Between work, family, friends, commitments and “life”, sometimes it seems there’s just not enough time for us all to juggle everything (which explains why we’re always planning the next break, away from it all!)
But if you’ve been feeling over-stretched recently, spare a thought for those who took part in a holiday survey in Ocean City, Maryland recently.
A recent poll in the US city has unveiled some rather alarming statistics. It seems up to 70 per cent of Ocean City residents surveyed have been using their precious vacation days to catch up on missed commitments, rather than taking that much-needed holiday.
American office workers get fewer paid days off for holidays than British workers, which makes the revelations even more shocking.
Those surveyed said they’re using their days off to run errands, carry out home repairs – even attending doctors appointments when they’re actually officially on holiday.
Almost 30 per cent of respondents said that they had taken leave to wait at home for plumbers or electricians, while 16 per cent had even used their days off to fit in gardening or house work.
The survey also showed that a massive 43 per cent of workers have had to roll over vacation days to the following year, while 16 per cent lost their holiday days altogether because they didn’t get a chance to use them.
Ocean City mayor Rick Meehan couldn’t have put it better when he commented: “The American idea of a vacation day is in need of a serious makeover.
“We have discovered the public is using vacation days for activities like doctor appointments or home improvement projects instead of leisure and fun. Now, more than ever, people need to put the vacation back into their vacation days, and we hope they consider visiting our beautiful beach town this spring and summer.”
Ocean City has pledged to help workers use their days off in style and promised to highlight this in its new advertising and social media campaign.
It’s also holding a contest, with prizes including a seven-night stay at the Grand Hotel in Ocean City and a visit from the Ocean City Vacation Day Crew, which will offer home cleaning services, landscaping, yard cleaning and a full car wash with interior detailing.
If you’re finding you’re too busy catching up on “life”, work or commitments, and sacrificing your time off, it might be time to look at how you manage your time.
Find ways of cutting down your hours so there’s more “you time” on your schedule – the word “holiday” comes from “holy day” – so we should be resting, enjoying our time off, not waiting in a doctor’s waiting room (or worse, seeing the dentist!)