5 tips for using your vacation time

Jun 11, 2015 | Article

Everyone needs a break now and then, so use these five tips to capitalize on your allowed vacation days.

For one reason or another, many Americans fail to use up their paid vacation time each year. Recent surveys have shown that more than 50 percent of workers still have paid time off remaining at the end of the calendar year! This might have to do with scheduling issues or hesitance to ask for a vacation. However, everyone needs a break now and then, so use these five tips to capitalize on your allowed vacation days.

1. Plan ahead
You'll never use up your vacation days if you don't plan your time off. Sit down at the beginning of the year and figure out when you want to use the bulk of your days. This will allow you to request the time off in advance and reschedule your vacations if there are conflicts.

"Use 60% of your vacation time before July."

2. Use the 60/40 rule
You've probably noticed that if you wait too long into the year to plan time off, you end up with unused days come December. Prevent this by taking 60 percent of your vacation days in the first six months of the year. This way, you will only have 40 percent to use up between July and December.

3. Take a few 3-day weekends
If you don't have the funds for an extensive vacation or are just too swamped to leave the office for an extended length of time, you can always use up your vacation days by taking a few long weekends. Give yourself the last Friday of each month off to use up that paid time without taking a long absence.

4. Don't forget your birthday
Is there anything worse than being late to your own birthday dinner because you got stuck in a meeting? Avoid this problem by using paid vacation time on your birthday - either a whole day or a half day. You can use this strategy on other events, like anniversaries, as well. When you plan time off for special occasions, you'll quickly use up your remaining vacation days.

You've earned your vacation time, so use it!

5. Realize that you've earned it
Sometimes, new workers are hesitant to take time off because they're nervous it will negatively influence how they're perceived in their new office. However, you're legally entitled to vacation time each year, so embrace it! A little rest and relaxation is actually good for your work performance, as it prevents you from getting burnt out.

This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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