Author Topic: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year  (Read 2231 times)

MrsPB

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Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« on: August 24, 2017, 04:44:21 PM »
I know this isn't specifically related to finance but I know there are many on here who optimize other areas of their lives too. I have 3 weeks paid vacation a year. I'm curious how others with similar allowances use theirs to optimize work/life balance, health, travel, out of town guests  etc.
Do you take it in 1 week chunks every few months? Or take long  weekends regularly through the year? Or maybe you travel and take it all at once annually?
I know everyone will have different takes on this and some may not have a lot of choice in when they take vacation days, curious to hear the input!
To clarify, when I say 'take vacation' I mean taking vacation days from work for any purpose, not necessarily travelling.

Kwill

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 04:55:07 PM »
Are you limited to taking full days, or can you split up your time? Sometimes I take off an afternoon, which means I can leave at the beginning of my lunch. That can be nice on a Friday. Or sometimes taking off a little time around lunch or at the very end of the day can make it easier to do things.

Another thing I've done was to take off a few days when I was on a business trip overseas. I covered all my own expenses on the personal days, but I didn't have to cover the international flights.

I am lucky enough to have a lot of vacation days, but it still makes sense to use them well.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 06:49:20 PM »
I get 17 days a year and I have to use it all with no carryover from year to year.  Employees are allowed to take any number of hours, albeit with the necessity to use it or lose it, most people are out of office during the last two weeks of the year.  Our vacation strategies vary, however I found out a quirk in the new HR software at work.   If you take 8 hours of vacation, 8 hours will be deducted from your balance.  But if you take an entire day off, only 7.5 hours gets deducted.  That translates to additional day off beyond the allotted 17 - so now I optimize to take only whole days.  It's a small bit of consolation for the worker bees.

Aminul

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 08:06:49 AM »
I find that I get a lot of enjoyment from taking shorter trips, so my vacation strategy takes that into account.  I'll pad out a long weekend with one or two days which gives me enough time to get away, but manages to preserve those precious vacation days.  I still try to take a full week once or twice a year, but those mini-vacations help stretch the remainder of the days off.

Samuel

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 09:02:28 AM »
About all I can really optimize is to incorporate holidays. I'm not huge into Thanksgiving (I see all the same people at Christmas, after all) so I like to take a vacation then and only have to burn 3 vacation days to have 9 days off.

I generally do one 10 or 11 day holiday (so 6 or 8 vacation days) a year and use the rest for 3 and 4 day weekends. Or an occasional random mid week day to go hiking or kayaking without the crowds. Those days probably have the highest return, mental health wise, when spending vacation time.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 09:17:50 AM »
I only take a vacation day if I'm "doing something real" -- I have coworkers who will take a week off just to hang out at home. Sorry, but that's not my style. I typically take at least 2 week-long vacations per year to someplace cool. This year it was scuba diving in Belize and we're about to head to Iceland in September. We also do a few 3-4 day weekends for skiing in the winter and camping in the summer.

cj25

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 09:23:27 AM »
I get 3 weeks as well.  I always take 1 full week off.  Usually in the summer when my niece and nephew visit and we do something fun.  I just like at least one long block. This year I took the last week of June off and since we had corporate holidays on July 3 & 4, I had 11 days off. 

I usually pad long weekends and leave a few days for random things that pop up. I'll usually split a day to give me two half days, which I usually use to get a jump start on traffic for a weekend.

I'm taking the days off between Christmas and New Year this year, so the 4 days I have to use will give me 10.5 straight days off. 

Whatever gets me the most time away!

boarder42

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Re: Optimizers-best use of vacation time over the year
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 09:40:13 AM »
my wife and i do both we save up for 1 or 2 large trips every year and then do lots of long weekends throughout the year.  i dont think you can "optimize" PTO.  PTO is the main driver for me for FIRE i travel hack so much i need more PTO and a loose schedule to take advantage of deals like fly to milan roundtrip for 800 bucks for 2.