Galvin and Associates

What is your philosophy of taking vacations?



I’m bad at taking vacation time. In fact, if you pressed me, you would find out that I haven’t taken a traditional two-week vacation in over 16 years. In a recent study by Oxford Economics about how employees handle vacation time, the researchers found that 42% of Americans left some vacation days unused and the average was 8.1 days of unused time. I would probably measure up somewhat worse than average.

However, I stopped beating myself up over this embarrassing fact after I did some thinking about the purposes of a vacation. It turns out that there are at least 10 major purposes for taking a vacation that I can think of. Many of these can be combined. Let this list help you think through your reasons how you spend your time off.

Visiting relatives
If your parents live far away and you only have one time a year when they can see you and your family, odds are your decision about a vacation destination is pre-made for you.

Family time
If you have children, a vacation can be a time to build relationships and share new experiences together. It can be a time go camping together or give them an unforgettable experience like visiting the Grand Canyon or Disney World.

It takes two or three days to unwind. After that you can “trickle charge” your internal battery. Some people like the beach and others like the mountains or forests. You need a place where you can rest and relax and detox from stress at work.

Does mountain biking, whitewater rafting, or exploring caves, sound exciting? Would you prefer a golf or tennis vacation? Some people crave adventure.

If you like to drive or take the train, you will never run out of new cities to visit in the US. If you prefer international travel, make a list of all the places in the world you would like to see in order of priority.

Some people use vacation time to kick start a new way of eating or a new exercise routine. There are a lot of spa vacation packages available to assist you in living a healthier lifestyle.

We are all supposed to be lifelong learners, but some people crave learning something new. You can be introduced to a new hobby or indulge in educational travel sponsored by universities.

Why not consider a vacation with a purpose? Short-term mission trips can help you to do good while you are taking time off and putting yourself in a completely different environment.

Early in my career as a youth worker I would use my vacation time to shingle houses to help me pay my school bills. It was a break that paid for itself. Do you have a way to make some extra cash on your time off?

If you travel a lot for work, the thought of getting on a plane for a vacation does not feel right. Why not stay at home and focus on interesting day trips and eating out at places you have never had time to go? I’m going to be doing some house projects this summer.

Bottom line, figure out the combination of purposes that work for you and then try to maximize your vacation time. Forget about what other people do for their vacations. You need to do what works for you and your family at this time in your life.

Comments are closed.