Make Time for Vacation

exec-at-beach-with-laptopReady for some fun? Time to take a vacation? For some Americans, that might be difficult. The World Tourism Organization lists Americans as having the least vacation time in the industrialized world. In annual vacation days, Italy comes up first with 42 days, France 37, Germany 35, Brazil 34, Great Britain 28, Canada 26, South Korea 25, Japan 25, and the US a miserable 13. The Europeans and South Americans make fun of Americans about this, you know.

Because despite the small number of vacation days per year, one in six employees (roughly 18 percent) is so overworked that she or he is unable to use up annual vacation time, according to a 2001 Oxford Health Plans survey reported in USA Today. Do you have surplus vacation time that you haven’t been able to use up because you’re so busy?

The Curse of the Overworked American
Gen-Xers really need a vacation, according to the Hilton Hotels Corp’s Generational Time Survey, a random telephone study of 1,220 Americans by research firm Yankelovich Partners. They found that 77 percent of Generation Xers (born 1965-1975), more than in any other generation, say they need a long vacation because of the pressure and stress of their daily lives, according to the survey. The youngest group, Generation Y (born 1976-1984), is nearly as eager for a vacation (73 percent), followed by baby boomers born 1946-1964 (68 percent). Mature Americans (born 1930-1945) are the least likely to need a vacation (47 percent), perhaps because they’re also the least likely to say their lives are stressful (49 percent). Overall, two-thirds of Americans say they could use a long break. Why don’t we take it?

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Laura Stack

Laura Stack

Laura Stack is America's premier expert in personal productivity. For over 20 years, her speeches and seminars have helped professionals, leaders, teams, and organizations improve output, execute efficiently, and save time at work. She's the author or coauthor of 10 books, most recently, What to Do When There's Too Much to Do. To invite Laura to speak at your next meeting or register for her free weekly newsletter, visit

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