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Advice on taking one long vacation (and using up almost all vacation time) v. spreading vacations out during the year. Personal experience?

Advice on taking one long vacation (and using up almost all vacation time) v. spreading vacations out during the year. Personal experience?

Oct 15th, 2002, 12:47 PM
  #1  
chloe
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Advice on taking one long vacation (and using up almost all vacation time) v. spreading vacations out during the year. Personal experience?

I have a great opportunity to spend a month in Europe with a friend who is between jobs and is planning to rent an apartment in Rome for a month. I lived there almost 10 years ago and have always wanted to go back and stay for a while when I didn't feel rushed, wasn't running off to pack in another city, etc. The catch is, he will only rent the apartment if I split it with him so I would want to go for at least 3 weeks.

The problem is that I am wondering whether it is a good idea to use almost all my vacation time for the year on one trip (I get a generous 4 weeks a year). Due to the way vacation days are calculated in my office, taking this opportunity would mean that I would not be able to take another vacation (other than a long weekend or two) for about 8 months from the time I get back. usually I go take one or two weeklong trips a year and then use the other two weeks spread over long weekends, going on day trips, christmas, etc. My job is quite demanding, including long unpredictable hours, occasional weekends, etc. the policy is that if you don't use your vacation days in a year you can carry them forward. However, I usually end up using most of mine, taking an extra day at christmas, etc.

I'd like to hear how you allocate your vacation time and if you have ever done one big trip a year. Was it a good decision? or did you spend the rest of the year tired and burnt out. I hate to pass up a great opportunity but don't want to be miserable the rest of the year. Thanks for any advise.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #2  
Dori
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I unfortunately do not get four weeks vacation. I've just been eligible for three weeks for the first time this past year (and I've been working a long time!) I say grab the opportunity while you can. Besides a lot of people have to wait eight months due to job changes, etc. You stated you still might get in a couple of long weekends. Go and have fun.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 03:43 PM
  #3  
NoneOfMyBizBut...
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This is a question of personal style. The fact that you are giving it a lot of thought instead of just piling in headlong is telling you something; maybe about how you want to use your vacation time or perhaps about your feelings concerning the partner in this particular endeavor.

For my own part, I get quite a bit of vacation -- five weeks and generally some more that has been carried over from the previous year. Even though I have the time, I don't take L-O-N-G trips because I find them costly and disruptive in my own situation. I like to break things out over the course of the year and that way, I always have things to look forward to. Again, that is just MY style and yours may be different.

Another factor has to do with the work culture in the U.S. While it is certainly not universal, I know many people who do not like to show their employers how they can survive without their services for a month at a time for fear that they're liable to make it permanent. It's a sad commentary on our culture and probably difficult to understand from a European perspective.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 04:12 PM
  #4  
mimi taylor
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I agree with "None" that is is a personal style. I had only two weeks and Had to take it (the two summer designated weeks.) Personally, I would love to stay one month any place to get the rythm and feel of a place...but...not with an unknown factor.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #5  
Barb
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It's a month in Rome - I think you will love it and you will still be able to get in a few long weekends to get you thru the year. I'm assuming that your vacation starts fresh in January. I'd say go for it - I went to school in Rome and would have loved the opportunity to stay longer when I didn't have any formal obligations.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 07:22 PM
  #6  
Paula
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I agree that this is a matter of personal choice, but I'm glad we went for a month last year. It was 14 hours worth of flying just to get there (Seattle to Malaga), so a short trip is out of the question.

It sound to me like you have a great opportunity and I'd say--go for it! And let us know how your trip was when you return.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 07:22 PM
  #7  
Paula
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I agree that this is a matter of personal choice, but I'm glad we went for a month last year. It was 14 hours worth of flying just to get there (Seattle to Malaga), so a short trip is out of the question.

It sounds to me like you have a great opportunity and I'd say--go for it! And let us know how your trip was when you return.
 
Oct 16th, 2002, 06:18 AM
  #8  
Mare
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My husband also gets 4 weeks vacation, and we used three of them for our trip to France/Belgium/Holland in April. We had a great time, but getting though the rest of the year without much vacation time left has been hard. I know it doesn't make much sense, but I think it would have been psychologically easier if the trip had been later in the year.

At any rate, we decided to cut our trip to Ireland next year down to two weeks. We even scheduled it over Memorial Day so he would only have to use nine days!
 
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #9  
kjulie
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I have been on trips to Europe for 1, 2, and 3 weeks. Here are some things that I have discovered about myself that may give you something to consider.

For me, 1 week was not a good idea because too much time was wasted on the flights back and forth and adjusting to the time change. 2 weeks seemed just as enjoyable as 3 weeks because by 2 1/2 weeks I was getting tired and homesick/nervous.

I personally find it much easier to close up my house for just 2 weeks as opposed to 3 and I hate not having any vacation days left.

I also find it extremely difficult to catch up on 3 weeks of work as opposed to 2 weeks because my job requires several monthly reports. If I am gone 2 weeks many can be done before I leave and the others when I get back. If I am gone 3 weeks that is too soon to obtain the necessary information to do any of the reports ahead of time so EVERYTHING needs to been done ASAP when I get back.

Possibly, some of this info may be relevant to your situation. If not, it may just make you realize that you don't have any of these problems and so you can go for 3 weeks and have a blast!

 
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:21 AM
  #10  
Margo
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Check with your employer first. Even though I earn 3-weeks of vacation a year, I'm not allowed to use it all at one time.
 
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