30/11-08 23.15 : Maya Northen
Why Vacation Now?
This sounds like a relatively easy question with a large number of possible answers – to recharge your batteries, to spend time with loved ones, to experience a new culture, and the list goes on. A recent poll from the Opinion Research Foundation indicated that the majority of Americans felt that they needed at least 3 weeks to prevent job burnout. So why is it that one third of Americans took no vacation time at all last year? Unfortunately, the number of reasons that people find for not traveling are just as many, if not more, than the reasons they should. What people do not consider is that these polls are most likely correct – Americans probably do need 3 weeks of vacation in order to prevent burnout. So in the midst of all of the negative that we hear on the news, at our jobs and possibly from ourselves and our loved ones, here are a few positive notes that might encourage you to take that much needed vacation.

• Strength of the dollar – Did you know that (at the time of this article) the dollar’s exchange ratio to the Euro is the best it has been since the summer of 2007? It has also improved against other currencies such as the Argentinean Peso.
• Gas prices have dropped more than a dollar per gallon As a result, not only do you save money each week at the pump, some airlines and cruise lines are lowering or completely dropping their fuel surcharge!
• Emerging destinations – New destinations are emerging constantly, and they are more affordable to visit and less crowded.
• Saturday night stays – It’s back! Once again, airlines are offering lower fares if you spend a Saturday night at your destination, which is great for leisure travelers who usually stay over a weekend and now can get lower airfare for doing so.
• Short stays – Many hotels are offering 3 and 4 night packages, some with themes such as family fun, “girl’s getaways”, golf outings and spa retreats which allow you to indulge without a gigantic budget.
• Last, and possibly most importantly – you need it more! If you are in that one-third who hasn’t taken a vacation, it’s also possible that you are in that group heading for burnout, which certainly won’t do anything for your productivity at work and could have much longer lasting results than a few days out of the office for a short trip would.

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