Could you use a vacation?

Updated June 23, 2021

A year ago, at this time, if you had a vacation planned for 2020 you probably cancelled it or were considering cancelling. If you hadn’t planned one, you were probably wondering if and when you would get to travel again.

With almost half of all U.S. adults fully vaccinated, many people have begun traveling again or are making plans to do so. Some have accumulated robust vacation leave balances because of postponed or canceled travel plans. If you are wondering if it is safe to travel, the answer depends on several variables — how you plan to travel, where you want to go, the rates of infection in your destination, and your behavior once you arrive. Fortunately, the CDC has a travel page dedicated to information that can help you with your decisions.

Whether you take a flight to visit relatives, a road trip to a national monument, or just enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, there are many benefits to stepping away from your busy work routine. Even if you don’t intend to travel this year, taking time away from work can be an important part of managing your overall well-being. 

“Vacation doesn’t need to mean travel, but it does mean not working,” explains Mary Norman, King County Employee Assistance Program counselor. She says vacation is a time to intentionally recharge and set aside the responsibility of work. “That means not checking email,” she emphasizes, “Studies show that a rested and relaxed employee is a better co-worker and public servant no matter what their job description.”

If you’re not fully vaccinated yet or just unsure about heading out to those places where social distancing might be a challenge, a break from your daily work routine should still be on your calendar. The popular ‘staycation’ idea, such as tackling a home project or just enjoying some down time with a good book, can do wonders to rejuvenate and recharge you for when you come back to work.

However you decide to take a break, with the mid-year point approaching, it’s a good idea to make those plans as soon as you can. You can always check your leave balances in PeopleSoft. If you have questions about your vacation time, check with your supervisor or HR Manager.