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So What Is The Ideal Length Of A Vacation?

So What Is The Ideal Duration Of A Vacation?

This tweet from 2011 just came across my timeline. As I sat here in this luxury beanbag chair, I had a good laugh. First of all, I find humor in people going through our president’s old tweets. The entire concept of that being a thing that we do makes me question many things, and I can’t help but laugh. Second, I think that this is the perfect troll tweet. He calls the guy out for golf, something no man should ever do, hits him hard for a pending vacay, then really pulls out the flamethrower at the end. “Nice work ethic.” Game, set, match…point. Game over.

Not to go full-Salon, but this 17-day vacation seems excessive. Not in a “but he’s our president he should be governing” way, but more from a “that sounds like a complete beating” point of view. Who’s really trying to decompress for that long? I mean, Pat Green only needed three days to wash the road out of his soul. 17 days? That’s Will deFries territory.

So this got me thinking: what’s the ideal duration of a vacation? If it’s your classic staycation, something that is very popular in my current town of Austin, Texas, two full days and a little bleed-over is ideal. Take Friday off, get where you need to be as early as possible, and don’t even flirt with a 4:30 p.m. standstill on Mopac.

I think the same method applies to road trips, as long as we’re talking five hours or less. After 30, you should never be the person pulling up to Tanner’s lake house at PK after dark. That’s not the way to do it, man. Next thing you know you’ll be slamming drinks trying to play catch-up with the real power players who’ve been there all day, and you’ll end up maxing out night one. Be smart. And anything longer than five hours may not be worth the road trip to begin with. Use your points and book a flight. All about the points.

The real question here is what’s the sweet spot for your once (maybe twice?) a year, big daddy hacks vacation? I’m talking cross-country, across the pond, or if you’re in the Republic of Texas, across the state. Trips you’ve been planning for months, maybe even years. Think Tribeca. Tulum. Branson. Arlington, Texas if you’re trying to catch a ballgame and break the sound barrier on the Der Stuka.

My answer, and this may be highly controversial, is 11. Day 11 is what separates partners from the associates.

Take your Friday off. You don’t want to be scrambling around in the hours leading up to departure. That’s how traveler’s diarrhea happens, and nobody needs to be dropping 1.5s in the airport stall as they begin boarding Group 3. In theory, you’ll have two weekends at your destination, which is plenty of time to see what needs to be seen without growing to resent the person(s) accompanying you along the way.

Most importantly, though, is the following Monday. That’s day 11. Day 11 should never be a travel day. No, sir. That’s strictly for unpacking that suitcase which would otherwise sit there until you had no other choice but to do laundry. Let me conclude with this pro move: Open the lappy and do a little damage control. Firing off a few emails when you’re technically still on vacation is a power play.

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Dave

Lawyer. Writer. Dude doing business. I'm the meatloaf guy from tv.

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