A couple I run into on occasion has a taste for travel both in the US and abroad.
What makes them stand out from the crowd is that they take around 3 months vacations a year.
She wants 6 weeks summer vacation, they settled for 3.
Today they are on their way to Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltic Republics.
They organized their work around their play time.
She believes that she keeps him sane, healthy and more productive.
They return from their various trips, batteries recharged and full of new ideas and perspectives.
Refreshing by American standards
As to the reasons why more of us in the USA don't take at least a couple weeks off in the summer, Ezra Klein in Why We Don't Vacation Like the French (American Prospect, July 07) offered an answer:
We guarantee zero. Absolutely none. That's why one out of 10 full-time American employees, and more than six out of 10 part-time employees, get no vacation. And even among workers with paid vacation benefits, the average number of days enjoyed is a mere 12. In other words, even those of us who are lucky enough to get some vacation typically receive just over a third of what the French are guaranteed."
In sectors such as the hospitality industry, in some states employers who offer 'vacation time' to their staff have the option to pay them less than minimum wage for this 'earned benefit'.
Musician Jonathan Coulton in Summer Vacation (June 17) reminds us that the idea of Summer is to Slow Down:
Should paid vacations be part of health benefits instead?
Like the outdoors, there is an inexpensive option in 2009, the US National Park Service offers 2 Fee-Free Weekends at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees on the following dates:
- July 18-19, 2009
- August 15-16, 2009
Amongst those included is the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (pictured below, from National Parks site).
Working for the Yankee Dollar on Monday Work Etiquette # 96