The summer vacation season is well under way and many Americans will be heading out of town for the upcoming holiday weekend. US workers get fewer vacation days than any other developed nation with only 14 days a year, yet the national average of vacationing Americans sits at only 34 percent.

There are many good reasons why you should take a vacation, or vacations, this year if you haven’t already. The following list of six reasons to vacation are our top picks.

1. Expand your mind. Vacations provide the opportunity to see, hear, and read something new.

2. You may live longer. A study by the State University of New York at Oswego that surveyed 12,000 men between the ages of 35 and 57 found that men that go on vacation every year reduce their overall risk of death by 20 percent.

3. Reconnect. Vacations allow you to spend quality time with your family, with yourself, or with friends.

4. Sun makes you happier and more productive. Thirty-four percent of professionals that come back from vacation are more productive and they feel better about their jobs. (Source: Expedia)

5. Your ideas may improve. During a break from work is when people come up with their best ideas. (Source: CNN Money)

6. A vacation will make you more interesting. Okay, so we don’t have any scientific data to support this claim, but we do know that travel stories are some of our favorites to listen to at summer barbecues and other assorted gatherings.

Where will you go next?

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