1 in 5 Americans Plans to Take a Workcation in 2024. Here's Why You Should Plan a Non-Work-Related Getaway

Some people travel during the year on occasion. Others do it on a regular basis.

But travel can take on different forms. In some cases, it can mean flying to a destination on your employer’s dime to attend meetings or conferences. In other situations, it can mean fleeing to an exotic island and doing nothing but relaxing.

Meanwhile, data from IPX1031 finds that 1 in 5 Americans are planning to take a workcation in 2024 — meaning, a trip that combines vacation with remote work. And while that might seem like a good thing to try, there’s a big drawback you should know about.

The problem with combining work and leisure travel

If you have a job that can be done remotely, a workcation might seem like an ideal setup for you. You can explore a new part of the country or globe without missing out on work time or pay. And if you’re a salaried employee with limited vacation days, you can travel without having to put in for time off.

The problem, though, is that combining work and leisure travel could mean that you’re not really getting a mental break from the grind. Sure, it may be nicer to do your job from a beach or cliffside resort than from your home office. But at the end of the day, you’re still working. Your mind isn’t taking time off or getting cleared. And so what may happen is that following your workcation, you don’t come back feeling refreshed like you should.

Ways to pull off a non-working vacation

It pays to take at least one vacation during the year that doesn’t have a work-related element to it. And if you’re thinking there’s no way you can pull that off, you may want to think again.

If you’re self-employed and are afraid that taking a non-working vacation will negatively affect your income, plan ahead. Time your travels to your least busy season, and take on extra work ahead of time to make up for those planned days off.

As an example, let’s say you’re a freelance engineer who gets paid by the hour. If you normally work 40 hours a week, work 45 hours a week until you’ve earned enough extra money to make up for 40 hours of lost income.

Meanwhile, if you’re a salaried employee, you may be entitled to paid time off — so you might as well use it. And in either scenario, there are steps you can take to make your travels fit into your budget.

For one thing, try to bank your credit card cash back and rewards. If you have airline miles, you can look at redeeming those, too. Just make sure to do so well in advance, so the dates you want aren’t blacked out or taken.

Additionally, aim to travel during off-peak times for lower costs. That could mean avoiding summertime or holiday weekends, when prices tend to be inflated.

You deserve a real break

You might think that getting to do your job from a cool new destination is a great thing. And it certainly is. So if you can afford to do that a few times a year and your employer has no problem with it, go for it.

But don’t only take a workcation this year. Data from MyBioSource found that 41% of Americans experience post-time-off burnout. You may have a greater chance of avoiding that fate if you make a point to take at least one vacation a year that doesn’t have you logging into a laptop during the course of your trip.

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