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Travel Tramps

Are You Running a Vacation Days Deficit?

by Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
- Posted // 2012-12-26 - With the year coming to an end, it’s time to take account -- did you use all your vacation days? A study conducted by Expedia found that even though Americans get far fewer paid vacation days -- 12 on average -- than most other industrialized nations, we end up leaving an average of at least two of them on the table every year, taking just 10 in all.

Why the vacation-days deficit? Even though studies show that not taking vacations is bad for your health and that workers are more productive when they’ve had a chance to relax and get rejuvenated, we often feel guilty about using vacation days, or don’t feel like we get the support of co-workers or bosses in taking those days or just feel like we’ve got too much work to do.

That might explain why a study by Adecco Staffing, outlined here, shows that 27 percent of workers claim they are taking a sick day when they are actually using a vacation day, and 26 percent use bereavement days in the same way. Co-workers are sympathetic if you’re sick in bed or attending a funeral, but resentful and jealous if you take a long weekend getaway.

Whatever reasons might be leading you to leave vacation days on the table, just remind yourself -- and your boss and co-workers -- that taking vacation days will lead to you taking fewer sick days,  real or faked,  and make you a more productive worker on the days you are there.

The Travel Tramps write about their treks near and far in City Weekly and host the weekly Travel Brigade Radio Show.

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