Don’t waste your vacation days, use them

Don't waste your vacation days | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

While the amount of time off depends on what country you work in and the company you work for, vacation days are essential for any traveller that still works full time. While it may be the dream for some to be a digital nomad or a full-time traveller, for others, it’s just not possible. Especially, when you love your job, but still want to travel.

In Ontario, we have a mandated two-week vacation. That translates to 10 days in my job. How much of the world can you see in 10 days, you ask? Just enough to keep my travel bug bite satisfyingly itched.

This post is an ode to those weeks, how I use them to my advantage, and why they should never be wasted.

Don't waste your vacation days - Banff | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

Vacation days around the world

I am so lucky to have two weeks of paid vacation mandated by my government, many countries do not and some part-time jobs do not. Two weeks, combined with the weekends, mean there are actually quite a few days that you can use to travel. Depending on your wonderfulness of your boss, you may even get a couple of unpaid days off to round out your holidays.

Don't waste your vacation days - Santorini | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

The European Union and the United Kingdom lead the pack with 28 days of mandated paid vacation days. However, Iran has 26 days of vacation and another 26 days of paid public holidays.

Eight countries, including the United States, have no statutory vacation days!

Using your allotted days

If you want to see as many places as you can, you have to actually use your vacation days. I can’t believe how many people don’t! Studies show that about a third of US citizens do not take their holidays. 

Not only is taking a break good for your health, but travelling is said to increase your health! It can reduce heart disease.

It can also help you live longer and increase your brain’s health.

Why wouldn’t you want to take a vacation?

Along with your allotted days, most full-time workers also have weekends. That’s another 104 more days off in a year to travel a little closer to home.

Don't waste your vacation days - Alberta | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

Why I love having my two weeks

While two weeks may seem like a blink of an eye for some people, you can use those days to see many different destinations.

In 2016, I haven’t yet used my holidays. (I will be in September, November and December) But I have already gone to three provincial parks, went on many day trips and took a plane to Quebec City.

To keep itching my travel bug bite, I make sure I go on as many day trips as I can on the weekend. Going on a trip to a park, a festival, or even a local event will help me unwind from a stressful week.

My other plan is to split up some trips. Rather than going to one place for a whole week, I’ve taken seven days, plus two weekends for a total of eleven days for my future trip to the Galapagos. The remaining three days, paired with a weekend is set aside for an upcoming Vermont road trip. Add in some long-weekend camping trips to provincial and national parks and I am one happy traveller.

This may not satisfy everyone for their thirst to see the world, but for now, it makes me happy, productive and excited to plan out next year’s two weeks!

Don't waste your vacation days - Toronto | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

How many vacation days do you get? What do you use them for? Share a photo of your last vacation with me here. 

PS: Thank you to my friends, especially Kimber, Elizabeth and Melissa, as well as friendly strangers for taking my picture in such wonderful places!

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About Author

Olivia Rutt is the travel writer and photographer behind My Wandering Voyage, a travel website helping working millennials find time to travel. She shares insight in trip planning, travel inspiration and photography tips. Olivia hails from southern Ontario, Canada where she works in the media industry between travels. Follow Olivia on Instagram where she shares her travel photos, or catch up with her on Facebook or Twitter.