How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

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jastevenson
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How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by jastevenson » Wed May 27, 2020 12:08 am

Basically, I need to take one week of vacation per month for the next six months (If I don’t use it by December, I will lose it).

I can also do a single 2 week vacation and four 1 week vacations.

Travelers are two adults and a six year old.

We do not own an RV (wish we did!)

Starting location is Sacramento, CA, and we’re trying to avoid flying.

Any thoughts? Too much vacation is a good problem to have, but I wish I had this “problem” pre-Covid!

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HomerJ
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by HomerJ » Wed May 27, 2020 12:15 am

Why do you have to go anywhere?

Just relax at home without having to check email and dial into work for a week.
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3504PIR
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by 3504PIR » Wed May 27, 2020 12:30 am

Your title indicates that you are having a difficult time taking your vacation time.

Your last two sentences/paragraphs indicate you want to go somewhere.

Going somewhere really isn’t an option.

Mudpuppy
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed May 27, 2020 1:39 am

Plan a "staycation", with a focus on family bonding and fun activities for your six year old. My exact suggestions for such a staycation would depend on if you have a yard or not. But keep in mind that it doesn't have to be fancy to be memorable for your child.

You could also use a staycation to tackle personal projects you've been putting off due to lack of time. If it's a project you can involve your spouse and child with, all the better. But a staycation doesn't have to be 100% family time.

Long and short of it is that a vacation doesn't mean you have to spend money to go somewhere. There are plenty of things you can do at home for a staycation.

mortfree
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by mortfree » Wed May 27, 2020 3:44 am

Take off every Friday.

Some weeks take off Friday and Monday to help use up the days.

Use vacation days on weeks where there is a holiday such as Fourth of July, thanksgiving and Christmas.

May need to face the facts that there will be limited travel opportunities.

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celia
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by celia » Wed May 27, 2020 5:13 am

Go camping in your backyard. Sleep in a tent while growing vegetables you like to eat.

Build a treehouse (or at least a birdhouse or house for a pet).
Last edited by celia on Wed May 27, 2020 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Wed May 27, 2020 5:21 am

Build yourself a sailboat for later vacations.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071823050/re ... ZEb8322608
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by dboeger1 » Wed May 27, 2020 5:27 am

I don't really know if this is in line with your expectations for vacation, but I'll just throw it out there because I'm in a similar situation and have been thinking about it. Personally, I have several side projects that I've wanted to pursue and attempt to turn into a business, but I've never been very good at working on them outside of my day job because it mostly wears me out already. I was unemployed for an extended period of time a couple of years back during which I worked on them, but failed miserably because it really didn't fit with my family's lifestyle at the time. However, I learned some things I really enjoyed and have missed since, and I think developing them further could potentially provide some security in the event that my primary job security gets threatened. I had several trips planned which I had to cancel due to the pandemic, and I just don't see myself wasting time or money trying to have a half-butt vacation. But there would be no negative impact on my ability to pursue those side projects, so it feels like a logical thing to prioritize.

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Rainier
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Rainier » Wed May 27, 2020 5:49 am

I"m having the same issue and live in a much more boring area.

There are plenty of places you can drive. If I lived in Sacramento I would be renting a house in the mountains and staying there for the duration....but I like the mountains. You can easily drive to the mountains, desert or coast.

There is no chance that I will be:

-camping in the backyard
-sitting around my house for multiple weeks doing nothing
-building anything
-staycationing

Mr. Rumples
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed May 27, 2020 5:51 am

At one time, I had so much leave I had to use or loose, I started taking every Wednesday afternoon off. I also started to schedule appointments so that I would have to miss a half-day from work.

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lthenderson
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by lthenderson » Wed May 27, 2020 6:13 am

I would start by taking days off at the beginning or end of the week. I prefer to take Monday's off over Fridays because less people do. At least in our area, many restaurants, museums, attractions and such aren't fully open or not at all. Sometimes we do staycations at nearby hotels or resorts with waterparks or attractions for the kids. It can be in the same town or a nearby town a short drive away. Just getting out of our home is the vacation and relaxing part of it. Whether the place we are staying is 2 miles or 2000 miles away really doesn't matter much except for the time to get there.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by anonsdca » Wed May 27, 2020 6:15 am

jastevenson wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:08 am
Basically, I need to take one week of vacation per month for the next six months (If I don’t use it by December, I will lose it).

I can also do a single 2 week vacation and four 1 week vacations.

Travelers are two adults and a six year old.

We do not own an RV (wish we did!)

Starting location is Sacramento, CA, and we’re trying to avoid flying.

Any thoughts? Too much vacation is a good problem to have, but I wish I had this “problem” pre-Covid!
I understand you are from CA so I understand your mindset. Just stay off the West and East Coast and you can do anything, go anywhere you want. You can enjoy your vacation as if you didnt know what Covid-19 was. You just dont know that because of where you live. Enjoy, get off those coasts.

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climber2020
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by climber2020 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:17 am

You're surrounded by national forests and several national parks. How about renting a cabin for a week?

Yosemite will be crowded, but Death Valley is a great place to visit that's easy to experience without being around a ton of people. Especially if you go in the shoulder season when it's still too hot for most people.

runner3081
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by runner3081 » Wed May 27, 2020 7:50 am

There are plenty of options around there were you can drive. Check out Airbnb and see what is within a couple hours drive.

Also, could drive up the 101 into Oregon.

unknownfuture
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by unknownfuture » Wed May 27, 2020 7:52 am

Rent an RV! Yes, you can still rent them in CA. And RV parks are reopening on June 1st.

stan1
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by stan1 » Wed May 27, 2020 8:24 am

Do an Airbnb in the Sierras such as Incline Village or off Sonora Pass for a week. Or Monterey or Mendocino or Encinitas or Coronado along the coast. Going to grocery store and picking up takeout food there is same risk as going to grocery store and takeout food at home but you get fresh mountain or ocean air.

Do a deep clean with your own supplies when you arrive at the rental house if you want.

Take reasonable precautions. Don't spend a lot of time with strangers who cough, sneeze, and talk a lot and stay 10+ feet away. Keep moving when you are on the beach or trail and don't follow the same people for an hour. Avoid airplanes and public transit.

Take games and movies plus whatever else your family enjoys. Plan your favorite meals. Read up on local trails and parks. You don't have to go to tourist sites like zoos and museums to have fun but maybe in a few months you'll be comfortable doing so.

Try to get favorable cancellation terms on the rental. I would not prepay to save a few bucks. Watch the rates of infection where you are going and if there is a major outbreak cancel your trip.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 27, 2020 10:08 am

Like others have said, taking vacation weeks doesn't require you go anywhere. I get 3 weeks a year and on January 1st, all previous, unused vacation vanishes. No payout, no comp time, it's gone. I use it for a day here, a day there. If I have a doctor's appointment, vacation day. Want to extend a 3 day weekend, vacation day. I don't think I've taken an entire week in years. The wife and I drove out to Niagara Falls last summer. We did a weekend and 3 vacation days. With 6 weeks, I'd be taking every Friday off for the rest of the year.
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Clever_Username » Wed May 27, 2020 10:18 am

If you want to get away, my favorite vacation spot in California is Palm Desert. It's very inexpensive this time of year and has great weather, great golf (also inexpensive this time of year), and lots of great places to go. I went out there a little over a week ago and will go again in a few weeks; it's fantastic. It's about an 8 hour drive from Sacramento.
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by quantAndHold » Wed May 27, 2020 10:19 am

I assume if you’ve accrued 6 weeks of vacation, then you’re not in the habit of taking vacations normally. This might not be the time to start. Just take every Friday and Monday off until you’ve used the time.

If you really want to get away, though, find someplace nice within a half day’s drive of home (from Sacramento, there are a lot of options) and rent an AirBNB for a month. You’ll make an AirBNB owner very happy, and not go afoul of any short term vacation rental restrictions.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by MrDrinkingWater » Wed May 27, 2020 11:40 am

No one has said this, so I will. Be sure to coordinate taking your accrued vacation with your supervisor or manager. He or she may not be paying attention to what your personal situation is (in regard to using up your vacation and not losing your vacation.) A lot of managers can figure out how to have someone else cover the important work you do for a one-week or two-week stretch at a time. The manager may not want you to take more than two-weeks off at a time. If you work for a great manager at Megacorp, he or she will want to help you execute your entire vacation burn-off plan. If you are taking a lot of vacation, that might look like about a 1/4 EP of headcount that isn't on the department's budget through the calendar year-end. Your vacation time off could very well be help your manager avoid laying off someone on October 31.

I was fortunate to be able to take an entire month of vacation off in both 1997 and 1999 because I had great colleagues and a good manager. You might be able to take a big hunk of vacation time off like that. It might feel like a very refreshing sabbatical. It would probably be more refreshing than taking Fridays and Mondays off for the rest of the year.

Lastly, check the details and exceptions allowed in your company's vacation accrual policy. At some better companies, the language in the policy will list little known exceptions, like if an employee has been requested to support critical operations instead of taking a planned or scheduled vacation, the vacation is not lost at calendar year-end, but must be used by the end of the next quarter. If you know that your group is having a new product roll-out in November, ask to take vacation in November, and allow your manager to disapprove it (citing that you are supporting critical operations), and the countdown timer on your unused vacation should move out to the end of 1st Qtr 2021.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by BioEng » Wed May 27, 2020 11:58 am

Rent a more secluded cabin in Lake Tahoe - maybe North Shore. Plenty of walks/hiking, small beaches, and small businesses that could use some jump starting soon.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by bogledogle » Wed May 27, 2020 12:01 pm

The best use of vacation is to make your work week 4 days long. I suggest taking Monday's off instead of Fridays if you work in an office setting since most people mentally check out on Fridays anyway. I did this for two weeks and I feel great!

I work in a job where I need to do catch-up work myself when I get back to the office. No one is going to pickup my work while I am away, but it still helps me prioritize and work more productively when I only work 4 days. This is how I plan to take my "use it or lose it" days.

If you really need a vacation, you need to find an isolated spot on a beach or in the country where you can airbnb or VRBO a place for 2 weeks. You will need to clean surfaces, wash linens ...etc when you get there (hopefully by road). Maintain social distancing and cook for yourself, and you should be ok - I don't know if that's the sort of vacation you would like.

ponyboy
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by ponyboy » Wed May 27, 2020 12:13 pm

Amazes me that people have a difficult time burning up vacation. A lot of my coworkers at the same way. They have to use time because they are maxed on days they can accumulate. I dont get it.

rich126
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by rich126 » Wed May 27, 2020 12:35 pm

Doesn't answer your question but I think a number of workers who haven't been forced to use vacation, are building up a bunch of vacation time since there isn't anywhere to go safely. I see mentions of road trips but that still entails use of some or all of the following: restaurants, public restrooms, hotels.

I think many are hoping things improve enough to do some trips. I'd like to head back east to visit family but the risk to myself and especially to older relatives is too high (in case I end up carrying the virus to them). I'm not too keen on spending a bunch of time at airports and hotels right now. Maybe in 3-6 months.

For now I'm keeping the vacation in case I get sick, or have to return to the office and people aren't following policy (requires mask wearing). I do feel like I need a break but since I'm working from home for a few weeks, if I take off a week and still stay home, it isn't a big break.

I think some companies are trying to encourage employees to take some time off because they see the accumulating time adding up.

At least it is a pleasant problem to have.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by vineviz » Wed May 27, 2020 12:45 pm

jastevenson wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:08 am
We do not own an RV (wish we did!)
If you owned an RV you'd probably wish that you didn't.

That said, renting an RV is totally a thing that is possible. In our area the cost would be approximately $300 to $350/night (including mileage).
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by BogleMelon » Wed May 27, 2020 12:53 pm

Have you considered asking HR (or perhaps your manager) to roll them over to the next period as an exception? In my company, I asked and they agreed to go off the book.
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by mmmodem » Wed May 27, 2020 1:20 pm

The fat lady has not sung yet. I'd wait until the very last minute in Dec to take all my vacation. Just in case you still get laid off and they pay out your vacation. So if the best you can do is 2,1,1,1,1, don't start until August. That should give you 2 months to gauge how well the country is opening up.

I only get 3 weeks that expire Dec. So, we're going on a 3 week vacation on the second week of Dec. to visit the family. If we're still early in phases of reopening then we'll be having a lot of family bonding time.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by LittleMaggieMae » Wed May 27, 2020 1:46 pm

If you can't find something amusing to do at home - how are you going to find something amusing to do in a cabin in the woods? Do people really live in places with absolutely no touristy things to do, near by? OK. Maybe they've done all the local touristy things.

When I've needed to burn vacation (and being gone from the office for a full week is to stressful - as in returning to the office to 5 days of backlogged work to be done in addition to the current days work....) I've just scheduled a day or two off each week for months on end. :) I varied the day off - so I could match 'time off' with friends or relatives schedules.

I've needed to burn vacation during my WFH weeks - and I accomplished a bunch of "house projects" - had time to leisurely talk (on the phone) with relatives in other states (versus trying to talk on weekends or evenings with time zones making it difficult), improved my cooking skills, and actually caught up on sleep. It's been nice.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Eagle33 » Wed May 27, 2020 9:15 pm

Volunteer at a couple of your favorite charities.
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Katietsu » Wed May 27, 2020 10:34 pm

I have used the mental savings of a staycation to splurge on things that I would otherwise be uncomfortable spending money on. I can have a lot of local experiences for the cost of transportation and lodging. Maybe this is an expensive dinner or two or three or a great bottle of wine, be it at a restaurant or at home. Maybe it is an upgraded set of patio furniture and landscaping so that your own deck is more pleasant than the hotel balcony. Does your daughter have a great play set at your home or is that something you could schedule for one of the weeks? Does your daughter get to do a lot of crafts, play board games or bake goodies with you normally or would these things be special? Last time that I was at Disney with a 6 year old, after about an hour in the park, they just wanted to know when it was time to get back to the hotel pool.😀

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed May 27, 2020 11:03 pm

3504PIR wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:30 am
Your title indicates that you are having a difficult time taking your vacation time.

Your last two sentences/paragraphs indicate you want to go somewhere.

Going somewhere really isn’t an option.
I know a lot of people have very definite opinions about this, but it isn't true.

What is true is that you are unlikely to be able to do all the things you will want to do once you get there. If the current trend continues, that situation should gradually improve through the year, but it's hard to say how much, or to rule out the possibility of a reversal. It might be tempting to book a ski vacation for the end of the year, for example, but there's no guarantee the slopes will be open.

Most notably, several states have instituted 14 day isolation requirements for anyone arriving from out-of-state, or from certain states with high infection rates.

My current priority for my spare time is catching up on projects I've put off. I also think the volunteering suggestion is a very worthwhile consideration for some of the time we're talking about.
ponyboy wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:13 pm
Amazes me that people have a difficult time burning up vacation. A lot of my coworkers at the same way. They have to use time because they are maxed on days they can accumulate. I dont get it.
One of my coworkers pointed out he always used up all of his vacation time, and seldom touched his sick time, until he had kids. Now he is constantly at the max vacation accrual, but out of sick of time.
MrDrinkingWater wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 11:40 am
No one has said this, so I will. Be sure to coordinate taking your accrued vacation with your supervisor or manager. He or she may not be paying attention to what your personal situation is (in regard to using up your vacation and not losing your vacation.)
True. A related point is to make sure vacation expectations are understood in general in this office.

My sister works for one of the prominent companies in her field that really competitive people work hard to get into. Impressive vacation benefits are an illusory benefit there. Sure, the 3-4 weeks a new hire gets, or the 6-8 weeks a senior gets will be paid if taken, but the lost productivity will destroy your job performance compared to your peers, so you can guess how that would actually turn out in the long run. There are also specific busy times throughout the year where nobody schedules vacations, which would not go over well when everyone else is working 60+ hour weeks.

As I understand it, she regularly loses 3-4 weeks of vacation at the end of year (although she still takes more than I even accrue, in a completely different field).

I don't think many companies are like this, but just make sure you don't find out by accident if your employer is one.

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JoMoney
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by JoMoney » Wed May 27, 2020 11:21 pm

*shrug* if you can't come up with something you really want to do, can you just cash it out?
Unless it falls under some unusual situation, or those 6 weeks put you over a cap, 'use or lose' vacation policies shouldn't be legal in California
https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Vacation.htm
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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu May 28, 2020 8:17 am

Ask HR if they will allow some time to roll to the next year due to COVID shutting down essential all travel/attractions.

My company is letting us role a week, which has never happened.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by jello_nailer » Thu May 28, 2020 8:25 am

I have the same problem but my deadline is September 30th.
I suppose I could scrub the mortar between my bricks with a toothbrush, or make little rocks out of big rocks.

To make things worse - our currently policy is if you have flown on commercial airplane you have to self quarantine for 14 days upon return.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu May 28, 2020 10:05 am

jello_nailer wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:25 am
I have the same problem but my deadline is September 30th.
I suppose I could scrub the mortar between my bricks with a toothbrush, or make little rocks out of big rocks.

To make things worse - our currently policy is if you have flown on commercial airplane you have to self quarantine for 14 days upon return.
You really have *zero* hobbies or interests outside of work that could be done in your hometown? No hiking or books? No performance art or jello mold sculptures? Nothing?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by jello_nailer » Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am

Fair question which leads to my interesting situation though I think others are in the same boat. You can only nail so much jello to so many trees...

Too much of a good thing... isn't quite optimal. My old life included about 250K air miles a year and when I was in town/home my office commute is 90 mins each way. This recent pandemic schedule has enormously changed my free time, just like everyone else. To fill my time I have expanded my in-town hobbies and local engagement to multiple hours per day. Since last Friday I spent 18 hours at my hobby garage, took yesterday evening off to go to dinner with my wife. There is never ending work there - currently rebuilding one engine, still need to pull one from my race car, putting new seats in my wife's car, there is no end to it.

My challenge now is my local home city hobby is so saturated because I have so much time to fill that it is becoming work! It's almost become the thing where I need a hobby to get away from my hobby! Or find a way to do my out of town hobbies.

In reality it's given me a reasonable snapshot of what life may be like when retired. Interesting dry run.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by mancich » Thu May 28, 2020 11:55 am

A lot of good suggestions so far. Whatever you decide, make sure you take every day coming to you. Don't be one of those people who thinks they need to be a hero and skip vacation, or work on days off. "Life is short" may be cliche but it's true.

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Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu May 28, 2020 3:09 pm

jello_nailer wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:25 am
I have the same problem but my deadline is September 30th.
I suppose I could scrub the mortar between my bricks with a toothbrush, or make little rocks out of big rocks.

To make things worse - our currently policy is if you have flown on commercial airplane you have to self quarantine for 14 days upon return.
Since your further reply clarified that your mechanics hobby is starting to feel like a job, try this mindset on for size: who says you have to do anything productive during vacation? How about just being in the moment, whatever that moment might be. Maybe it's taking a long afternoon nap, maybe it's reading a book, maybe it's binge-watching TV, maybe it's rebuilding an engine.... whatever it might be, let it be and don't force it to be.

Even when I do take traveling vacations, I do not give them much structure. There might be a ticket to a timed event here and there, but otherwise, it's all about what I'm in the mood for that day. We don't always have to be doing something structured for the time to be well-spent. My most memorable times about my vacations are rarely the ticketed events, but rather just being in the moment and enjoying the experience, such as wandering the French Quarter in New Orleans or wandering the eastern shore of Kauai.

Learning how to just be, and how to be content with just being in the moment, is probably a hard thing for people. But I find it's the most refreshing thing to do when I take a vacation. And, as a bonus for this year, I can just be in the moment at my home as easily as I could be in the moment traveling elsewhere.

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