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Are You Already Planning Your Family’s Winter Vacation?

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Another summer has slipped by.
As you look back at the Summer of 2016 you remember days days that were too hot and too humid to go outside, you recall days that were too wet and rainy to be at the pool. In fact, looking back this summer often found you avoiding, rather than enjoying, the days that should have provided both rest and relaxation.
Promising yourself that you will not let another vacation opportunity slip by, you have decided to check the family calendars and make reservations to visit a warm weather location this winter. You already have the dates tentatively figured out and you are going to give your husband and three college age kids the choice of three different resort vacations. Winter is a ways off, but you refuse to miss another chance to enjoy time with your family.
Did You Use All of Your Available Vacations Days Last Year?
Vacation days do not do anyone any good if they do not get used. While the intent of work vacations is to allow workers a chance to rest and relax so that they can return to the the office rejuvenated and refreshed. Unfortunately, only 25% of survey participants indicate that they use all their paid days each year. In the year 2013, for example, 75% of employees with paid time off did not take all their vacation, according to a report on the employment site Glassdoor.
Of those people who do take time off, too often the days away from work do not always offer the break that they should. For instance, an alarming 61% of survey participants indicate that while they are on vacation, they continue to work in at least some form. For instance, 25% of respondents indicate that a colleague got in touch about work while they were on vacation. Additionally, 20% indicate that they heard from their boss while on vacation.
Knowing that one in four Americans get no paid time off from work, consider the Center for Economic and Policy Research statistics about workers in other countries:

  • Workers in France are given 31 days of paid time off a year.
  • Workers in Japan are given 10 days of paid time off a year.
  • Workers in Italy are given 31 days of paid time off a year.
  • Workers in Canada are given 19 days of paid time off a year.

Americans, it would seem, appear to be working themselves into a frenzy of a work schedule that either does not allow paid time off, or a schedule that allows some vacation, but still requires workers to stay in touch with those at work. Not surprisingly, even when Americans are on vacation, they are often constantly checking email and voicemail. As a result, it is no wonder that 10% of all travelers indicate that they cannot relax while on vacation, according to the latest research by Happify.
Sometimes the Struggle Comes in the Planning
Many Americans who insist that they want to get away on a vacation with their family struggle to make the necessary plans that it takes to make the vacation really happen. So instead of relying on a family member to make the complicated schedules for what they will do on vacation, some families decide on all inclusive vacation packages at either moderately priced vacation rentals or luxury resorts.
Families that travel to all inclusive resort vacations can rest in the comfort of knowing that scheduled activities are always available and that the budget is easy to plan. Open ended resort vacations can often come down to how much money a vacationing family wants to spend on a daily basis, while all inclusive resort vacations include lodging, food, and a variety of onsite activities and offsite excursions.
If your family let the Summer of 2016 slip by without spending any real time together, maybe it is time to plan a trip for this next winter. Instead of complaining at the beginning of the new year about another missed vacation opportunity, maybe it is time to plan a vacation that you can celebrate and talk about on New Year’s Eve 2017. Taking the time you are given away from work will sent you back refreshed and ready to go.

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