Your New Year's Resolution: Plan to Take that Vacation

Thursday, January 25, 2018

With  National Plan for Vacation Day slated for January 30, Wyoming wants to inspire Americans to plan their 2018 vacations with three itineraries designed to allow travelers to have experiences that only the Cowboy State can offer. 


A wrangler at Eatons' Ranch near Sheridan, Wyoming. 


Each year, more than half of Americans fail to utilize all of their time off, which results in more than 662 million unused vacation days and an untapped economic benefit for the United States in the billions of dollars.


"Planning for vacation should be fun," said Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. "Here in Wyoming, we want to help travelers feel excited about taking their vacations and inspire the more than 54 percent of American workers who aren't taking their allotted time off."


According to The State of the American Vacation 2017 report, people who plan for vacation use more of their time off, take longer vacations and are happier.


"We know how valuable and important vacations are," said Shober. "And when visitors choose Wyoming for their vacation, we take that choice seriously and want them to enjoy their time here and leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and fulfilled."


To help Americans realize and plan for those transformative experiences, Wyoming has vacation ideas--including trips to America's first national monument, first national park and the country's first guest ranch--to assist travelers with making the most of their time off. 


Discover Northeast Wyoming + Meet Your Inner Viking

Situated in the northeast corner of Wyoming are Devils Tower National Monument, the small town (and general store) of Aladdin and Gillette, one of the Cowboy State's best-kept secrets. With a regional airport that offers twice-daily flights from Denver,  Gillette is a great launching point for exploring the region and is within easy reach of Devils Tower National Monument (the country's first national monument and the backdrop to Steven Spielberg's movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind), the charming general store in Aladdin and Wyoming's only meadery--Big Lost. Travelers can harness their inner Viking at Big Lost Meadery's Viking Dinner (held annually in November) or by stopping by the meadery any time of year for a taste of what's thought to be the world's oldest alcoholic beverage--mead--in a remodeled general store in downtown Gillette. 


Visit America's First Dude Ranch + Try Life as a Cowboy

A short drive from Sheridan, travelers will find the country's first dude ranch--Eatons. During the summer season,  Eatons' Ranch operates a guest ranch on its 7,000 acres and offers visitors a true western experience with horseback riding, overnight pack trips and fishing. During the winter season (December 1 - May 13), the ranch operates a bed-and-breakfast experience at the base of the Bighorn Mountains while providing easy access to winter recreation (like snowmobiling and cross-country skiing). In addition, each spring Eatons' Ranch drives its horses from their winter pasture to the ranch and right through the heart of Sheridan. This year's annual horse drive is slated for May 27. 


Explore the "Valley of the Warm Winds" + Learn About Wyoming's 

American Indian Culture

Home to the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes is the  Wind River Indian Reservation. The only Indian reservation in Wyoming, it's called the "Valley of the Warm Winds" and offers a firsthand look at touchable history and American Indian culture. Plus, this part of Wyoming has an array of vacation opportunities designed to experience this region fully, including a Bighorn Safari (a half-day field tour that's ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers), a four-night/five-day pack trip into the Shoshone National Forest, a fly-fishing adventure in the Wind River Range or a stay and play package at the Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel.


"Not only do we want Americans to use all their vacation time, but we also want them to have experiences on those vacations that create lifelong memories," added Shober. "By showcasing Wyoming destinations and activities that fulfill that promise, we hope that everyone from the east coast to the west coast will make the time to experience some of the best our country has to offer."


With several milestone anniversaries slated to take place in Wyoming throughout 2018, it is an ideal year to plan vacations to the Cowboy State. Celebrations and commemorations include the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific Railroad in Laramie, Hanna, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston; the 80th anniversary of the Cody Nite Rodeo; the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie; and the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail.

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