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Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199751
08/22/06 08:15 PM
08/22/06 08:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 453
Jacksonville Florida
casa de amor Offline
casa de amor  Offline
unfortunitly we all have to work, but i can truly say that i would walk away from any job here in the states for a week on AC, and i may have to come december!!!

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199752
09/03/06 12:23 PM
09/03/06 12:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 289
Three days to unwind is why me needs three weeks in Belize each Feb wink wink smile

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199753
09/03/06 07:03 PM
09/03/06 07:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 245
DB Offline OP
DB  Offline OP
Problem with one week or the week is almost over before less vacation is that the week is almost over by the time you finally absorb the vibe of a place and get in a proper rythym. laugh

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199754
09/04/06 03:17 PM
09/04/06 03:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 245
DB Offline OP
DB  Offline OP
Another story highlighting same...... U.S. folks make sure check in the bottom of the article to see if/how your regionalality affects your vacation habits... smile

Americans leaving vacation time behind

Stephanie Paterik
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 4, 2006 12:00 AM

When work clashes with a vacation, for many Americans work wins.

Employees increasingly are giving up their hard-earned vacation time to slog through another workday, and those in the laid-back Western United States, including Arizona, are the worst offenders.

That's according to several recent travel-industry surveys that illuminate the relationship between work and play. advertisement

Expedia, Orbitz and the Travel Industry Association of America report that people feel tethered to the office even when they get away, checking e-mail from the hotel lobby, taking phone calls between Mai Tais and strapping a BlackBerry to their bathing suits.

Americans will give up 574 million vacation days worth $75.72 billion this year, a 36 percent increase from 2005. Forty-one percent of those in the West tell Expedia they won't use all their vacation time, 8 percent more than the national average. And the average Westerner will lose seven days compared with four days nationally.

"We're pretty much a country that doesn't see vacation as something that is a given," said Carlton Yoshioka, an Arizona State University professor who studies leisure patterns in various cultures. "It gets back to that Puritan work ethic."

Getting ahead

Laurence Goolsby, a 25-year-old computer analyst from Tempe, is a perfect example of the findings. He's young, lives in Arizona and believes skipping most of his vacation time will help him get ahead.

"I don't really like to be away from my job," he said. "When you're just starting out, you want to make sure you have as much face time as possible with people you work with. It shows dedication."

Goolsby said his employer doesn't necessarily frown on vacations. The decision to forgo downtime is his.

"There have been times where I feel it would be nice to unwind, relax a bit," he said. "That's when I take a half-day. I really enjoy the work I do."

Workers give several reasons for not taking time off. Chief among them is office requirements to schedule vacations in advance, followed by being too bogged down to get away from work and receiving cash in lieu of time off. Another deterrent is the stress people feel right before and after a vacation, when the work is piled on.

Chad Rose, 35, works for a company with a generous vacation policy. He gets six weeks a year as vice president of sales for McMurry Inc. in Phoenix.

But lost time can mean lost contracts, so he doesn't use every day off. And, he deems half of his trips "workations," when he mixes work with vacation.

"It's not because my job requires it of me. I'm just a freak," he said. "It's not that I like to work so much. I like to win. I like to be ahead."

Workations quickly turn into a juggling act. He took his family on a two-week trip to Florida and ended up working all but two days. When his BlackBerry woke the family at 6 a.m. during a separate Disneyland vacation, his wife intervened.

"She had told me to make sure it was off," Rose said. "At first she threatened to throw it off the balcony of the Embassy Suites, then she took the battery out and hid it."

There are times when Rose takes a true break, without family prodding, something he didn't do when he was younger.

"I completely unplug and act like the world ended and no one can reach me two weeks a year," he said. "You need to refocus and get clarity and realize why you're working so hard."

Expedia and Orbitz concluded that Westerners are the worst workaholics, contradicting the popular image of uptight Northeasterners. Orbitz found that 65 percent of people nationally said their bosses encourage them to take time off, while 60 percent in the West said that was true. Westerners were the most likely to check in with their companies while away.

Those findings surprised ASU's Yoshioka, who would have guessed the opposite. He said the weather could be a big factor.

"Temperature really does change the travel patterns," he said. "When your West Coast sun's always shining, you feel good about what you're doing."

Chris Strimbu, 31, is a graphic designer for Yahoo! Inc. in Santa Monica, Calif. He said people like him on the West Coast tend to be involved in creative enterprises, which foster greater loyalty than a typical 9-to-5 job.

"People feel a direct connection to their company, they feel more of a relationship with what they're doing," he said. "I work with select people who work 10- to 13-hour days without even blinking, and that's just kind of the norm."

Strimbu is part of a large department, which makes it easier to take guilt-free vacations. When he worked on a small team at the Los Angeles Times, he rarely skipped work.

"It was very difficult to take time off without feeling, to be honest, a bit guilty because the team was so small," he said. "It would really put someone else in a bind."

Hard to change

Old habits are hard to break. He recently parted with his cubicle for several "consecutive days," a major indulgence.

"There was a little bit of guilt," he said, "but I got over it on the second day."

No region is immune to the overriding pressures of work. Tom and Pam Ruble of Fort Wayne, Ind., and daughter Jenna sat beside the pool at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale recently. The whole family is in sales, and all three were on their cellphones, scribbling notes furiously.

"Once you are in the middle of a sales cycle, you can't stop and return to it a week later," said Jenna, 21, an intern for Northwestern Mutual Financial.

Not everyone feels vacations are a sin. Stacey Reinert, 31, vice president of commercial lending for Arizona Business Bank, works hard for her 4 1/2 weeks off and has no problem taking them.

This year, she has been to France, Palm Springs, Calif., and Las Vegas twice. In October, she will visit Hawaii. The time she doesn't take rolls over to the following year.

"I've never lost any," she said. "Executives typically do take vacation. In my industry, everybody does."

Some people think skipping vacation helps them advance, but Reinert sees it the other way around. As she took on more responsibility, she recognized the need to unwind.

"What I do is really stressful," she said. "I have a lot of strong goals, and if I don't have decompression time, I would lose my mind."

Some employers think they are getting a bargain when workers skip vacations. But people who take a break are more productive, which benefits companies in the end, said Gregg Lemley, a partner with the international law firm Bryan Cave LLP, which has offices in Phoenix.

Lemley advises companies to implement "use it or lose it" policies that encourage employees to take time off every year and avoid expensive payouts when they don't.

"Human beings are not machines. They need time to recharge their batteries," he said. "Employers are going to get a more productive, balanced, better year of work from an employee who has good morale than one who does so begrudgingly and unhappily."

Young managers and tech companies are more likely to encourage employees to take vacations, Lemley added. And the travel industry certainly has a stake.

Orbitz put a positive spin on its findings, pointing out that while 40 percent of Americans check in with work while away, 60 percent do not.

Expedia launched a Web site this year to showcase the results of its Vacation Deprivation Survey and encourage visitors to book a flight to a relaxing locale, pronto.

"Americans' urge for travel is still out there," said Erin Krause, a spokeswoman for the company. "People aren't taking all of their vacation days, but they feel so much better when they do."

Take your vacation

Kathleen Waldron, who lectures about stress and other topics in Arizona State University's College of Human Services, says there is no excuse for skipping vacations. She offers these tips for unwinding without shortchanging your career.

• Schedule a day before vacation to leave your projects with a competent co-worker. Go over your job duties in detail, including upcoming meetings and potential problems he or she will need to deal with.

• Give yourself permission to be out of touch. Try leaving your work cellphone at home.

• If you absolutely must stay plugged in, set aside a specific time and day during your vacation.

• Put away the laptop and read a book on the plane to get in vacation mode.

• Return on a Saturday to catch up before going back to work.

• Ask yourself, "Will the world end if I'm not at work for a week?"

Vacation habits

Recent travel studies suggest that Westerners are more tied to their jobs than residents of other parts of the country and that Easterners are better at getting away. Here's a look at regional travel attitudes.


• Are more likely to give up vacation time than the average American.

• Give up an average of seven vacation days a year.

• Are more likely to work more than 40 hours a week.

• Check e-mail and voice mail on vacation at a rate of one in four.

• Are most likely to disagree that their bosses encourage vacations.


• Along with Southerners, are most relaxed during vacation, with 39 percent saying they never have trouble coping with work stress right before, during and after a vacation.

• Are most likely, at 27 percent, to report a very recent work-free, disconnected vacation.


• Are most likely to not check in with work while away.

• Are most likely to report that they are frequent travelers.


• Take all their vacation days at a rate of two in five people.

• Say getting money in exchange for unused vacation time is a powerful incentive.

Sources: Harris Interactive/Expedia Vacation Deprivation Survey, Orbitz Take 5 to Travel Survey.

Reach the reporter at [email protected]

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199755
09/05/06 11:28 AM
09/05/06 11:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 4,672
Northern California
LaurieMar Offline
LaurieMar  Offline
A startling fact I just read about: less than 25% of Americans hold passports! What are they thinking?

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199756
09/05/06 12:58 PM
09/05/06 12:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 245
DB Offline OP
DB  Offline OP
And supposedly starting jan 1, 2007 you'll need one to go to reenter from even Mexico and the caribbean.

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199757
09/05/06 01:14 PM
09/05/06 01:14 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,337
MALIBU Offline
MALIBU  Offline
Looky here:
"New Application for a U.S. Passport
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license."
This is from the Dept of St website.
There are 7,000 places am's can get a passport and only 25% have them? Hmmmmm, I think this is a perfect example of our tax dollars at work.

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199758
09/05/06 01:15 PM
09/05/06 01:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,337
MALIBU Offline
MALIBU  Offline
And more from the same website:
New Requirements for Travelers

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 1, 2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. In order to facilitate the implementation of this requirement, the Administration is proposing to complete it in phases following a proposed timeline, which will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.
January 8, 2007 - Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
January 1, 2008 - Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.
This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports.

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199759
09/05/06 01:20 PM
09/05/06 01:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,337
MALIBU Offline
MALIBU  Offline
And finally, liquids ALLOWED on a plane today: (note the last one!)

Can I Take It?
Due to enhanced security measures liquids, gels, lotions and other items of similar consistency will not be permitted in carry-on baggage. These types of items must be packed in your checked baggage.

Additionally, liquids, gels and lotions purchased beyond the checkpoint but must be disposed of before boarding the aircraft.

To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers the following items are permitted.

Small amounts of Baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling
Liquid prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket
Up to 5 oz. (148ml) of liquid or gel low blood sugar treatment
Up to 4 oz. of essential non-prescription liquid medications including saline solution, eye care products and KY jelly
Gel-filled bras and similar prostethics
Don't want to get caught up boarding the plane with someone demanding you get rid of your girls!

Re: Americans Taking Fewer and Fewer Vacation Days #199760
09/05/06 01:48 PM
09/05/06 01:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
San Pedro
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
Interesting viewpoints:

At one period in time the churches scared people into submission, now we have CNN and the media.

In my hospital bed, as I am looking at the next life, I would rather be counting all the great vacations I experienced rather than all the money my family will be fighting over.

Is life an experience or a destination? Do we get a "do over" card?

Life is a journey, enjoy the ride.

I go to work 51 weeks out of the year so I can offer my children a great education so they can work 50 weeks out of the year, but will probably be the VP that "doesn't take vacations" so his kids will have the best education available (repeat).

Do our children want our time or money? Does corporate America want our time spent with family or money spent with them? Forget QT, who needs values today.

More people at work, more taxes to bomb people.

Lee Iacoca, "A lot of executives will come and boast about the latest 50 or 100 million project that they supervised, but how intelligent are they really if they can't schedule a two-week vacation with their family?"

St. Augustine, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."

Think about this one:
Mark Twain, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."

?, "Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."

Coffe tawk


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