships, travelers are 11% more likely to communicate well, and 12% more likely to feel close to each other.

Not only does getting out of the daily grind let you get in some quality time, it also lets you share cool experiences. Even everyday activities, like eating chocolate, are proven to be more intense when you’re with someone else—so losing yourself in a new place with your friends and family usually feels incredible.

“There aren’t many times in your life when you can have an entire week in a new place, coordinated from start to finish,” says Deasy. “Not to mention incredible accommodations and extraordinary dining.”

Add in the fact that these trips are free, and, well, most people probably go their entire lives without getting this opportunity. To make sure that’s not the case for you, learn more about what it’s like to be an Aflac agent today.

And even if you don’t join Aflac, consider investing some time, effort, and money into going on vacation—after all, it’s great for you.

Photo of people on beach courtesy of Corey Jenkins/Getty Images.