Are you sitting at your desk dreaming of a beach vacation?
Perhaps you’re staring at the calendar tacked to your partition wall, picturing yourself sunbathing at some tropical paradise with a fruity drink in your hand – the fantasy is so real, you can feel the warmth of the sun.
You snap back into reality when your computer dings; another email filled with work to be done and suddenly the warmth of the sunshine melts into the frozen tundra that is your job….
Ok, ok – maybe work isn’t that bad…..but a vacation does sound nice. The beach, the mountains, a week in Rome – the location isn’t so important, as long as you’re getting away from it all. Ding! Your email goes off yet again leading you to think “Who has time for a vacation, anyway?”
Taking time off from work can be such a hassle. Let’s face it: between submitting the vacation request, getting it approved and prepping my backup for while I’m away is a job in of itself. And if I’m being honest, how many times has my boss texted me in need of dire information while I’m on vacation? At least a dozen, right? Luckily I grabbed my laptop and brought it with me….for you know, “emergencies” like these.
Then, there’s all the planning. I’ve got to figure out where to go, how to get there, where to stay and what to do. That can take days, weeks – dare I say – even months to plan!! I’ve got to compare the best deals and book the cheapest days to fly – that’s Tuesday, right? Perhaps I can find a travel agent…but, wait!
Do travel agents even exist anymore?
(Don’t worry, they do)! But are they worth the expense when I can price shop the internet on my own?
Once the plans have been set, then the packing starts. First, it’s the laundry, cause you know I gotta have all the best outfits clean! And that’s BEFORE I leave – I don’t want to think about the mountains of laundry I’ll have upon returning home. Once I have all the laundry done, there’s the issue of fitting everything into the suitcase. What’s the best way to fit everything….should I roll the clothes or fold them Marie Kondo style? Either way, I’ll end up sitting on the suitcase in order to get it zipped up.
What are the restrictions to fly? How much is a checked bag? What’s the bag limit per person? And what is the allotted amount for liquids by TSA – 2 oz or 4 oz?
Taking time off work, planning where to go and what to do, let alone how to get there….not to mention, the packing! UGH, the packing!! It’ll take longer to pack and unpack than the actual vacation itself. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. It’ll be easier to skip the vacation and stay at work…..
Says the average American, who in 2017, gave up over 212 million days off….
According to Project: Time Off.
Glassdoor, one of the world’s fastest growing job sites, found that “two in three employees report working while on vacation” and that the “average U.S. employee (of those who receive vacation/paid time off) has only taken about half (54 percent) of his or her eligible vacation time/paid time off in the past 12 months,” as of 2017.
Why would you choose NOT to take a vacation?
✘ It can be expensive
✘ Worried the workload will pile up while gone
✘ Fear taking time off would be perceived as a flaw
✘ FOMO – Fear. Of. Missing. Out.
So while we may be sitting at our desks dreaming of a vacation, the reality is, most of us won’t take it. The vacation days are there for a reason, people.
And in case you need convincing….here’s why a vacation will be good for you:
✅Burn-out? Decreased! Vacation = rest. Rest = more productive. Those who take the time to relax end up being more productive than their counterparts who are under-rested. So for everyone thinking taking a vacation will be perceived as a shortcoming, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.
✅Physical Health? Improved! Stress kills, people! Taking vacations regularly helps decrease stress. Need I say more?
✅Mental Power? Increased! Taking a vacation gives your brian the mental rest it needs, so when you return, the brain is well rested and ready to work!
✅Better Sense of Well-Being? You betcha! Vacation boosts your mood and quality of sleep…and continues to do so even after vacation is over!
✅Trip Planning? Boosts Happiness, too! Yes, that is correct, the planning phase can actually trigger happiness. Perhaps it is the thrill of finding the best deal or the excitement of going somewhere new. Maybe it’s the thought of getting away in general, and that gives you something to look forward too. Either way, planning a trip cranks up the happiness dial.
Of course, you don’t have to do something extravagant to have a great vacation, either. If flying to Rome or spending a week at the beach fighting the sand and crowds doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other options! Try a charming small town in the mountains or rent a house on a lake to avoid the sand but still enjoy the water.
Perhaps, you don’t go anywhere but you stay at home and take a couple day trips. This is a great way to save some money while still being able to get away from work and relax.
Of course, there’s the ever growing trend of a staycation. Instead of traveling somewhere, pack your suitcase, stay in a hotel and be a tourist in your own town! You get all the benefits of getting away from it all …..
Without. Actually. Going. Anywhere.
It doesn’t matter what you decide to do with your vacation time, as long as you’re using it. It’ll help you relax and recharge so you’ll be refreshed and ready to take on whatever work (and life) throws your way!
Megan Leonhardt. “Only 28% of Americans plan to max out their vacation days this year”27 April 2019. Cnbc.com. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/26/only-28percent-of-americans-plan-to-max-out-their-vacation-days-this-year.html 28 February 2020.
U.S. Travel Association. “State of American Vacation 2018”. 08 May 2018. Ustravel.org. https://www.ustravel.org/research/state-american-vacation-2018 28 February 2020.
Glassdoor. “GLASSDOOR SURVEY FINDS AMERICANS FORFEIT HALF OF THEIR EARNED VACATION/PAID TIME OFF”. 24 May 2017. Glassdoor.com. https://www.glassdoor.com/about-us/glassdoor-survey-finds-americans-forfeit-earned-vacationpaid-time/ 28 February 2020.
Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D. “You Really Do “Need” a Vacation”. 15 July 2018. Psychologytoday.com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201807/you-really-do-need-vacation. 28 February 2020
Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP. “Importance of taking vacation”. 14 June 2017. Allinahealth.org. https://www.allinahealth.org/healthysetgo/thrive/importance-of-taking-vacation?id=36507232167. 28 February 2020.