You've probably heard the phrase before -- "if you don't use them, you lose them." That's in regards to making sure you use up your vacation days before the end of the year.

According to WKBW, a record number of vacation days went unused in the U.S. last year. The research done by U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos, says 768 million days went used in 2018. That's a 9 percent increase from 2017.

Of that number, 236 million were completely forfeited...which equates to $65.5 billion in lost benefits...

Fifty-five percent of workers say that they did not use up their vacation time. The study says if American workers used their paid time off to travel, the economic opportunity amounts to $151 billion, which would then create 2 million more additional jobs.

On average, U.S. workers are taking three less days off a year today (17.4) than they did between 1978-2000 (20.3).

"When I see how many vacation days went unused, I don't just see a number -- I see 768 million missed opportunities to recharge, experience something new and connect with family and friends," U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. "However, it's an unfortunate truth that cost is the top barrier to travel. Despite the financial challenges of traveling, there are affordable alternatives to explore America -- whether it's a drive up the coast or a day trip to a neighboring town."

I'm sure the mind set also plays into it. So many people don't want to be behind the 8-ball and insist on working through stress, sickness and the burden of deadlines. It's difficult to say sometimes "hey, I'm gonna take some time off."

Read the full story at WKBW.