Time to revisit those vacation plans

by Pete Mazzaccaro
Posted 5/28/21

Remember that thing people used to do called vacation? It’s time to get back on the road or in the air.

With Covid-19 rates coming under control and hopes that the U.S. might be able to …

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Time to revisit those vacation plans

Posted

Remember that thing people used to do called vacation? It’s time to get back on the road or in the air.

With Covid-19 rates coming under control and hopes that the U.S. might be able to reach President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of all Americans by July 4, travel plans shelved for the past year or more can be re-visited. And while the news has been shifting constantly for the past three months, Europe looks like most countries are ready to receive American tourists this summer.

With the right amount of caution, those of us who have been vaccinated can make travel plans (if you haven’t already done so). Right now it looks like traveling anywhere in the United States will be a safe bet, particularly as the warm weather gets more people outdoors where transmission is known to be very low. Many states are dropping Covid restrictions, from business capacity limits to mask requirements.

Europe seems likely to admit travelers with proof of vaccination. Much of the continent is hurting as travel and tourism has been restricted. Experts say – and I think it doesn’t take an expert to come up with this solid piece of advice – recommend making accommodations that can be canceled with short notice and/or without penalty. They also sensibly recommend travel insurance so people don’t lose airfares or other travel-related deposits.

What if, however, you’re not so sure traveling is a good idea yet, even with all the evidence that an optimistic outlook is well warranted? The short answer to that question, to note the advice, again, of experts, is that most of us really need it. Surveys are showing that even the most well-to-do office workers are burned out.

In a recent Substack piece, “Galaxy Brian” newsletter writer Charlie Warzel wrote about office worker “exhaustion” citing numerous studies pointing to stress feelings of being overworked and straight-up exhaustion. While working at home was a blessing for many lucky enough to be able to do so, the barriers between work and personal time were eroded even further. Work never ended.

Warzel recommends American companies combat the stress with compelled time off. Taking care of employee well-being is not only good for the employees, Warzel argues, but good for the employer

“[T]he exhaustion so many workers are feeling is not sustainable in the long term — for both workers and employers,” he wrote. “It’s bad for worker retention and engagement, it’s bad for the well-being of workers and it, interestingly enough, isn’t ideal for long-term productivity.”

It may be tough to wrap our heads around traveling for some time. It was our facility with global travel that enabled the Covid pandemic to spread so rapidly. It seems, however, that Covid has become a disease that we can finally manage. Travel and time off may also be the best way for us to deal with the 14 months we’ve all just lived through.

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