Sum­mer­time Blues

'I'm gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine va­ca­tion,' Or maybe not

Business Traveler (USA) - - TALKING POINT - — Dan Booth Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor

Travel has been much in the head­lines lately, and not al­ways in a good way. All the talk of travel bans, visa re­stric­tions and dis­turb­ing ru­mors about se­cu­rity have fu­eled a gen­eral sense of un­easi­ness about where we’re go­ing and what’s go­ing to hap­pen when we get there. Be­fore, some of us would not have given a sec­ond thought to head­ing out to parts un­known; now many are giv­ing it a sec­ond thought, and a third and a fourth.

The ar­gu­ment could be made that there’s some good to come from this. We should all of us give more con­sid­er­a­tion to our well-be­ing while we’re on the road, whether that road takes us across town or around the world. Care­free and cava­lier can quickly de­scend turn into care­less and com­pro­mised. So it pays to do a lit­tle home­work on your des­ti­na­tion and use some com­mon­sense pre­cau­tions – get­ting travel in­sur­ance, hav­ing the right doc­u­men­ta­tion and stay­ing in touch with home base, for ex­am­ple.

On the other hand, it’s a shame that so many peo­ple no longer feel they can just take off and go. After all, part of the joy of travel is the feel­ing of spon­tane­ity, the ad­ven­ture of dis­cov­ery. Hard to feel that way when you’re get­ting pat­ted down in some never end­ing se­cu­rity line some­where.

Of course each of us car­ries our own per­sonal trep­i­da­tion about travel. For me, the ap­pre­hen­sion be­gins as sum­mer va­ca­tion ap­proaches; I must con­fess that I’ve never been very good at tak­ing time off. Per­haps it’s a hy­per in­flated sense of my own in­dis­pens­abil­ity, or maybe it’s the nag­ging sus­pi­cion that in my ab­sence, peo­ple will dis­cover ex­actly how dis­pens­able I re­ally am. What­ever the mo­tives, this is the time of year when I be­gin to ask my­self – in the words of one ho­tel chain’s snappy tele­vi­sion ads – “should I stay or should I go?”

Ap­par­ently I’m not the only one thus af­flicted. Ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey from Alamo Rent A Car, nearly half (49 per­cent) of the work­ers in the US say they are‘ va­ca­tion shamed’– made to feel guilty by co-work­ers for tak­ing a va­ca­tion. That’s up two points from same sur­vey just last year. Even more sur­pris­ing, over two-thirds (68 per­cent) of Mil­len­ni­als – that per­pet­u­ally self-as­sured co­hort whom Time once dubbed the “me me me gen­er­a­tion”– re­ported they’re made to feel guilty for tak­ing a va­ca­tion. Of course all that cas­ti­ga­tion from our fel­low em­ploy­ees of­ten means we sim­ply don’t take va­ca­tion. The Alamo re­search shows that fewer than half of all work­ers – only 47 per­cent – use all their paid va­ca­tion days, and only 18 per­cent use all of their va­ca­tion days to ac­tu­ally go on a va­ca­tion. Most of us take a day off here and there to run er­rands or tin­ker around the house. Ev­ery spring, sto­ries cross my desk de­tail­ing re­search about the amount of va­ca­tion time Amer­i­can work­ers leave on the ta­ble each year, and the im­pact of‘ work­place mar­tyr­dom’ on em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies. “When em­ploy­ees don’t use their PTO,” one press re­lease read,“re­search shows it af­fects their hap­pi­ness, health, and per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity at work, all of which can un­der­mine com­pany suc­cess.” So here’s a thought: Go. Take the va­ca­tion. Travel. See the world. Or get to know a lit­tle more about your own country, its his­tory and cul­ture. And don’t let any­body in the of­fice con­vince you you shouldn’t. Just ig­nore them… and go. After all, it’s pos­si­ble that the worst travel ban is the one we im­pose on our­selves. BT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.