Sure, it's winter in New England and the immediate priority is planning what to serve while watching the Patriots play in Sunday's NFL playoffs. But after all the chicken wings and guacamole have been gobbled up, consider moving on to the next big action item: finalizing your travel plans to Cape Cod.

In honor of National Plan For Vacation Day on January 29th, here's a reminder of why it's important to commit to using those well-deserved vacation days. A survey by Project Time Off reveals that those who remain tethered to their desks and mobile devices instead of taking a real vacation are more stressed and actually less likely to receive raises and promotions. Need more convincing?

Make 2019 the Year You Use All Your Vacation Days
Did you know that more than half of Americans don't use all their allotted vacation days? The study found that Massachusetts residents are just as guilty, with 48% of Bay Staters admitting they don't squeeze out every hour of vacation time.

To avoid eating sad lunches at your desk while your co-workers stroll the 40 pristine miles of the Cape Cod National Seashore and ogle breathtaking sunsets, start vacation preparations now. Here's why: A majority (52%) of workers who dedicate time each year to plan out their vacation end up using all their time off, compared to just 40% of non-planners. Advance planners also tend to take longer vacations. At the Cape, 1-2 weeks will give you time to explore the entire peninsula, including restaurants, entertainment options and the vast spaces of national parks and nature preserves, as opposed to fitting in a few days at the beach over a long weekend.

Here are a few other perks for early birds.

Stay at Your First Choice Spot
More than four million people visit Cape Cod each year. Don’t risk your favorite hotel or inn being fully booked by the time you go to make a reservation. Hotels, bed & breakfasts and a variety of resorts offer early bird booking incentives and vacation packages, as well as deals for midweek and off-season stays. But beware - frugal New Englanders are quick to scoop up discounts, so don't wait until flip flop season to decide on a date.

Plan a Family Vacation or Couples Getaway
Cape Cod offers cozy options for couples, as well as enough family-friendly activities to keep both you and the kids entertained. While it's an ideal vacation spot for everyone, you'll want to nail down the details to ensure the experience you want is the one you end up having.

Couples should look for quiet retreats and getaways that offer plenty of privacy and pampering. To escape everyday stress and unplug, a quaint bed & breakfast or historic inn may be in order. The Palmer House Inn in Falmouth transports you to another time in their Queen Anne Victorian house, while the Chatham Inn at 359 Main offers a modern twist on classic Cape Cod style. Lands End Inn combines comfort with luxury - along with stellar ocean views - in their elegant Provincetown inn..

For a perfect spa experience, consider the Shui Spa at The Crowne Pointe Inn & Spa in Provincetown, which provides facials, body wraps and restorative massages using Kiehl's Skin Care Products. Alternatively, the Beach Plum Spa specializes in overnight and day packages for massages at two Cape Cod locations - the Dan'l Webster Inn in Sandwich and Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.

Besides relaxing spa experiences, the Cape Codder Resort adds a giant dose of family fun with its 30,000 sq. foot indoor water park with giant slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club - a 4-star oceanfront property in Harwich - offers stylish amenities for the whole family. Kids can take advantage of the state-of-the-art outdoor aquatic playground, a game room and movie nights, while the adults experience one of the finest golf courses in New England. The Red Jacket Resorts on Cape Cod (there are five, all located in Yarmouth) offer a little bit of everything - private beaches, supervised kids’ programs, indoor and outdoor pools and water sports.

Discover Cape Cod in Every Season
There's a lot to love about summer on the seashore, including gorgeous beaches, cocktails with a view of the ocean, and plenty of active adventures. We may be biased, but we think the other three seasons on Cape Cod are just as spectacular.

In September, the weather remains warm, but the majority of visitors have gone home, offering a more intimate feel to your ocean paradise. Late fall provides fiery foliage walks and perfect temperatures to take advantage of a bevy of bike trails and festivals that let you indulge in food and culture. Winter is the perfect excuse to stay inside and enjoy historic inns and crackling fires at cozy restaurants, or to venture out for holiday strolls, bird watching and quiet beach walks. On the coldest days, the lucky few may be able to spot ice formations rolling in on shore. For colorful blooms and warming temperatures, book a spring break. Gardens across the Cape, from backyards to the 100-acre Heritage Museum & Gardens, provide a fragrant carpet of spring flowers and lush landscapes.

Whatever the season you visit Cape Cod, book early and be sure to savor every vacation day.