It’s old news that Americans get way less vakay than our Euro rellies. But check this: A new EU program would subsidize vacation travel for residents who need a break—including the elderly, 18-25 year olds, and families in difficult situations. Disabled or up in your years? The EU would pay for your guide.
Of course, a few caveats apply: Travel must stay within Europe; the program won’t take full effect until 2013; and those in charge may require you to take your break during shoulder seasons or nudge you toward destinations that that need warm bodies. The EU also hopes to encourage more Euro-unity by sending northerners south, and vice versa.
So maybe there is no free vacation. But at least they’re promoting down time Heck, The EU already requires member nations to provide four weeks off, while some nations opt for more. (France takes six, ooh la la!)
In the US, vacation is not a right—basic, human, or otherwise. Employers need not give you a day off. And of course, the majority of employees don’t use all their vacation days anyway.
Would the USA be a more productive, healthier, happier place to live and work if everyone got to BreakAway now and then? That’s an obvious yes.
So call your congresspeople! Go on strike! But don’t expect change fast, at least not while employees are hugging their desks and assembly lines during this recession—scared about job security, to say nothing of pay and benefits.
Ergo, take care of yourself. Retire now and then. You’ll make more of your life—and probably your income—in the long run.