RamonaQ, in terms of vacation and job changing, on a couple of occasions I've had a vacation of some kind planned already, and been in the process of job hunting. I've never had a problem with saying to an employer (after I've accepted the offer!), "By the way, I already had this long weekend/week off booked, hope that's not a problem."
Also, a reminder to anyone travelling where there's a luggage/space issue, I was totally serious when I said that we should try to organize a few of us who live close to bring extra sleeping bags/pillows/sheets and blankets. We'll have to coordinate it ahead of time, of course, to make sure that no one goes without, but I should be able to equip a couple of people myself, and I'm sure that some other folks will be willing to help too.