We Need a Vacation: How to Overcome Common Objections

We Need a Vacation: How to Overcome Common Objections

Few people will argue the value of vacations: They help us reduce everyday stressors, recharge our zest for life, and reconnect with friends and loved ones. The mental health benefits of traveling are well-known.

And yet, we’re not taking our time off. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans hasn’t taken a vacation in the last year, and just about 1 in 10 hasn’t done so in the last three years, according to advocacy group Project: Time Off. In its State of American Vacation 2018 survey, the organization found about half of workers have unused vacation time left at the end of the year — they’re basically giving back an average of $561 worth of work time to their employers.

What’s getting in the way of us getting away? A lot of it comes down to work pressures. Money and family factors are involved, too.

Clearly, the question isn’t “why vacation?” but “how can we make it happen?” The answer starts with understanding why common objections exist, overcoming them and taking steps to start planning the vacation you deserve.

Objection 1: “I have too much work.

 

Objection 1: “I have too much work.”

Why the objection exists: Some people are made to feel this way by their colleagues or employers, with 41 percent of workers reporting in 2018 that they felt vacation shamed. Others convince themselves they can’t get away. In either case, it’s a significant hurdle.

Get over it: If you are indeed very busy, you need a vacation just as much as anyone else. Periodic relaxation will help you maintain your heavy workload in the long term by preventing burnout and boosting your productivity when you return.

Take these steps now: Remind yourself that paid time off is part of your compensation, just like health insurance and your salary. Plan ahead to avoid letting this benefit go to waste. The Project: Time Off survey shows that people who plan their vacations are more likely to use all of their earned days — and to use those days to travel. Look at your upcoming calendar for work and home obligations and find an open block to add in some vacation time. It doesn’t have to be exact, but putting it on the books now will remind you not to accept new commitments for that time. 

Objection 2: “Traveling as a family is stressful.”

 

Objection 2: “Traveling as a family is stressful.”

Why the objection exists: From lugging the kids’ gear to dealing with public meltdowns, family travel can be difficult. Alamo’s 2018 Family Vacation Survey indicates that most parents have felt as though they needed additional time off to recover from a family vacation.

Get over it: Vacation is still worth it. According to Project: Time Off, most parents say that seeing children excited about the experience is the top reason to travel.

Take these steps now: Observe your family’s rhythms: Are things calmer in the morning, or does getting up early make everyone cranky? Keep these things in mind when choosing travel times. Give yourself permission to take a day off before your vacation for preparation and a day after for recovery. Talk about vacation ideas with your kids to learn what sparks their imaginations, as their excitement can keep you motivated through any challenges.

Objection 3: “I feel guilty asking co-workers to cover for me.”

 

Objection 3: “I feel guilty asking co-workers to cover for me.”

Why the objection exists: Requesting vacation coverage from colleagues can feel like a big ask. You have a full workload, and you know they do, too. According to Alamo’s survey, just over half of workers say they feel guilty for taking time off work because their co-workers have to assume their job duties.

Get over it: Covering for vacations is a normal part of working with others. To help ease the burden, provide a document with the status of any active projects and give your contacts a heads-up about your absence. The beauty of getting coverage help is that it’s usually a two-way street — you will do the same when your co-workers take their own vacations.

Take these steps now: Start the ball rolling by volunteering to help a co-worker you know is going on vacation. You can cover for that person, and he or she can cover for you when the time comes.

Objection 4: “We don’t have enough money.”

 

Objection 4: “We don’t have enough money.”

Why the objection exists: If you don’t have enough money for a “dream vacation,” you might think you don’t have enough money for any vacation. Overall, 71 percent of respondents to Project: Time Off’s 2018 survey said cost was a challenge.

Get over it: You’ll reap the benefits of a vacation regardless of how much you spend on it.

Take these steps now: First, if you know you’ll have unused vacation days by year-end, check whether your employer allows you to sell them back — your cashed-in days could be the nest egg for a future vacation. Next, use the power of time to start saving. Find just one way you can scale back your spending, and start tracking it. Open a dedicated vacation bank account, and set up an automatic transfer into it. Even a glass jar labeled “vacation fund” to throw all of your loose change into can be motivating. Get your kids involved by creating a bank for each to decorate and store their pennies, dimes and dollars to spend on vacation souvenirs.

If you have a destination in mind, set up alerts on travel-booking sites for drops in flight prices. Finally, put out feelers with family and friends — perhaps you can stay with a friend part of the time or go on vacation with another family to share expenses. Doing so will allow you to catch up with your host or travel partners while cutting costs. At the end of the day, “where” and “when” are just details. What matters most is that you take the time to go.

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About the Author

Kathryn Anne Stewart is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia who uses vacations to mark life milestones. She writes about choosing a healthy lifestyle for organizations such as Cleveland Clinic, St. Joseph Health and Weight Watchers. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram @arewhyen.