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How to use vacation days

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23 May 2022 | Wellness

Americans have fewer vacation days than people in other rich countries, but we are still reluctant to use them. The number of unused vacation days in the United States is about 768 million each year, according to a study from 2019, which means that we as a nation waste about 33% of our free time.

There are various major sociopolitical reasons for this, but there is also a simpler justification: If you really only have the opportunity to take a day or two in a row, what can you really do with that time? In other words, why bother? Well, we have some answers to the non-existent question, ranging from some very practical uses of vacation days to some ideas that will revive your flagging spirit, or at least provide some well-deserved, easily accessible fun.

In this article:

A quick primer on how to use these vacation days

The key to taking advantage of one or two vacation days is to plan an activity that you can complete during that time. If you use the day / days for something practical, you do not want to leave your task incomplete – the feeling that results from it is very illegal. This principle applies even if you plan to spend your days having fun. Plan something easily feasible in the time you have available. We have some ideas …

The practical

Financial housekeeping

It’s well worth taking a day to see that everything is correct, updated and paid (or set to be auto-paid) when it comes to bills, credit cards, 401Ks, mortgages, investments … Once you start thinking about this the list will be long. Do you have any credit cards to pay off or cancel? Where are you with student loans? Are you saving enough money? Can you hope for next year’s taxes? Have you ever canceled the subscription service that you no longer use? Even if no one would describe this process as a vacation, it will give you that feeling of relaxation after the holidays. (Need help? Qualified Haven Term customers receive free document storage services online from the professionals at LifeSite through our bonus rider, Haven Life Plus.)

Physical housekeeping

Do your gutters need to be cleaned? Is there a loose door handle in the kitchen? Are there pictures to be hung, works of art to be framed? If you have a day of minor chores around the house, book some time off from work to take care of them while the rest of your family is at work / school. Put on some loud music, order delivery and make a day of it.

Make some plans for the end of life

Sure, watering your plants is nice and all, but sometimes you just have to go ahead and face the reality that you, like the rest of us, are mortal. (These plants have also come to mind.)

With Haven Life and its partners, this is actually something you can handle in less than a day without leaving the house, and we highly recommend it. Haven Life makes it easy to buy life insurance online, and our partners Trust & Will and Lantern make it just as easy to establish a legally binding will (or trust) and to create detailed end-of-life care, funeral arrangements and other related issues, via Haven Life Plus skier. Go ahead, take a nap or pour yourself an adult drink – or both! – afterwards. It will (almost) feel like a real vacation …

Visit the doctor

An annual physical exercise with your doctor and a regular dental cleaning / check-in with your dentist will save time, money and discomfort along the way. But many of us only deal with medical issues when they have become unavoidable. Do not be that person. Take a day to see your doctor and dentist and, while you are doing this, check your eyes: if you do not have glasses or contact lenses, it is worth checking that you still do not need them, and if you have them, now is the time. to see if your recipe is still correct.

The fun

Be a tourist in your city

Have you noticed that when people visit out of town they do fun, interesting things that make you think “I should do it”, but you never do? Well, now it’s time. Go to your city’s museums (you know, the ones you pass when you run errands). Take advantage of the art house’s cinema (or big movie theater with the huge popcorn). Sit in the park. See if your partner can take time off too, and make a date of it. (Especially if the kids are in school.)

Most places have cool things to do that are overlooked by the locals. Use.

Read a book. A whole.

If your reading time is usually limited to commuting and before bedtime, try to spend a whole day reading for fun. Turn off the phone, open a book (something you can finish in a day or two) and surrender to the world on its pages in a way you probably have not done since college.

Not a book man? The same concept applies to listening to records, watching foreign films (or action films), swimming or cycling or often neglected self-care necessities such as getting a haircut.

The bottom line is that it’s easier than you think to take a day off to do something simple for yourself. Do not leave time on the table.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that it can be refreshingly easy to navigate decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that it can be refreshingly easy to navigate decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be used for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal adviser.

Our revelations

Haven Term is a life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and is offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by CM Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and driver form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is ranked by AM Best Company as A ++ (Superior; Top Category of 15). The grade is valid from 1 April 2020 and may change. MassMutual has received various ratings from other credit rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus skier, which is part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The driver is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under Plus Rider, which are provided by third party providers (partners). For more information on Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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