The majority of Americans get 2 weeks of vacation.
(Yes, if you are from Europe, Australia or anywhere else that is more generous with their days off, we are jealous!)
For those of us not part of an “enlightened” vacation environment, how can you best use what you’ve got?
Ways to Best Use Your Vacation Days
Plan two week-long vacations. Typically people take 1 week around the holidays with family and another vacation week during the year.
Plan one big two week vacation. This is usually outside of the U.S. If you are spending the time to fly 15 hours away from home, you want more time there to explore.
Use the 14 days of vacation and spread them out creating a lot of “long weekend” trips. If you take Friday and Monday off, you can create 7 “mini” vacations throughout the year, each lasting 4 – 5 days.
Ask your boss for un-paid days off
What is your priority: time or money, experiences or climbing the ladder at your job? There is no problem if you choose climbing the ladder, but that takes a lot of face time and commitment. On the other hand if you value travel and if you get your job done well, I would bet your boss doesn’t mind letting you take off a few extra un-paid days. It will help with his budget and give you a few extra days to travel. During my 9 – 5 job my boss and I had this type of arrangement. On a regular basis I would work really hard, finish up my work and during the slow times take un-paid days off.
Ask to work remote
Who says you have to stop working just because you’re traveling? Although it’s tough to get in a routine, and at times the beach and sunshine are so tempting, if you want to get away and you can do your job from your computer then ask your boss to work remotely.
Start small and ask to work a day here and there during the week from your home office. Once you’ve gotten permission to work from home, knock your sales numbers out of the park. Be so productive and overly organized that your boss will have nothing but praise to give you. Once you have mastered working from your home office, inquire about the possibility of working from a separate state for a week, or month…or maybe a separate country.
In Buenos Aires we met a guy that had done just this. He started by asking his boss to work from home and after doing that he tried to push the limits a little bit further and asked to work from Argentina. He was taking Spanish lessons with us in Buenos Aires and running home to finish up his 8 hours of work once the class was done. He always had his phone ready in case his boss needed him and woke up at random hours to make meetings on his company’s timezone and keep his client’s schedules. He made it work and so have many others (and so can you).
How do you maximize your vacation days? Leave tips and experiences in the comments!