SURVEY SAYS: Vacation Needs

June 3, 2013 ( - Last week we covered a survey in which one in five Americans said they cannot even go one month before they feel like they need a vacation, so I asked NewsDash readers how often they need a break?

Ten percent of responding readers agreed with the covered survey’s findings, saying they can go less than one month before feeling they need a vacation from work. Nearly 13% indicated they can only go one month.  

The highest percentage (24.3%) of respondents reported they can go three to six months before needing a break, followed by 18.6% who said two months and 15.7% who said three months. Slightly more than 14% of responding readers indicated they can go six to 12 months before needing a vacation from work, and 4.3% can go more than 12 months.  

The majority of respondents are given a good amount of time off from their employers. Forty-five percent are allotted more than 20 paid vacation or PTO days, and 40.8% get 15 to 20. Eleven percent of readers who responded indicated they get 10 to 15 paid vacation or PTO days; just 1.4% reported they get none and the same percentage get one to five days.  

Only 1.4% of responding readers said less than 10 paid vacation/PTO days would be a fair amount, and 2.8% said 10 to 15 days would be fair. Nearly 16% of respondents selected 15 to 20 days as a fair amount, while 42.3% selected 20 to 25 days and 38% selected more than 25 days.  

A common sentiment in the verbatim comments is it is hard to really get a break from work, as is the lamenting about what price is paid when folks return from vacation. Some readers offered ideas for new work schedules, and one reader indicated the need for a vacation from work as well as family, and described what that would entail. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I just finished a 4 day weekend during which I worked on and off the whole weekend. It seems I need a vacation even during vacations.” 


Can't take a vacation as often as I'd like; it takes too long to catch up when I return. 


We all need a break. I'm an early retire boomer in a 75% time position with a local government and receive no benefits. Happy to have a job, but still hurts financially when have to record "0" hours on holidays and of course vacations are unpaid. Suspect I'll have a lot of company soon. 


Like taking shorter vacations, say a 4 day weekend. 


Luckily i have been a long-term employee...thus the number of days/year. 


all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 


There never seems a good time to take off more than a day or two at a time so I have 26 weeks of time available in the "bank". Maybe I will retire 6 months early with full pay . . . . but that won't be for at least another 20 years! 


Employees should be allowed to cash out unused vacation days at the end of each year. 


Having a flex schedule with a three day weekend every other week makes it easier to go longer without a vacation break. More companies should do it. 


Magic formula: give yourself a 20% salary reduction and go to 80% time...M-Thurs. Life is good, however, one must restrict spending by at least 20%. :>) 


Wish we were also given "vacation from the office" days...would be nice to work from home occasionally in peace and quiet. 


I need a vacation from work, vacation from my family, vacation from all of them at the same time! A long weekend in a B& B, by myself, lounging pj's, room service, good books (yes, including a couple of trashy novels!), and a good-looking that is a vacation! 


takes four days to decompress and two weeks to catch up - hum..... 

Verbatim (cont.)  

We all need to take some time for ourselves. We are all burned out. 


Unfortunately every day I feel I need a vacation, but that was not an option 


I just finished a 4 day weekend during which I worked on and off the whole weekend. It seems I need a vacation even during vacations. 


Needed frequency varies with the seasons. Over spring/summer/fall, one week and a few long weekends works fine. Over the winter, I NEED at least a week someplace a lot warmer than where I live. 


I have worked for company over 32 years and just feel I need more time off work. I am tired would even like to go part time but our company does not want part time employees 


Some days, after about 20 minutes, I feel the need for a vacation. 


I can go up to 6 months without a vacation but when my Boss flat out lies, I have to take a day or two. 


Recharging the battery is a must for optimum performance. 


Ah, that explains where everyone went. When they said vacation, I thought they said vaccination and passed. Is it too late?! 


There isn't a day that goes by that I say "I were on vacation". My name is synonymous with every question or problem that cannot be answered or fixed. It becomes very cumbersome day after day! The best part is that I have over four weeks of vacation, but according to my boss, there is never a "good time" for me to take it or she'll "suggest" days off for me. I always thought vacation was something to look forward to. 


Major getting away vacation leaving office behind. 


Currently I receive 20 vacation days , 2 personal holidays and in some years a floating holiday. For a total of 22 or 23 days. Next year I will have earned the right to 25 days of vacation ( 15 years ). I feel that will allow me to take a week off every couple of months or to actually take 2 weeks at a time once or twice a year to have a chance to full fully refreshed and still have a day or 2 left for random time off. I am one of those seemingly rare individuals who has been fortunate enough to be healthy and also honest so in 14 years of employment, I have only used a sick day once. Taking that into consideration 27 or 28 PTO/vacation days is fair, as the 6 days of paid sick leave I receive each year have never been used and of course unused sick time off does not carry over from year to year. maybe the next survey can be do you use your paid sick time and if so, how do you use it!

Verbatim (cont.)  

What I really need a break from is the lifetime income illustration rules! 


I take vacation a day or two at a time and rarely use what I'm entitled to. My job doesn't allow long vacations. 


"Vacation" anymore means I am not physically in the office and it may be a longer wait before someone gets an email response from me. 


I'm not good about taking "real" vacations, but feel the need--or strong urge--to take at least a day off every month or two. 


Sometimes I'm not sure the time off work is worth the stress of what I come back to. 


I have been very lucky in the job I have. To accrue 20 days a year for vacation is a great thing, and more than most of my friends have. It will allow me a 3-week honeymoon in Europe this year, and still time to "hang with my Mom" during the Summer. I know that I will be busy in both cases, and sometimes I had another week to just "BE" for myself. No complaints...I am a happy girl! 


I wish there were 3-day weekends at least once a month. That extra day means you can actually spend quality time with my husband, instead of the usual recovery day on Saturday and chores on Sunday routine. 


I wish I could actually take my vacation days. 


With Small Companies (50 or less) it's not a question of employee needs. The standard policy is one-week paid vacation after one year; 10 Holidays; discretionary Sick Leave; Family Medical Leave; plus "pending"new legislation aimed at additional "fringe" benefits. 


The span between New Year's day and Memorial Day is just too long. Is there a way we can add another holiday or two in there to get some time off without taking vacation? (we don't get Good Friday off) 🙂 


I prefer a long vacation over several short 2-3 week vacation will keep me going for a year. 


I think some of those 1-in-5 used to work for me...and it was NOT a pleasant experience. But in my experience, and over a period of decades, and with some very different organizations (and management), what works even better than me taking time off is having my boss take time off. Amazing what a pressure respite that can be.... 



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.