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A two-week vacation: Yay or nay?

Do you take a one week summer vacation or a more extended one? I’m considering doing two weeks next year and I have been thinking about how that interacts with work commitments.

For the past few years, we’ve rented a house for one week right on the Delaware Bay. By the time we really get settled in and start to relax, it is just about Wednesday. And we leave on Saturday.  So we’ve been thinking about getting away for two weeks next year.

This year, I probably billed about five hours total over the course of the week-long vacation — pretty good, I think (from the vantage of trying to spend as much time as possible with my family).  I monitored a number of things, but I ignored (or at least held off a substantive response to) a lot of non-urgent e-mails.  Being gone just a week allows you to hold people at bay until you get back. But I know that a two-week hiatus does not.

If we do end up taking two weeks, I assume that I won’t be able to avoid most standing conference calls and I would probably have to do a few half-day stints of working (if not more).

So, which is better? Taking one week and REALLY escaping from work? Or taking two weeks and still being required to have a decent level of connectivity?


  1. I’ve taken two weeks off, and it works fine. I got a couple of calls over the two weeks that someone else couldn’t handle, but that happens regardless of how long I’m away.

    An out of office email and voicemail greeting should eliminate most things.. and I kept up with email on my laptop once every couple of days, not doing anything, just clearing out the stuff that didn’t require any action on my part.

    There’s no reason you can’t go two weeks without a conference call, is there?

  2. You forgot to ask the third question – “Or arranging with my partners and associates to cover for me while I’m out on all but the most important issues, communicating with my clients about my absence and giving them contact information for my colleagues if they need help in my absence, leaving my BlackBerry on the dresser while I head out to the beach, and really enjoying two weeks with my family?”

    If you’re working with good people and communicate with your clients, I don’t see any reason why work should provide a significant barrier to enjoying the time away for which you’ve worked so hard the rest of the year. There’s no “work” in vacation. Unless I’m smack-dab in the middle of a major transaction, I always make it a point to leave work behind, whether I’m away for one week or three weeks.