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View Poll Results: Do you use all of your vacation days each year?
Yes, I never leave vacation days on the table. 76 59.84%
No, my employer or I don't believe in vacations. 11 8.66%
I've FIRE'd, so everyday is a vacation. 40 31.50%
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How much vacation do you take?
Old 08-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
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How much vacation do you take?

Japanese use least vacation time; French most - Business - World business - msnbc.com

Quote:
They were followed by 47 percent of workers in South Africa taking their full leave entitlement, 53 percent in South Korea and 57 percent in the United States.

"There are lots of reasons why people don't use up vacation days but most often it's because they feel obligated to their work and put it over other more important things, including their own health and welfare," said John Wright, senior vice president of global market and opinion research firm Ipsos.

"Workers should remember that there are graveyards full of indispensable people," he added.
Over the last few years, I try to take all of my vacation, which I've managed successfully. Earlier in my career, I used to lose vacation every year, but it didn't take me too long to realize that was a bad deal for me (and a good one for my employer). Now I enjoy my time away from the office.

Anybody else refuse to leave their vacation on the table?

I decided to turn this post into a poll. Let's see if this forum uses more than the 57% US average.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
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I use mine up religiously. I can carry over a certain amount, but whatever I cannot carry over, I will definitely use. Even if it means stuff doesn't get done on time. That is a work allocation issue that is "above my paygrade".

Mostly this goal is achieved by using the vacation time early and often. Don't cancel plans just because something urgent and last minute comes up at work - there is always Monday morning when you get back from vacation. Then there is the tactic of asking for the company to cash you out of vacation pay and when they say no, you have no choice but to use it or lose it.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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I use every damn second I have coming. We are only allowed to roll a week from one year to the next and I make it my business to see that I do not roll so much as a day.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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I'm lucky enough to get 26 days off a year (five weeks plus one "floating holiday"), and while I rarely can get out for extended periods of time, I always use it all. Most years I wind up taking Fridays off for the last 3-4 months of the year to burn it all. Ours doesn't roll over at all so it's "use it or lose it" in most cases.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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I'm lucky enough to get 26 days off a year (five weeks plus one "floating holiday"), and while I rarely can get out for extended periods of time, I always use it all. Most years I wind up taking Fridays off for the last 3-4 months of the year to burn it all. Ours doesn't roll over at all so it's "use it or lose it" in most cases.
I'm in the same boat, except we can roll-over one year of vacation, which I've done. The only time we can cash out vacation is when we leave the company, so that's a ways off for me. But someday I should get a few extra paychecks when I say good-bye.

The hard part is trying to use it all at once. I've managed this fairly well over the years, but leaving for more than 3 weeks can be uncomfortable. Especially when you're in the middle of a 2-3 year project and it seems like anytime you leave is a bad time.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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I always used every day I had coming, including this year to pull forward my last day at work when I retired.

I used to carry over the maximum allowed of 5 days as an "emergency fund" which I had to use a couple of times for when parents died in England. Twice I used the 5 days rollover for month long vacations in Australia.

I could never understand the guys at my workplace who would sell back vacation for money. (If you had 20 days or more vacation entitlement you could sell back up to 5 days and you could carry forward up to 5 days).
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Vacation
Old 08-06-2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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Vacation

Never have left any vacation on the table(35years). Would take more if I was able.Never made any sense to not take time off. Al
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:52 AM   #8
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If you decided to create a policy on how not to do just about any personnel matter, it would likely mirror what my former employer's policy required. Elect somebody to city council and suddenly they are experts on everything. Anyway, as a result of stupid policies created by politicians run amok, we got generous vacation time (and other leaves) but often couldn't take off. More dumb decisions, piled on top of compromises, then complicated by the initiation of meet & confer, resulted in me retiring with enough time-off to stay at home and collect a paycheck for 30 months.

I still had time left over - which they converted to a cash balance and will use to payroll deduct pay my health insurance premiums for five years.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #9
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DH works for megacorp & I have him well trained....

He usually takes a week or two w/out pay each year BEYOND the vacation days (4 weeks) he has earned. We take a minimum of 3 vacations a year, and he likes to take "mental health" days off as well....

Think since I am basically self employed, I am a baaad influence on him.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:03 PM   #10
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I can only roll over 1 week a year of vacation so I make sure I am below 40 hours every anniversary. I would love to have one of those gigs where it continuously rolls over and after so many years I would have 1000+ hours vacation. But as for now, use it or lose it. I figure it is part of my compensation package so if I don't use it I am effectively getting paid less
I even have to piecemeal it sometimes, a day here and a day there, b/c it is hard to find a replacement. But it gets used!
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #11
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paid vacation is a benefit in lieu of pay... take it off...take it all off... I do...
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:40 PM   #12
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Not even close

Employer is too small, it just isn't possible to do it. I took 2 days in July which was the first in 18 months. Planning to take 10 days for Hawaii this fall, will probably work through most of it.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:54 PM   #13
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We can get paid out for up to half our vacation. There is no rollover to the next year. I get 3 weeks plus a "personal day" and i've used every hour i've had coming all 10 years. I rarely ever go anywhere but at least i'm not at work and i'm still getting paid. The thing I don't like about their vacation policy is you need to give minimum of 10 days notice. So if you want to take a spur of the moment vacation, you can't.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #14
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Not even close. Employer is too small, it just isn't possible to do it.
+1.

I am sure that working for 'megacorp' has its disadvantages, but in many ways it beats working in small business.

The fact that I am effectively unable to use my nominal vacation entilement (which is on a 'use it or lose it' basis, natch) is a major factor in my incentive to FIRE.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #15
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This thread reminds me just how much corporate America has us wrapped around its little finger. It can promise us several weeks of vacation a year, but then tell us there's never a "good" time to take it, or leave some unspoken hints that in an era of high unemployment and layoffs all over the place, taking your time off may not be a good career move.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:40 PM   #16
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This thread reminds me just how much corporate America has us wrapped around its little finger. It can promise us several weeks of vacation a year, but then tell us there's never a "good" time to take it, or leave some unspoken hints that in an era of high unemployment and layoffs all over the place, taking your time off may not be a good career move.
I've been very lucky in the past, but unfortunately, I think I see this becoming more of a norm.

One strategy that I've used, especially to deal with "it's a bad time to take off," is to let my manager know at least 6 months ahead of time that I want to take 3-4 weeks off. With this amount of notice, they can rarely know if it will be a good time to have you leave for that long, so there's less reason for them to say no. Plus, it gives them plenty of time to figure out how to deal with your absense. I know if I only gave notice 2-3 months notice, it would be harder since then they have a better idea of schedules, etc, and would feel it's too hard to figure out how to handle you not being in the office and therefore, easier to say no.

On that note, my spouse and I are already brainstorming next year's vacation plans. You can never start too early.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:51 PM   #17
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We get combined vacation/sick leave and are able to roll most of it over to the next year (I think there's a 100 day limit). I've built up a number of days as part of my emergency fund, but I do take time off over the year.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:34 PM   #18
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This poll would have been more 'fun' if it was divided into vacation for public versus private sector employees....

But it also probably would have got shut down pretty quick!

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:41 PM   #19
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When I was employed, Megacorp required we take all our vacation except we could roll one week over to the next year. I never took even what I was required to, and when I tried to I would get called/paged almost every day. I "charged" them severely for it, ie. any call when I was on vacation cost them half a day, and if it took more than 2 hours I charged them a whole day. So even though I was "on vacation" I seldom ended up expending any days. They always approved my extra rollover weeks. My last few years I got better at taking multi-week vacations, but I still cashed in almost 7 weeks of it when I FIREd. And that's without any accruing of sick leave.

I'm really lucky I'm still married after all that crap. DW is a saint.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:44 PM   #20
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This poll would have been more 'fun' if it was divided into vacation for public versus private sector employees....

But it also probably would have got shut down pretty quick!
Some benefits are considerably more generous in the public sector, but I'm not sure vacation time is one of them.

For what it's worth, I probably have about as generous a vacation benefit as there is in the U.S. private sector -- 5 weeks after 10 years of service.
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