Travel Tip: Take Your Vacation Time!

I keep getting asked a lot of vacation planning questions – so here’s my Travel Tip of the Day: Use your vacation days & use them wisely. I know a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to get paid vacation, and that really sucks, but if you are like I used to be and had vacation days to spare and don’t take them? Stop. I used to think it was a badge of honor to have days left over. I made excuses about being too busy at work or didn’t have money to go places, but I’d see my coworkers traveling the world or even spending days at the pool and I’d feel secretly resentful. Taking off the time you are entitled to, is the best thing you can do for yourself. Even if you just read a book in a local park. 

Once I caught the travel bug, I realized what a hot commodity days off were. I learned from friends how to maximize my time by taking days when we already have company holidays. Duh, so simple, right? For my recent trip to FloridaI took full advantage of the fact that my company generously closed two days for the Fourth of July this year. And that we get two summer Fridays to use at our discretion. I used one, plus 8 of my precious vacation days, and half a personal day for this trip, instead of taking 12 days off. Planning ahead like this can really maximize your time. I used to watch my former colleague roll in on a Monday with a suitcase in hand and think she was nuts, but now I realize, she’s a genius. Travel is tiring, but the mental break you get from that time off is invaluable. 

Yes, I know that I’m lucky that I have a company and a boss that will let me take two of my weeks together, but I tried to make it the most convenient time and planned ahead. Even if you just take a few days and make a long weekend, or go camping or do whatever it is that you love, it’s time well spent. My travel time, be it a day trip, or a hike at a nearby waterfall, or a crazy long road trip, are the memories that I talk about all year. When I look back on my life, those are the things I want to remember, not that I had a pile of unused vacation days that I let go to waste. I encourage you to do the same.

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