A newly released study has shown that even though the vast majority of Americans think that they have the work/life balance dilemma in the bag, most of the nation’s workers need to take that vacation time they’ve been storing up. The Work Martyr’s Affair: How America’s Lost Week Quietly Threatens Our Relationships was undertaken by GfK Public Affairs and points out that even though we know what less vacation time will do to our family lives, 40% of us still leave paid vacation time owing every year. Startlingly, the study shows that in the last 15 years we’ve seen a radical drop in time off taken - down to just 16 days, a reduction of a whole week since the year 2000. Consequently, it’s now all too common for people to miss out on important life milestones due to work commitments. Even funerals aren’t above the trend, with 10% of respondents saying that they’d missed out on honouring a loved one’s life because of work.
Naturally this is impacting negatively on our relationships. One expert who was consulted for the study, Michael Gurian, marriage counsellor and New York Times bestselling author said that even though the effects of skipping quality time don’t show up straight away, the end result is long lasting and most definitely detrimental. The situation looks dire, but the study does provide one strong ray of hope - there is a simple solution.
According to The Work Martyr’s Affair, all we have to do to forestall this impending family crisis is use that vacation time we’ve earned. The author of the report, Katie Denis, said in her final statement, "Our relationships shouldn't be casualties of our work martyr complex. This report should serve as a warning that our loved ones deserve our time. The solution is straightforward; it's using the time off we already earn to prioritize our relationships and reclaim America's Lost Week."
But how to take the first step and actually plan that family vacation you’ve been putting off? We can help. Below are our top choices for family holiday destinations - take the plunge, apply for time off and start plotting your family adventure!
Yellowstone National Park isn’t an international icon for nothing - visitors are treated to rugged, commanding landscapes, awe-inspiring megafauna (bears, elk, wolves…) that are rarely seen in the contiguous United States and world-class facilities for campers and RV travellers. That’s not to mention the bizarrely beautiful geothermal areas which enthrall kids and adults alike. Experience the majesty of Yellowstone from the comfort of a motorhome when you pick up a Salt Lake City RV rental and head south for the trip of a lifetime.
It’s easy to think of California as essentially one big Los Angeles - bright lights, arid hills, boardwalks and movie stars. But that’s selling the state well short of its potential. To discover the best that northern California has to offer, you have to try a trip down the coastline. Start in San Francisco and head down to Big Sur - the contrast of the Santa Lucia mountains jutting up out of the expansive Pacific Ocean is an unforgettable sight, and the towns along the way provide charming interludes for the road-weary. If you fancy heading slightly further inland as either a starting point or finishing point for an RV roadtrip, consider renting an RV from Las Vegas.
Nestled high in alpine territory, Denver has a fresh, invigorating vibe to it that makes the city and its surroundings the perfect to refresh and recharge. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to activities for the kids, from museums designed with young ones in mind to a constant stream of exciting events that they can get involved with. If you’re willing to venture a little outside of the city, Rocky Mountain National Park awaits. This is one of the most lauded parks in the world, offering unparalleled vistas and ideal territory for hiking and camping adventures.
Do you know of somewhere else that is a perfect holiday destination for the whole family? Let us know in the comments below!