Traveling with a Full-Time Position
Each year Expedia performs an annual study of vacation habits among a field of employed adults across multiple counties (i.e. Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America). It’s not shocking to see that European countries rule in not only taking vacations but giving them as well. A majority of the European countries provide their employees 30 days of vacation. While many more provide an average of 20-25 vacation days.
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What is shocking to see is that Americans only earn an average of 15 days and still leave 4 full days of vacation out on the table each year. That’s right American’s are only taking 11 vacation days out of their 15 earned vacation days. Now that’s just plain ludicrous! Especially, when the survey shows that 92% of American’s “somewhat or strongly agree” that they feel happier after taking a vacation. So why aren’t we taking any vacations? A lot of it comes down to 3 main reasons:
- Getting behind on work
- Employer will frown upon taking all your vacation time
- You believe that no one else can do your work
All of these reasons have one underlying factor that affects them all. That is something called FEAR. Fear of getting behind on work, fear of getting judged as a slacker, or fear of losing your job. That’s why I’m here to help you break that cycle.
Make Traveling a Need
Each year I make an effort to travel internationally at least once for more than 2 weeks. I’ve visited over 12 countries and 6 domestic cities all within a 2 year time span. I did this all while being a Full-Time Auditor. Now how did I do this you ask? You need to change your way of thinking from fearing to needing to take a vacation. I’m just your average American but one thing that separates me from falling under the unused vacation day statistics is that I make traveling a priority. I treat it as it’s an essential part of my life that I need to fulfill. If you’re a full-time employee then you too can make this a reality for yourself.
If you are given 15 vacation days each year. I’d suggest you to sit down, create a travel goal, and plan it just like a normal task at work.
You want to travel to the Caribbean for a 7-day cruise.
You want to travel to Japan for two weeks during the cherry blossom season.
Make it happen!
You want to go hangout on the beach of Cabo or Cancun.
Let’s get our tan on!
Like I said as long as you treat it like a priority in your life then you will make your life all that much happier.
Commit on taking your vacation
Don’t just plan on taking your vacation but also commit on taking it. One thing that we tend to forget is that paid vacations are considered earned wages and a benefit of ours. We are entitled to it. If you get vacation hours you should consider yourself lucky because there are some companies out there that don’t even provide vacation days to their employees. You worked hard for those hours and if you don’t take them then you’re practically giving up money. It’s like saying a boss wants to give you a bonus check but you decide to say “no thanks” because you’re too busy to cash it in. I’m pretty sure you don’t like to give up free money right?
Talk with your employer and unplug
Once you plan a vacation tell your employer in advance. This goes hand in hand in making that commitment to taking it. Doing this you allow your employer to be aware that you’ll be inaccessible during this vacation. Thus, giving you the opportunity to unplug and experience your vacation that much more. Once you get back you’ll be relaxed and productive.
Negotiate for unpaid leave
Don’t be afraid to talk to your employer about an extended unpaid leave. Sometimes a weekend getaway isn’t enough time to sulk up your vacation. So I would consider trying to get unpaid leave or some companies allow “buying” additional days off.
Take advantage of holiday weekends
We have multiple national holidays throughout the years. If you plan to book a vacation around these holidays. I’d suggest you extend your days out a couple of days before the holiday and a couple of days after. Not only will this provide you a longer vacation but this will save you some money. As all the high prices will usually fall on that Friday-Monday weekend of the holiday.
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to travel outside the country or do a stay-cation. You should utilize all your vacation time to benefit yourself. Whether its creating memories, spending quality time with family, or even a side project that you’re passionate about. There are countless studies that show that if an employee takes a vacation it’s actually good for productivity and the economy. The most productive countries in the world happen to be Germany and France? Our counterparts in which has mandated more than 30 days of vacation. Have you ever considered how are they the most productive when they have so much vacation time? Simple answer is that they work smarter, not longer.