The holiday rush is over and Spring Break is looming on the horizon. In three short months you want to be lying on a beach listening to the gentle waves lap upon the sand and the breeze sighing through the palm fronds while you sip something icy and sweet. Should you go on that vacation or forgo the trip this year?
Vacations are an essential part of overall well-being-they are critical to job productivity. Only 14% of U.S. employees take a vacation of at least two weeks, according to a 2004 study from the Families and Work Institute in New York. You may think that taking a vacation during times of economic uncertainty is frivolous but studies show that your continued health and mental acuity may depend upon getting away from the workplace.
Economic times notwithstanding you owe it to yourself to take a break. In fact, your employer will agree that your actually utilizing your vacation days instead of rolling them over until you've accumulated 6 years of time off will make you a better employee. Job security is a fallacy; workers need to take care of themselves to better withstand the continued spate of layoffs and terminations.
Every year prominent travel experts publish lists of top destinations for the coming year. Those travelers just entering into the vacation planning stage will be interested in the selections for 2010. Lonely Planet has issued its Top 10 countries for 2010 which include El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal and Suriname.
Frommer's Top 10 Picks include: Tunisia, Copenhagen (Denmark), Hanoi (Vietnam), Santiago de Cuba (Cuba), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Big Island Hawaii (US), Salta Province, (Argentina), Isles of Scilly, (England), Mexico city (Mexico), Melbourne (Australia), Florida Panhandle Beaches (US), Kerala (India).
And Budget Travel has selected the Top 10 budget-friendly destinations for 2010:
Las Vegas, NV
Glacier National Park, MT
Baja California, Mexico
Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Enlist the aid of a good travel agent to compare and contrast your options-you don't have to choose from the lists; in fact you don't have to refer to lists at all. The important thing is to schedule time away from what you do for a living. Is a quick getaway appealing? Want some action and nightlife? Las Vegas is a classic pick for a long weekend. Want to hang out on the beach with the family? An all-inclusive resort in Mexico is a perfect choice and wallet-friendly. Hawaii is calling-low visitor rates in 2007 and 2008 have hotels and resorts nearly begging for business.
The point is, you deserve a break so take one. It doesn't matter where you go as long as you can disconnect from your job, the stress of your daily routine. You'll come home refreshed, rejuvenated and re-energized. Your boss will love you for it.