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-   -   VACATION TIME? !!WHAT!! VAC. TIME??? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/vacation-time-what-vac-time-37134/)

lynn Jan 19th, 1999 08:36 PM

VACATION TIME? !!WHAT!! VAC. TIME???
 
HOT TOPIC ALERT... <BR> <BR>Recently, I posted a thread regarding upcoming travel plans. What people were planning and why. As I browsed through the responses, I noticed several people were very frustrated at their lack of vacation time. I don't blame them. I wish I had more time to travel too. <BR> <BR>I thought this was a good topic all on its own and why not give it a spot on the forum? <BR> <BR>So,what's your gripe or frustration about vacation time?? It's O.K... Let it out. <BR>Your with friends...

Myriam Jan 19th, 1999 10:22 PM

Here I am, Lynn ! <BR>Employees in Belgium have 20 days off (paid) when they start to work. In most branches they get 1 extra day for every 5 yrs they have worked (in the same company). <BR>I have been an employee for 18 yrs, so regarding vacation time that was OK. Now I am self-employed, which means "no work - no money". <BR>We usually leave 10 days in spring, 10-14 days in the summer and one or 2 weekends. <BR>I think I am a lucky woman ! <BR>

ilisa Jan 20th, 1999 04:25 AM

My gripe is that employers in the US don't seem to understand the value of vacation. As someone mentioned on your other thread, Americans live to work, not work to live. I currently get 10 days off a year, plus most federal holidays (I am fortunate for that) except for Columbus and Veterans Days, which are floating holidays. I have to use those for religious holidays, or use my annual leave. I find that I either have to hoard my annual leave, or borrow against unearned leave to take a decent vacation. I have to schedule vacations around federal holidays so I can avoid using an extra day. My job is considered exempt, so I do not get any overtime pay or compensatory time. If an emergency arises, and I am forced to take leave, then there is nothing left for vacation. I have also found that even if I have leave accumulated enough leave to take a vacation for more than a week, employers (at least those I have experienced), frown upon taking too much time off at one time. My former boss once bragged to me that he didn't take a day off in his first two years on the job. Frankly, I don't find that impressive. G-d forbid should my life not revolve around my job. I can go on and on about this topic (and don't get me started on maternity leave in the US!) <BR>

dan Jan 20th, 1999 04:27 AM

My main complaint is: how do you possibly divide 2 weeks between going to Europe, taking short trips with the kids to the beach or mountains, and days off for unexpected things that come up during the year? Certainly that makes it very very difficult to take quality trips to places like Asia, Australia, or Africa. I wonder if this is why so many people I work with, who have the money to travel, never seem to do it. They seem to only go to the beach or mountains. I love to travel so much that I just use up most of my time for the big trip and not worry about extra off for Christmas or other times. However, I haven't had children yet (I will in March).

s.fowler Jan 20th, 1999 06:47 AM

Well one way to get more vacation is to teach at a school or college. You ostensibly get the same "time off" as the students. [For the most part!] Only two problems here... First the "time off" often has to be used for professional activity to maintain your employment or for promotions. Second educational salaries are notoriously low so if you have the time, you don't have the $$$. <BR>The standard way around this is to apply for travel grants. [Not always easily available at all levels or disciplines.] That's what we did this fall. My spouse got support from his college [far from 100% I might add] to spend 6 weeks in Canterbury, UK during his "sabbatical" term. [email me if you want to know why that's in quotes.] So I got a cheap airfare and went over for 2 weeks after he finished at Canterbury. The little support we DID get made the trip viable. <BR>

s.fowler Jan 20th, 1999 06:48 AM

Well one way to get more vacation is to teach at a school or college. You ostensibly get the same "time off" as the students. [For the most part!] Only two problems here... First the "time off" often has to be used for professional activity to maintain your employment or for promotions. Second educational salaries are notoriously low so if you have the time, you don't have the $$$. <BR>The standard way around this is to apply for travel grants. [Not always easily available at all levels or disciplines.] That's what we did this fall. My spouse got support from his college [far from 100% I might add] to spend 6 weeks in Canterbury, UK during his "sabbatical" term. [email me if you want to know why that's in quotes.] So I got a cheap airfare and went over for 2 weeks after he finished at Canterbury. The little support we DID get made the trip viable. <BR>

Polina Jan 20th, 1999 07:04 AM

I get so angry about the amount of vacation time we get and/or do not get, that I can hardly write. <BR> <BR>People in Europe generally get about a month off. And you know what? Everything is still there when they get back. <BR> <BR>My parents went away for a week (the most that they could spare) and met a German couple on their trip. When my mom heard that they get about a month off every year, she couldn't believe it. She said she got very jealous. <BR> <BR>I was discussing this very subject with one of my relatives reccently. She told me that when they were immigrating from the Soviet Union to the US, they had to stay in Italy for a month or so. There, they met an Italian coupld who moved to America, but came back to Italy two years later. Being curious about the country that they would soon call their home, they asked what the Italian couple thought of America. The couple's reply was "We didn't like it at all. You actually have to WORK there!" <BR>

Tricia Jan 20th, 1999 07:21 AM

This is a good topic, but is anyone willing to take it a step further. Let's fight for WORKERS RIGHTS! With women in the work place kids hardly get to see their parents anymore. My 1/2 brother in Holland gets 10 weeks off. That's right. He about fell off his chair when I told him we get two weeks off. So how do we start this. I'm not a politician. Write to Mary Bono? he he ! If anyone out there is astute at knowing how to make social and economic changes help us out!

Kate Jan 20th, 1999 03:21 PM

Hi Lynn, <BR>Don't even get me started! Oh my - this is one of my soap box issues. I can't believe how little vacation time employees get in the USA. <BR> <BR>I worked in Europe, so I was constantly surrounded by people who got weeks more than I was afforded. It drove me absolutely crazy. Where I worried about every little hour of my time, they cared not about taking an extra few days here and there. I was so jealous. Since returning to the US, I have taken a new job and only get 10 days a year (less than my previous job). So, I've resolved to take time off without pay to indulge my travel needs. Some day, maybe I'll win the lottery...... <BR> <BR>Maybe this topic will help Europeans understand why Americans try to "do" Europe in 10 days. Americans would love to have more time to dedicate to each country - but our jobs just don't allow it. <BR>

Anna Jan 20th, 1999 03:23 PM

My husband and I are pharmacists working for a major drugstore chain. I started with 2 weeks of vacation. I now have 5 years in and just got my 3rd week!! The only other holidays we get off are Jan. 1, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (and I get to work about half of those). At 15 years, I'll get a 4th week of vacation, and a 5th week at 25 years. One perk they do offer is that your time of service starts when you first started with the company. One of my co-workers is 27 years old and has 11 years service, all counting toward retirement and vacation. If I only knew at 16 what I know now, I would have taken an after school job as a cashier!! <BR> <BR>One the positive side, we are lucky to be paid very well, which allows us to take at least 2 major trips a year. The past 2 years I taken time off unpaid so we could go to Europe for more than a week at a time. Our problem right now is that there is a shortage of pharmacists; we hope to go to Eastern Europe in August, but will there be anyone to actually cover our vacation?? <BR> <BR>One final note, on our honeymoon in Italy we met a couple from Washington. He worked for a computer company and every 7 or 8 years, he got a paid 8 or 12 week sabatical (can't remember exactly). I mentioned it to my supervisor who also loves to travel. He was all for it, now if we could get corporate to give it to us! <BR> <BR>If I do decide to look for another job, vacation time off will be one of the top priorities.

lynn Jan 20th, 1999 06:37 PM

Hi Myriam! <BR> <BR>Yes, I sympathize with you. We too, are self-employed. We are lucky enough to have stayed in business for almost 9 years now but for the first 7, we didn't do much traveling. Lots of little trips, Vegas, 1-day cruise, etc. But nothing to write home about. <BR> <BR>We just recently decided that if we kept saying "next year", "after this", "after that", "oh, we can't right now", <BR>that we never would. My husband is lucky because he was an Air Force brat and so has already been all around the world, even living in Turkey for 2 years when he was about 10. <BR> <BR>Me, I had been to a few states, Hawaii, Mexico, and Japan, but never Europe. Oh how I wanted to go to Europe! Then one fine day, my husband just said let's do it! (We went Sept. '98) <BR> <BR>Now, our plan is to do 2 major trips per year along with the little ones. This, of course, will depend on business because as an "entrepreneur" (SP?) you can't predict cashflow. And, if you're so busy the money's flowing like water, the last thing you want to do is say "no" to orders. So, we'll see. <BR> <BR>I guess we all have our "thorns". When you're self-employed you have a little more freedom with scheduling and can do more things on a whim, but, it's difficult to plan cashflow because it changes so quickly. And when you have a job, your pay might be good, or at least steady, but you can't get enough time off to make it worth while. <BR> <BR>Worst case senario, do what we did over this past Thanksgiving. Went to Hong Kong on a super deal for 7 days. Flew out on Wednesday and came back the following Wednesday. <BR> <BR>Hey, better than nothing!!! <BR> <BR>Happy Traveling... <BR>

Vincent Jan 20th, 1999 11:35 PM

It's funny this topic comes up now, because yesterday I was reading an issue of Arthur Frommer's BudgetTravel Magazine that a friend sent me from the US. And there seemed to be a big row, within the letters to the editors, about an article written on the previous issue by good old Arthur, stating that, for an industrialised country such as the US, 2 weeks vacation a year might seem a little tight. And, to my great surprise, half of the readers quoted in that section were not in favor of more vacation. Their arguments were odd, such as : "you don't live to travel, you live to work", or "I've been to countries where they get a lot of vacation, and they don't get the same standard of living as the one we enjoy here", or "how could our economy afford such a burden all of a sudden ? ". This latest argument reminding the one used by the big bosses of French industry when a law introduced the first 2 weeks paid vacation. That was in 1936 !

ilisa Jan 21st, 1999 05:07 AM

Anyone who lives to work has a serious misguided sense of priority. <BR>

lynn Jan 21st, 1999 07:08 AM

I agree Ilisa... <BR> <BR>I can't imagine living to work. I'm happy when I'm busy because that means more money for traveling. But live to work? NEVER. I guess we all have differing opinions but please! <BR> <BR>I LIVE to LIVE!! And this includes work, family, headaches, joys, and hopefully, lots of TRAVEL... <BR> <BR>Well, I'm off to work now... <BR> <BR>Have a great day!

QueenMag Jan 21st, 1999 08:05 PM

I posted in the other subject, so I might as well post here, too. I like my two weeks time off, but it is for vacation AND sick time. I work a really good schedule so I am better off than people who work five 8-hour days. <BR> <BR>As much as I would love to have more paid time off, I've worked jobs where I had NO time off, and after two years of that, I am extremely grateful for what I've got. <BR> <BR>One thing I don't mind doing is taking time off without pay. It would be nice to save up money for a trip over three months, and then take a two or three week vacation without pay. Unfortunately, my job has all but eliminated time off without pay. It's not cost-effective for they because they have to hire someone to take my place when I'm not around. <BR> <BR>One of the supervisors at my job said she had to create 18 full time equivalent positions to make up the slack for 150 people taking too much time off without pay. <BR> <BR>One possible option for us younger people is to go back home to momma and poppa, not pay rent and eat beans for a year - save up to 20-30K and then do WHATEVER you want. <BR> <BR>I'd do it, if I could stand to live with my folks for that long. They'd love to have me back, I'm sure. =) LOL! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

QueenMag Jan 21st, 1999 08:05 PM

I posted in the other subject, so I might as well post here, too. I like my two weeks time off, but it is for vacation AND sick time. I work a really good schedule so I am better off than people who work five 8-hour days. <BR> <BR>As much as I would love to have more paid time off, I've worked jobs where I had NO time off, and after two years of that, I am extremely grateful for what I've got. <BR> <BR>One thing I don't mind doing is taking time off without pay. It would be nice to save up money for a trip over three months, and then take a two or three week vacation without pay. Unfortunately, my job has all but eliminated time off without pay. It's not cost-effective for they because they have to hire someone to take my place when I'm not around. <BR> <BR>One of the supervisors at my job said she had to create 18 full time equivalent positions to make up the slack for 150 people taking too much time off without pay. <BR> <BR>One possible option for us younger people is to go back home to momma and poppa, not pay rent and eat beans for a year - save up to 20-30K and then do WHATEVER you want. <BR> <BR>I'd do it, if I could stand to live with my folks for that long. They'd love to have me back, I'm sure. =) LOL! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

Adel Jan 22nd, 1999 03:02 AM

<BR>I used to take off time wihout pay in addition to my vacation time. Added together we could then take 8 week or 9 week trips. But then I got tired of that so I quit my job in June. Been traveling most of the time since then. Don't regret it at all. To work is to live? <BR>BS. To travel is to live.

lynn Jan 22nd, 1999 06:42 AM

Right On Adel! <BR> <BR>VIVA TRAVEL! <BR> <BR>TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE!!!

dan Jan 22nd, 1999 07:48 AM

Hey, Adel, I have an MBA and I think work is highly overrated. Sure, some of us do things that really benefit society - like doctors, teachers, pharmaceutical co. employees..., but if anyone working in an industry that just makes nonessential consumer goods tells me that they live to work, I say you are either deceiving yourself, you are lying, or you are crazy! Luckily, I at least work for a company that sells educational supplies, so I can see the benefit more clearly. <BR> <BR>More vacation time wouldn't ruin society. It would only take some adjustment, but try getting most executives to see this. The thing is that if everyone did it there wouldn't be any problem because then you wouldn't have to worry about falling behind the competition. <BR> <BR>Vive la vie!

dan Jan 22nd, 1999 07:52 AM

Hey, Adel, I have an MBA and I think work is highly overrated. Sure, some of us do things that really benefit society - like doctors, teachers, pharmaceutical co. employees..., but if anyone working in an industry that just makes nonessential consumer goods tells me that they live to work, I say you are either deceiving yourself, you are lying, or you are crazy! Of course, there are always exceptions, such as artists or computer freaks who truly do love writing code with every waking hour. Luckily, I at least work for a company that sells educational supplies, so I can see the benefit more clearly. <BR> <BR>More vacation time wouldn't ruin society. It would only take some adjustment, but try getting most executives to see this. The thing is that if everyone did it there wouldn't be any problem because then you wouldn't have to worry about falling behind the competition. <BR> <BR>Vive la vie!


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