• Joey Amato

Visit California Dream Dial Gives Travelers a Happiness Boost on National Plan for Vacation Day


Visit California will launch a free, limited-time hotline to help callers brighten their outlook by planning a future road trip in the Golden State.

The California Dream Dial will coincide with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Plan for Vacation Day Jan. 26, an initiative that encourages Americans to plan their time off in the year ahead. The pandemic has taken a significant toll on both mental health and the economy, and Visit California encourages travelers to dream now and travel later.

“It’s never too early to start planning, and we can all use something on the calendar to look forward to,” said Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta. “California Dream Dial is a service for visitors to begin mapping out travel plans for their dream vacation. And when it’s safe to travel again, these trips will do double duty as they work to jump-start California’s economic recovery.”

To use the California Dream Dial as a resource for trip planning, travelers are invited to complete a short questionnaire starting today to make a 20-minute appointment for Tuesday, Jan. 26. If unable to make an appointment, call the hotline directly at 1-833-PLAN-PTO from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PST on Jan. 26.

California Dream Dial will present inspirational ideas for exploring the Golden State in the future, a proven practice for brightening mental health. Polling conducted by Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and an expert in the science of happiness, found 97% of Americans say having a trip on the calendar makes them happier. Three-fourths said planning a trip would make them feel more in control amid so much uncertainty.

“Booking a trip – even just getting it on the calendar – might be the very thing we need to restore our emotional immune system after months of mounting uncertainty and stress,” Gielan said.

With road trip expertise from California travel experts, California Dream Dial provides the perfect planning tool with tips on everything from California’s hidden gems and National Park hacks to culture- and culinary-filled getaways. The hotline experts will explore each traveler’s specific interests and offer curated guidance for future road trips once the pandemic has subsided and it is safe to explore the Golden State again.

Americans left a third of all their earned vacation days on the table in 2020, according to research from the U.S. Travel Association. More than half say they looking to visit bucket list destinations in 2021 when the time is right. Long a leader among the states in leaving paid time off on the table, Californians now say they expect to take 39% more time off in 2021, according to research by SMARInsights. This pent-up demand for travel will be key for California’s recovery.

Travel is a powerful component of California’s economy that accounted for $145 billion in spending in California in 2019, supported 1.2 million jobs and generated $12.2 billion in state and local taxes. The pandemic halved those numbers in 2020, but planning a trip will provide a direct boost to businesses and jobs across California to jump-start recovery.

To make an appointment for California Dream Dial, go to visitcalifornia.com/plan2021. If unable to secure an appointment, call the hotline directly at 1-833-PLAN-PTO from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Future visitors can share their 2021 travel plans online using #PlanForVacation and #VisitCalifornia.