Tag: Vacation

An Argument Against the Summer Vacation

At Front Porch Republic, Jason Peters goes there:

There’s no paucity of smiling children, or of aching muscles after you’ve rough-housed the kids and cousins in the lake or pool, but then you can almost see the seeds of greater expectations germinating in the soils of their little brains. The danger is that they’ll grow up to live for their two weeks’ worth of vacation each year and hate the other fifty. And that is no way to live a life.

In fine, there is the sense that you have fully arrived: at long last you are all consumer, endlessly provided for and endlessly entertained. But if, deep down, you have reconciled yourself to your condition, which is not to play but to work, you know that without work you cannot fully inhabit your humanity. Or: all play and no work makes daddy a dull boy.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

China’s Mandatory Vacation Woes

Forget about shrinking vacation syndrome. In China, workers are struggling with a complex schedule of mandatory holidays—followed by mandatory make-up days. The New York Times’ Andrew Jacobs explains:

According to a government-mandated holiday schedule that took effect in 2008, workers were given three consecutive days off last week for the Mid-Autumn Festival, but they were required to make up two of those by working the Saturday and Sunday on either end of the holiday.

This give-and-take arrangement is then repeated for the National Day holiday, with employees enjoying seven straight days off—Friday through Oct. 7—except only three of those are official free days. (The four “gifted days” will be made up over the weekends before and after.)

If you have trouble with the math, you are in good company.

Apparently, an internet cheat sheet has been circulating that aims to help. Here’s its breakdown: “One day off, three days on, three days off, six days on, seven days off, two days on, one day off.” Clear as mud, huh?

Slate Takes a Nudist Vacation

“Human Guinea Pig” columnist Emily Yoffe bared all for journalism. Here’s the introduction to her resulting, funny dispatch:

The most disconcerting part of my visit to a nudist camp I’ll call “Hidden Bush” occurred when I got in a discussion about the benefits of nudity with a longtime member I’ll call “Dick.” Nudists, nudists will tell you, are very friendly, and Dick had spotted me as a newcomer as I stood naked and adrift by the pool. He came over to welcome me and proselytize for the benefits of nudism. He told me about the cruise he had taken to Alaska with 2,000 other naked people, and as I tried to envision all of this sagging flesh chugging toward unsuspecting caribou, I was distracted by a more immediate, awful sight. I could see myself reflected in Dick’s sunglasses. All of me. It was impossible to follow our chitchat as I watched my pale flesh quiver every time I made a gesture.

Political Pundits Tackle American Vacation Time

‘Tis the season for lots of vacation talk, and so the Capitol Hill crowd turned its attention to shrinking vacation syndrome this week: First, a British columnist speculated that Americans “find it hard to relax” because of their Puritan heritage. Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein responded:

I’d say it’s more closely related to the fact that it’s hard to pass social welfare legislation in the American political system, and thus America is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee its workers some amount of paid-vacation leave.

NRO’s Reihan Salam followed up with a mild defense of the American system. (Via The Daily Dish)

Vacation Rentals and the Joy of Snooping

Susan Orlean is on vacation in Cape Cod, where she’s been keeping busy by snooping around the house she rented from a local, trying to learn more about her host. Here’s what she’s put together so far:

I always start with the bookshelves, which makes me worry about my future vacations, when all reading material will have migrated to an electronic format and the bookshelves are empty except for Hummel figurines. Then what? Where will I begin my snooping—in the spice cabinet? Fortunately, the owner of this house is obviously a dead-tree kind of reader, and I have deduced that he is a physician. (I do think I’m a genius, but the stacks of diagnostic manuals would have been a pretty big clue even to lesser minds.) The Leo Rosten books are a religious giveaway—did Rosten ever sell a single book to a non-Jew?—and while the majority of the books are high-toned and intellectual, they are leavened by the yeasty Steve Martini thrillers half-hidden under the night table. My guess? A Jewish doctor who travels and buys the thrillers for diversion during flights, even though he was really and truly planning to use the time to read something serious, like the Beethoven biography that sits on a prominent shelf, untouched.

(Via The Book Bench)

Time Makes ‘The Case Against Summer Vacation’

David Von Drehle’s argument focuses on summer break for students, but touches on the educational value of travel:

Deprived of healthy stimulation, millions of low-income kids lose a significant amount of what they learn during the school year. Call it “summer learning loss,” as the academics do, or “the summer slide,” but by any name summer is among the most pernicious—if least acknowledged—causes of achievement gaps in America’s schools. Children with access to high-quality experiences can exercise their minds and bodies at sleep-away camp, on family vacations, in museums and libraries and enrichment classes. Meanwhile, children without resources languish on street corners or in front of glowing screens.

Where’s the Perfect Presidential Vacation Spot?

Over at McSweeney’s, Chris White looks back at the presidential vacations of yore, and wonders where—in a much-changed America—today’s presidents should go. Here’s White:

We need something isolated, like an island. But not just any island. Martha’s Vineyard is easier on the Secret Service, but it comes at a terrible price: you are known as the kind of person who vacations in Martha’s Vineyard. Public opinion takes no vacations, and you cannot be a man of the people while throwing champagne in the face of the insolent butler who smudged your boat shoes. Harry Truman had the right idea, chilling out in earthier Key West—but there was much less vomiting and public nudity in Key West those days, even when Hemingway was in town.

Last summer, our own Tom Swick had a few presidential vacation suggestions of his own. (Via @travelerlauren)

The Science of Vacations: ‘Length Isn’t Terribly Important’

Scientific research about vacationers has revealed some fascinating insights. From a piece in the Boston Globe:

For psychologists and behavioral economists, vacations are a window into the still only dimly understood mystery of human pleasure, a field known as hedonic psychology. Their research, along with other work on prototypically pleasant (and unpleasant) experiences, has begun to yield a portrait of your mind on vacation. And if the findings tell us anything, it’s that we might actually need some help. When we guess the best way to spend our free time, it seems that we often guess wrong.

Thanks for the tip Rob Verger.

Travel Movie Watch: Yet Another ‘Vacation’ Sequel

Dust off the Family Truckster: The Griswolds are back. Well, one of them at least—apparently, in the soon-to-be fifth installment of the “Vacation” series, Clark’s now-grown son Rusty will take his own young brood on the road. Get the Big Picture’s Colin Boyd speculates:

My hunch would be that they’d look to a well-established comedic actor for the role, and the more money they have, the bigger name they could attract. I also have a hunch that it won’t matter to a lot of you, since you may have already imposed a ban on this film out of principle.

Anyone who followed along when the World Hum Travel Movie Club tackled the original last summer knows that “Vacation” is not one of my personal sacred cows. Still, it’s hard not to be suspicious of the motives for making a sequel nearly 30 years later—this wouldn’t have anything to do with the publicity generated by the recent death of John Hughes, would it?

The Cognitive Benefits of Vacation

Over at The Daily Dish, Jonah Lehrer checks out a couple of recent studies.

If it’s August, it Must Be ‘Les Vacances’

We’ve all been there: wandering in a medieval town emptied of locals, or reading the note in our guidebook about business closures for the month of August—those pesky paid vacation days again. Global Post’s Teri Schultz takes a look at government-mandated vacation time over in Europe, and the lack thereof back in the States.

Slate Explains Why Congress Gets so Much Vacation

Members of congress get a lot of time off each year, and it’s not entirely unjustified. I live in the D.C. area, and I applaud anyone who can manage to escape the oppressive weather by disappearing for August.

12 Great Summer Vacation Movies

Eva Holland and Eli Ellison missed out on some prime tanning time to dig up the finest summer travel flicks

Read More »

Tags: Movies, Vacation

World Hum Travel Movie Club: National Lampoon’s ‘Vacation’

Twenty-five years ago this month, Clark W. Griswold first bumbled across theater screens on a quest for the ultimate family vacation. Starting line: Chicago, Illinois. Destination: Walley World, California. The results? Hilarious! Or were they? Eli Ellison revisits an old favorite; Eva Holland takes her first trip down “Holiday Road.” They exchanged emails and debated the virtues of this travel-comedy classic.

Does Netflix Have the Cure for ‘Shrinking Vacation Syndrome’?

Netflix’s salaried workers can take as much vacation time as they’d like, as long as they get their work done. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings tells the San Jose Mercury News, are “a relic of the industrial age.” How progressive. Sounds like a great antidote to shrinking vacation syndrome, doesn’t it?

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