Vacation Economics

In America, it is easy to think about the negatives of taking regular vacations. First, not every worker receives paid vacation time from an employer. Unlike most industrialized countries, U.S. employers are not required by law to provide paid vacations; however, many do. Second, workers may think that they will fall behind in their work if they take time off. When thousands of workers lost their jobs during the recession, those left behind saw their workloads increase. Third, many workers think they need a lot of money in order to take a vacation. A recent Career Builder survey, reported that 20% of workers felt they could not afford to take a vacation. However, the price of not taking a vacation may be higher than the price of taking one, in terms of health and well-being.

Vacations Have Economic Benefits

There are many economic benefits to taking an annual vacation. Taking an annual vacation may lower healthcare costs. Studies show that taking time away from work can improve your mental and physical health. Healthier individuals consume less healthcare than the unhealthy. They may also spend less in health insurance premiums and for health care services.

Vacations can also help the economy. Tourism is a revenue generator and job creator for most localities. It provides jobs to high school and college students. In addition, many small businesses are only open during peak tourism or vacation seasons. These small business owners may rely on profits from this short season to sustain them for the rest of the year.

Vacations Do Not Have to Cost a Fortune

Unfortunately, too many people think a vacation is not a vacation if you do not travel hundreds or thousands of miles from your home. Not true.
Staycations involve using vacation time, but staying at or close to home to relax. And they are becoming increasingly popular for obvious reasons. Staycations are less expensive than travel vacations because there are no expensive transportation, lodging and food costs.

Vacations May be Worth the Splurge

Going on a travel vacation can be a life-changing experience, and may be worth spending a few bucks to accomplish. A travel vacation can be a time to explore different cultures, beautiful landscapes, or architecture. To help make a travel vacation a reality, create a vacation fund using savings obtained by reducing unnecessary expenses. The memories from a well-planned and financed travel vacation are priceless.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research coined the phrase
no-vacation nation to describe how U.S. paid leave policies compared (poorly) to other industrialized nations like Germany, France, Australia and the U.K. One of the reasons Americans take few vacations is that they receive, on average, just 10 paid vacation days each year. Of course, another reason is that vacations cost money. However, Americans must learn that vacations are not about where you go and how much you spend. There are many no-cost or low-cost vacation ideas. So, instead of going to France for two weeks, plan a French-themed staycation. But, if you are willing to make a few sacrifices, for goodness sakes vacation in France!
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