Vacations are supposed to relieve anxiety, not cause it. Yet many people are stressing out about vacations — particularly about whether or not to take them.
Whether it’s the cost of traveling or the fear of losing your job once you’re gone, many Americans are deciding to scrap their vacations this year.
When asked how the recession has changed their 2009 vacation plans, 61% of Yahoo! HotJobs site visitors responded that they are not taking a vacation at all. An additional 7% said they are taking less vacation time this year.
The informal online poll, conducted in the second week of May with over 6,000 responses, includes participants who are unemployed.
Last year we saw a similar trend, when 51% of respondents planned to skip vacation.
“Vacations are usually the first thing to go when people feel job or economic pressure,” says Joe Robinson, a trainer in work-life balance and author of “Work to Live.” He continues, “We’re programmed to believe that free time is worthless, a frill to shove aside, but vacations are as important as watching your cholesterol or getting exercise.”
Experts have offered some great tips, including:
- Remind yourself: Vacation is not a luxury.
- Put aside some funds each week. Even $20 or $50 will help finance a small trip.
- Plan leisure activities near home.
Some employers are also forcing workers to take vacation this year, which can save the company money — especially through a forced shutdown, as at the holidays. It can also be good for workers, especially ones who might be hoarding vacation time as a hedge against possible unemployment. (An understandable impulse, to be sure!)
For more on how to safeguard your vacation, see the article “Vacations Take a Hit from Recession.”