SURVEY SAYS: Did You Take a Summer Vacation?

September 8, 2011 ( - Yesterday we reported that only a third of American workers took a vacation this summer. 

Earlier this week we reported that only a third of American workers took a vacation this summer, according to a new poll (see  This week I asked readers if they took a summer vacation – and how it matched up with their expectations.

Well, when it comes to vacations, this week’s respondents did better than the broader sampling polled by Rasmussen.  More than half – 58.5% – said they had taken a summer vacation this year. 

Now, one-in-five (20.2%) said they hadn’t, while another 11.7% said they hadn’t, but hadn’t planned to.

As for the rest, 5.3% said they hadn’t yet taken that summer vacation (though surely time is running out), and the rest?  “Other”, which in this case mostly seemed to be folks in the “no” category, including the following:

Does recouping from surgery count?

Does a long weekend count?

For what it’s worth, I would say “no.”



I also asked readers if the vacation they took was the time they planned to, and for most – 67% - the response was “yes.”

The rest split pretty evenly between “no” (12.5%) and “haven’t taken it yet” (15.9%), with the rest in the “other” category, including:

A week was planned but canceled due to spouse's job loss.

Had to take a few days off to take care of sick parent and never got to our own vacation.


But when I asked if folks got to spend that vacation the way they had planned, it shook out like this:

46.0% - yes

12.6% - pretty much

9.2% - no

8.0% - no, but it turned out fine.

The rest either hadn’t taken their vacation yet (so they obviously didn’t KNOW how it would turn out), or they hadn’t taken the vacation (and never planned to take it during this summer).

This week’s verbatims were an interesting mix of vacation tips, experiences, observations and – well, see for yourself!



"I've learned you can't wait until you have time to take a vacation or you'll never take one.

You just have to do it!"

I try to take my vacations either before or after the summer rush - but this time it back-fired on me and I was sick for the entire week that I had off from work.

I would much rather take vacation during non-traditional times.  There are way too many people around in the summer time.  I get enough of people at work.  A vacation is getting away from them.

If you consider staying home for 3 days babysitting our 2-year-old (while his older brother and my wife were in the hospital) a summer vacation, then feel free to change all of my answers to 'yes'.

No kids so my vacations aren't always in the summer, but they always happen. I'm fairly close to retirement, get 6 weeks a year and take all of it. This is the third year in a row that I've taken 3 weeks all at once.

Spent our vacation at the Jersey shore and had a blast the first few days until Irene came along.  The mandatory evacuation kind of put the kibosh on our beach fun. Came home to flooding and power outages.  Oh, well it was fun while it lasted!


Since our children are grown...we skip the whole "summer"  thing and stick close to our beautiful Alaska for the summer.  Come mid-winter, however, we take our "summer" vacation by visiting our younger child down in Arizona!

We seldom take a summer vacation.  As a family that home schools, we tend to take our vacations during the off season to save money.  This years real vacation is a 4 night cruise on the Disney Dream.

Without school age children, vacations in our household are taken in October, better weather, fewer people, much more relaxing.

I actually took more time this summer than I usually do.  I took a week off to play in my yard and that is what I did, play in the dirt and plant flowers.  I also took a few three day weekends and several four day weekends.  The last few years I have been lucky to take a couple of three day weekends.

Next year I definitely plan on taking 2 weeks together and earlier in the summer. The weather in August is just too iffy here in the Northeast.  I feel like summer is over once we are out of July.

After spending 4-11 days each summer for 25 of the last 26 summers in Las Vegas, we spent this past July buying a vacation home there ... which in about 5 years becomes our retirement home!

I had to reschedule my trip to Long Beach Island because the day I was scheduled to leave, the island was evacuated from Hurricane Irene. I ended up going down there later in the week and still managing to get a nice (shortened) vaca out of it.


I took two vacations this year...which is rare.  I took a trip to Beaufort, SC with my daughters and granddaughters.  We had a wonderful time playing in the surf!  I also attended the Food and Wine Festival in Charleston, SC with friends.  Of course, you can't beat a shrimp and grits martini or homemade pimento cheese both paired with wine!  Yummy!

We plan to take a summer (last two weeks of August in the mountains) and a winter (first and/or second weeks of January on a Caribbean cruise ship) vacation each year and build our budgets and calendars with them in mind. Gives us something to look forward to in the hot dry summers (well, wet this summer) and cold windy winters of Pennsylvania.

Vacation starts next week - can't wait!

Need more of them.  Perhaps "seasonal vacations" for those of us where seasons exist; a "quarterly sabatical" for those in the more moderate climates.

A whole week with the wife and two small boys in a 25 foot motor home was challenging at times but in the end well worth the experience!


I took off most of the month of July to follow U2 around the northeast for the final leg of their 360 Tour.  It was awesome to spend so much time meeting new people, traveling to different cities, being outside as opposed to being trapped in a cubicle, and oh yeah... rocking out with the best band in the world!  Why would I spend vacation days on anything else? 🙂

Being fairly new on the job (2 1/2 years), and subject to traditional, low vacation time accruals, I do not have the opportunity to take more than 1 full week off per year.  I choose to use it in the spring.  Benefits planning, open enrollment and end of year activities nix fall and holiday plans.


It’s getting more and more to follow through with vacation plans as family and financial issues always come up.  Hopefully next year we can take a true vacation that we've planned for.

As we are now empty nesters, we like to wait until after the schools start so that we can enjoy places without everyone's kids around.  Peaceful and much quieter.

Spent 3 wonderful days white water rafting outside of the reach of cell phone, email, etc.  Heaven!

We spent a beautiful week in the Adirondacks relaxing and visiting with family.


Although it was more stressful to plan and pay for the vacation, it was definately needed.  Maybe if we had kids our vacation situation would have been different.

Personally, I wish schools would go to a 12-month schedule, so the off months could be times other than just summer.  Wouldn't it be nice to go to Florida in January rather than July?

I rarely take off in the summer--too many families out there at the same time.  Plus I live in a great town with lots to do in the summer.  We went in May and are going again in 2 weeks.

I save my vacation time for winter when I can go someplace warmer.  It's plenty warm here in the summer!

I received an unexpected invitation to a 65th wedding anniversary.  It gave us the opportunity to attend this wonderful event, visit family and see Yosemite Nat'l Park.  It wasn't in our budget, but the rewards were priceless!

I don't have children and I don't like summer.  I am happy to work while my colleagues who have school age children take vacations during the summer.

We don't usually take a summer vacation, but since we were traveling to Canada this year, it made sense to go when it was warmer there.  Our vacations are usually in the Spring or Fall, since we do not have children at home.


Didn't take a summer vacation because my vacation started on September 4th and will stretch for months as my youngest, the 18 year old, went away to college!!!!

Haven't taken it yet...counting down...can't wait. What do you mean it's open enrollment time, ARRGH

A few brief long weekends were our vacation(s) this year...not an extended week ot two straight through.

Went to Chicago this summer. What an amazing city! People are so friendly and the city itself is just the right size. Can't wait to go back!

This year was a planned stay-cation and it was wonderful to be home for a week, not working and not traveling.

After years of being the primary care giver for elderly family members and limited in the time I could be away, I am enjoying the ability to take vacations that involve going away from home!


Work intruded on vacation time much less than it has in past summers. Careful planning was part of the reason for that lower level of intrusion, though luck was probably a bigger reason.

Where I live (Erie, PA) the summers are beautiful so choose to spend the "not so nice weather time "where it is warmer and sunnier.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who explained, “Hurricane Irene made other plans for us.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!