We all love vacations, but are we any good at them? It turns out Canadians aren’t making the most of their annual leave. That’s all about to change.

Expedia’s 2018 Vacation Deprivation report reveals that on average, Canadian workers receive 17 vacation days and take 15 of them – leaving two days on the table. In total for 2018, the expected result is 40.1 million unused vacation days.

Whether your ideal vacation is an all-inclusive resort or a hiking trip, we’ve got the ultimate how-to guide when it comes to making the most of your paid time off:

Maximize your time

Don’t wait until you’re burnt out and desperate for a getaway to book a trip.

Piggyback on Stat Holidays:
Do more than just enjoy the long weekend when the next stat holiday comes around. Building in a few days paid time off on either side of these holidays means you could spend eight or nine days away for as little as three or four vacation days – that’s almost a free vacation!

Book a Staycation or Micro-break:
If you know you’re going to be crunched for vacation time for a while, but also don’t want to miss out, cut the dead weight out of your vacation by choosing destinations closer to home. A staycation in your own city can be a chance to discover new neighbourhoods or the latest local attractions. If you want to get out of town, hop in the car for a short roadtrip to a new city. Building these mini breaks into your vacation plan for the year will keep you feeling refreshed and relaxed all year long.

Get great value

There’s an art to getting great value on vacation, but the secret is, it’s not as hard as you think.

Travel Off Season:
Get more bang for your buck by booking your next trip outside the peak travel periods ­– school breaks, holidays, summer, etc. Prices drop significantly during the shoulder season, particularly at destinations like beach and ski resorts. You’ll save some money, skip the crowds and likely have more options when it comes to hotel availability. A lot of destinations also add incentives to off peak travellers like discount attractions entry or special offers.

Search for Savings:
Something as simple as the way you book your trip can save you money. You’ll unlock extra savings just by bundling a hotel and flight together on Expedia. These days you can book a flight, car or package and then still get those great discounts on select hotels right up until the day you travel. Don’t forget to check your mobile app for mobile-only deals too.

Be budget savvy

It’s all in the details.

On the ground and under control:
It’s the small things that can add up. Before your trip check out food costs – look for hotels with free food options like breakfast or happy hour. If you’re staying in a remote location like an island, check the prices of the menus to make sure you can afford to wine and dine. If you know you like to spend the majority of your time at the resort, an all-inclusive could be more cost-effective. Do your research on transport – is it smarter to rent a car and stay less central, or pay a little more to be walkable to the main attractions? And always look for free events and activities like farmers’ markets and evening concerts in the park, where you can pack your own picnic.

Be flexible:
Being flexible about the time and date of your flights can save you a fair bit of money. Avoid peak commuter times like end of week or first thing Monday morning. Giving yourself plenty of time between flights to avoid missed connections, or take advantage of an overfull flight to get a voucher from the airline and fly a couple hours later.

Feeling better about planning your next break? Good, you should, because with the Expedia How To guide you’re on the way to an amazing vacation. And remember, a happier, healthier, less-stressed you is just a vacation away.

Where’s your next vacation?