vacation days

June 27, 2014
I just scheduled a few vacation days, and it felt SO WEIRD.  I realize it’s because I’ve NEVER (NEVER!) been able to schedule a day off before.  In residency and fellowship, we were allowed to select weeklong blocks, and we were never guaranteed that our requests would be met. After the first year of my fellowship, all of those precious weeks went to maternity leave anyway, and then that happened again with my job and leave #2.  I’m not really complaining — clearly, with 2 pregnancies 22 months apart I’ve had a lot of time away from work.  But the idea of just taking a day (or even half-day!) on MY terms is totally new and I am rather excited.  I’m taking off one day in October to get my hair done (sadly, that will use up much of the day . . .) plus half of Halloween off.  I also took off on a day that Annabel’s school has parent-teacher conferences scheduled in November.*
I receive a total of 29 days of paid leave per year, which seems pretty good.  This works to about 1 day accured per pay period.  Of course, holidays count (ie, Christmas day counts as one of those 29 days, unless you’re working/on-call).  This also includes sick time, so obviously I need to leave myself with a cushion in case for when $*@# happens, but it’s still pretty thrilling.  Once I’ve banked up a bit, I’d love to do a planned half day each month to spend with Annabel (alternating with Cameron when he gets old enough to care).  And I already know I want to spend my next birthday lying horizontal for hours at a spa somewhere!
* this makes me feel incredibly old
If you work, how do you allocate vacations?  In one big chunk?  A few “kid days” and “me days” scattered about the year?  


  • Reply Laura Vanderkam March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    So one upside — a big upside — of self-employment is that I can take vacation whenever I want for as long as I want. The downside of the sole proprietor life is that there’s no one else to cover for you for ongoing obligations, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So I take lots of half days here and there for things: personal, family, etc. And I will wind up taking somewhere around 7 weeks "off" in the sense of going places during 2014, but none of them are completely off. I wind up working somewhere around 10 hours during a typical vacation week. My maternity "leaves" have looked like this too, and I’m fine with the trade off. The work is flexible so it can fit around other things and I’m also not laboring in a salt mine or anything. The work is fun.

  • Reply MSWR March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    For me it has depended on what’s going on in my personal life. Before I went to grad school and before I had my twins, I used to prefer one big block of time off to travel or do something exciting. Lately I’ve been taking half days for things like appointments and daycare meetings and then using the rest of the half-day to run errands. I’m finding this less satisfying, but I think part of it is that I haven’t been using the half-days off to take a break. One of my co-workers takes single and half days, but she is a widow and a grandmother, so the demands on her personal time are different from mine. Another co-worker prefers to save up all of her vacation days for one big trip every few months to a year (she’s been to Australia and Hawaii in the last year), but she is married without kids. What I’m learning from both of them, even though their circumstances are different, is that being intentional about how I spend my time off, and including restorative me-time like a massage or facial, would be more satisfying.

  • Reply Miss Jennypenny March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I usually do two weeks in the summer and two weeks in the winter (traveling somewhere warm and sunny). I don’t take half days unless I am working from home since my commute is so long it would eat up most of the afternoon anyway. I have never taken a vacation day for myself, with the kids in day care, but I am tempted to try it now that you suggested it… 😊

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve never been in a situation in which I could carry over vacation time to the next year, so I always take it ALL. Pre-kids, it was like yours, weeks at a time kind of scheduled for me. Post-kids, we’ve spent ALL of my vacation visiting family for week long stints. I am hoping this year (new year/fresh start July 1!) I can save some up because I’ve wanted to do the one half-day per month kid time thing for a while, just never had the days to do it.

  • Reply Erin March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I always use ALL of my vacation days and have no problem doing so!! I work in higher ed, so it’s far busier during the school year, and much harder to take days then – so I take most of my days off in the summer for trips to the cabin, or just random days off. I am very lucky to work in an environment that doesn’t track sick days (for me or for my kids) so those don’t count! I often take days just for me too, and LOVE those days. I usually take 2 longer chunks of time off – one in the summer and one over Christmas, but other than that it’s just a day or two at a time.

  • Reply superiorpapers March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Vacation days are too much important for the students. They have to get rest for the good study. If they have gotten good study. Then they have to take rest in front of the educational system.

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