Choosing Increased Vacation Time Over Increased Pay

Do you suffer from vacation deprivation?    I’d come across some interesting articles back in June, did you know that the United States is the only industrialized country not to mandate paid vacation?

According to this study by the Travel Industry Association:

  • An annual vacation can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by 50%
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – decline on holidays of only one or two days.
  • Women who take more vacations are more satisfied with their marriages.
  • Homemakers who vacation only once every six years or less have almost twice the risk of developing myocardial infarction or coronary death than do homemakers who take two or more vacations a year.
  • Burnout decreases significantly during two-week vacations
  • Overwork costs employers about $150 billion a year in stress-related absences.

And the list goes on.

Expedia’s study showed that one third of Americans do not take all of their vacation time owed to them.    Considering I carried over 3 weeks of vacation last year, this doesn’t surprise me.   We get caught up in big projects or the hustle and bustle of our everyday work.    And vacation planning takes time, often time we don’t have.  Prior to this year, the last vacation my husband and I took that did not involve visiting a family member was three years ago.   We are more than making up for it this year, having spent nearly 3 weeks in Hawaii and a week in Hilton Head with other vacation plans in the works.    Now that we’ve been going on vacation more, and now that we have an almost-two-year-old, I’m appreciating my days off.    Before, we used to take a day or two here and there to work on home improvement projects or to catch up on sleep, so vacation time didn’t matter as much.   Now, I’d willingly take a pay cut for additional weeks of vacation.

How about you?   What’s the right amount of vacation time to have in a year?

Until next time,

Lorelei
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