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Old 11-12-2016, 11:24 AM   #41
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Just back from Hilton Head on the first trip post-retirement. Loved it. Yes, it's a trip and not a vacation from work. It is a vacation from the routine and the same scenery. Funny, just like when working, sometime around day 4 or 5, we're ready to get back home.
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:37 AM   #42
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It takes me a week to adapt. So, without a second or third week to savor the feeling of "vacating", the time off from w*rk is often nothing more than time not at w*rk. Consider also that compressing a vacation trip into a single week means about a quarter of that time is squandered in frantic journeys to and from.
Agreed. When I was working at a furious pace, I would go on a one week vacation, rush around trying to do "everything", and often crash and burn on day 4 or 5. By the time I picked up the pieces it was almost time to pack up and go home. Unwinding from the stress of w*rk took at least 4 days and sometimes it hadn't happened by the end of the vacation. Thank goodness that is no longer an issue and I can enjoy my whole trip!
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:24 PM   #43
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IC: Integrated Circuit?
Sorry for the corporate speak. second in command=2IC
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Old 11-12-2016, 01:09 PM   #44
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Agreed. When I was working at a furious pace, I would go on a one week vacation, rush around trying to do "everything", and often crash and burn on day 4 or 5. By the time I picked up the pieces it was almost time to pack up and go home. Unwinding from the stress of w*rk took at least 4 days and sometimes it hadn't happened by the end of the vacation. Thank goodness that is no longer an issue and I can enjoy my whole trip!
I agree. When we took a weeks vacation, it took me until Thursday to unwind. Looking back it was not that great. The last two that we took before retirement were 2.5 weeks each; I could definitely tell the difference.

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Old 11-12-2016, 05:28 PM   #45
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I'll have to let you know if it's better...taking my first post-retirement "vacation/trip" in a couple weeks!!
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:42 AM   #46
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Agree with the previous posts. Back when I only got two or three weeks vacation in a whole year I would block off a big 2 week trip around the quieter time in the office, but I was guilty of working like crazy the week before getting my work stuff all completed so there would not be any adverse problems while I was away for that time.

So I would start the vacation exhausted but elated, and my desk at work which normally was a chaotic mess was neat as a pin!

I think under these circumstances one feels so much relief which is associated with a change of scenery and mindset into vacation mode. It is sort of like some yoga routines, you feel grateful once the hard work is over and done, the absence of the stress is blissful.

Even when I got more weeks vacation, I never took more than 2 in a row, and was always wondering what that third week felt like...now I know, and then some.

Now that a job is behind me, travel is a break from the routine, even if it is a day trip away to an event or place, its great to get away, and helps reset the mind, and I am still happy to come home and be able to sleep in the next day!
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:57 AM   #47
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Actually, travel is a lot more fun when you are not returning to a hectic and stressful work environment. You travel to something you want to see, rather than to escape.
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Old 11-26-2016, 11:43 AM   #48
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The irony of the last decade of w*rk was that I was earning 2 days/month of vacation but I never felt that I could take off more than a week or 2 for vacation. Toward the end vacation was specifically planned to be stress relief. The surprise was that when I finally ER'd I realized I was only scratching the surface of my depth of my stress with my "vacations".

Each year I meet up with college buddies for a mini reunion. They are 4 day weekends in a different city. We would fly in on Thursday and out on Sunday. My first year of ER I realized I had all the time in the world to get there and back. I chose to drive from San Francisco to Chicago and back. It was a great road trip. Two years ago we were meeting up in Miami and I decided I'd spend the weekend in New York City beforehand. I could never have thought of travel that way when I was w*rking.

This past couple of years I re-discovered international travel. The first trip was a tour group to Berlin. Each day was jammed packed. It was a fascinating trip but it felt too much like travel when I was working. Last year a good friend retired to Thailand and I went to visit him for 3 weeks. Since then I've been back twice for a month each time and I'm going back for another month in February. I plan my travel to be much more relaxed now and I can pretty much go when I want.

"Vacation" is a word that only makes sense to me in the context of w*rking. I've always considered vacation to be a pleasant escape from something unpleasant. I've been ER'd for six years now. Traveling is just another thing I do in my overall stress free life.
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Old 11-26-2016, 12:32 PM   #49
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Even though I had 6 weeks a year of paid vacation towards my later working years, I never felt like I was really on vacation. My company cell phone and laptop were with me everywhere I went. I suspect I worked an average of about 2 hours a day when I was on "vacation". I guess that's better than the 10 to 12 hour work days or 60+ hour work weeks. I would try to take of two weeks at a time because it took one week just to unwind enough to semi enjoy the second week.

Now that I'm retired, I go when I want, where I want and stay as long as I want. Since I retired, I can't tell you how many times, I have just decided to take off in the middle of the day and and go where ever I want for a couple of days. I recently took a 3000+ mile 8 day round trip with about 1 hour planning/packing. (Drove to Vegas again ) I had a cell phone with me just in case the DW needed to call but other than that, absolutely no ties and no rush. Yes retirement vacations can be great.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:55 PM   #50
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In the military, you're strategic about scheduling vacations. 30 days a year, but that's calendar days, so weekends and holidays count. If, for example, I wanted to leave Wednesday to fly to a Thanksgiving gathering and return to work Monday, it meant five days of vacation. For a civilian, it wold have been just the two work days, Wednesday and Friday.

I also never got to take more than about 15 days in a typical year. I had a couple of jobs where I simply wasn't allowed to take any days at all for a year or two at a time. That was not unusual among my colleagues.

In your first few years, you quickly built up a "bank" of the 60 days vacation you were allowed to accumulate. For the rest of your career you kept that 60 day bank full and simply lost some of the vacation time you were supposedly authorized every year.

The good part is that when I retired I cashed in that 60 day bank. Base pay only, but that still amounted to well over a month worth of my regular pay that I got in cash.

So when I started a civilian career with only two weeks vacation as a new guy, it seemed pretty normal to me despite being more senior in age.

In retirement, it's not only different, but pretty perfect.
DW and I each take about 3 trips a year solo, anywhere from 5 to 15 days at a time to pursue our different hobbies.

We also take about 3 trips a year together, from 10 to 20 days at a time.

So that's generally a few months away from home every year for each of us. I think that's considerably more than the average for our age group, but good planning makes it affordable. We know where we want to go and what we want to see and do when we get there.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:59 PM   #51
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We used to take whirlwind vacations, often to Europe, where we'd fly in, rent a car and see as many cities and places as time would allow. We'd arrive home needing another vacation to get back our strength.

$9 per U.S. gallon gasoline in Italy and reading online, we discovered that traveling slower is much better preferred. Now, we'll fly in and stay a long weekend in a city. Then we'll move on down to the next city in close proximity for 3-4 days. In a 2 week trip, we might visit 4 cities no more than 3-4 hours apart. And we always travel open jaw flying into one city and out of another.

We will sometimes fly on a budget airline to another completely different place on the way home--often with a major regional airport.

Getting home, we'll often still be tired--but we're up and moving the next day. In the old days, it'd take a week to recover.
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Old 11-26-2016, 07:11 PM   #52
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The difference between vacation time and non-vacation time isn't as much in ER, but that's only because non-vacation time is so nice! I enjoy my trips now more because there's no decompression time, nor is there the dread of returning to work that comes toward the tail end of vacation. No stress about getting back either. Delays in the return trip? No big deal.


There's also the benefit that I can spend more time planning my vacation since I'm not working, and I can often get more out of it.
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:07 PM   #53
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It is much better in retirement to travel for many reasons. For one, most of my vacation time was spent in the mid-west visiting my parents, other family and friends. My vacation-vacation was then limited to three and four days weekends (when I wasn't on call).

I do miss the rush of knowing that in an hour I had a week or ten days off work, I remember how my stomach would flip with excitement and relief. But like others have said, it isn't worth the trade off.

Last year we did a four month road trip to explore parts of the US I had never seen. And we did it without much planning ahead which gave us a lot of freedom. This year we plan to spend two months in Australia.

We have enough money to travel 12 months out of the year, but there is so much to do around where we live we don't want to be away. The spring means conditioning hikes with groups of friends, the summer means backpacking trips with groups of friends and the fall means mushroom hunting season which can combine hiking and backpacking.

So, like others have said, the line kind of blurs regarding what a vacation is. Life is good!
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:07 AM   #54
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We often get much better value than we otherwise would. We expecially like the freedom to pick up a last minute special and fly off a few days later. It encourages us to travel to different places.

Three years ago we grabbed a deal in early Jan for a flight to Thailand. Ten days later we were on the beach. We enjoyed it so much we spent the following two winters there.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:34 AM   #55
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Am I enjoying vacations or trips as much as when I was still working?

I dunno. When working, I never took a 2-month long RV trek, nor a 6-week European trip, so have nothing to compare with the current status.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:42 PM   #56
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Earlier in the w@rking times had gone to a Caribbean island for a vacation, there was a problem with airline getting back and they were offering a extra 3 days on them to avoid some backlog problem. Alas, with spouse just starting job not to much earlier, we couldn't avail ourselves of the opportunity (had negotiated the time as part of hiring contract).
Now-- we could easily take the extra time-- no problem.

We did take a longer vacation a year before retirement-- 3 weeks in Europe-- but even then the thoughts of what we would come back to were noticeable in the last few days. Now we only need to concern ourselves with the "fur babies " on longer trips.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:44 PM   #57
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Much better here. Even though I had lots of time off while working, I was never really free and always knew what would be waiting when I returned. Now when I am away I can soak it all up and there is no backlog to return to.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:05 AM   #58
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When you're retired, it's all one big vacation. Traveling is just a trip.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:28 AM   #59
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When you're retired, it's all one big vacation. Traveling is just a trip.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:15 AM   #60
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When you're retired, it's all one big vacation. Traveling is just a trip.
Agree with this. Also, I expect that for many ER's everything is better once retired.
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