Vacation Days: Stockpile or Use them Up?



          There are many factors that play into searching out the perfect job. There are so many things to consider such as job duties as it relates to stress levels, sufficient salary to maintain a certain lifestyle, healthcare affordability, and even long term benefits such as 401k and retirement packages.

     The one we most often neglect to understand the importance of is vacation time and sick time given by the employer. To feel revived, re-energized and truly unwind, a vacation should last at least eight days according to many studies. Of course, one would argue that a smaller vacation is better than none at all. Even our federal government recognizes the need to get away from work time-to-time offering upwards of 26 vacation days to seasoned employees.

Once we have found employment, no matter how long-term or short-term our goals with the company are, the choice to stockpile these vacation days or use them up is there. Let’s glance at how employers look at vacation and the importance of how its employees handle their own vacation time.


The society we live in would encourage us to become workaholics and never actually find time to rest from our fast-paced and demanding lives on the weekends, let alone for eight days.

Research and evidence would prove, however, that taking vacation and time away will not only energize your motivation at work, but also make you more productive while managing the balance of work and home.  

The average American receives 10 days of paid vacation per calendar year. In some countries such as Europe, the government mandates employers to offer at least 20 days vacation or more. Taking time away can actually benefit the company and not just be a factor to entice the prospective new hires.

There are definitely challenges in managing larger corporations and staying on top of the larger amounts of vacation time so that not all employees take time at the same time or need paid out for their unused time at once.

Many require vacation to be submitted quarterly or even a year in advance and have seasons that are blacked out from vacation use to help with vacation scheduling. They put forth all the work into these guidelines to ensure that its members get the time off they need without impacting the business.


Depending on the rules or guidelines of each specific company, the option to stockpile vacation and allow it to accrue may be there.

Some companies will pay you out at the end of the fiscal year for unused vacation time, may force you to lose your time given, or give you the option to roll the days over to the following calendar year. It is crucial to know what options are available to you before deciding.

Balancing a mentally healthy work and home life through vacation is essential in deciding what route to take.


Most companies would look upon its employees as choosing wisely for taking their vacation and more importantly for notifying their employer in advance of the requested time.

Knowing what seasons or time of year is the busiest and being considerate of those needs within the company will also show support of the vision of your employer. Remember that an engaged, motivated person is who they hired and will want so if time away encourages that for you, any wise boss would require time away.


In any choice that is made regarding the use or saving of vacation time, be intentional. Companies offer vacation because they value your work productivity and your mental health. Vacations provide a way of resting and re-energizing a person. Intentionally plan times to save for an extended vacation or use vacation time frequently but always communicate these to the employer.


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