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Poll: On average, how many weeks of vacation do you take each year?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 02:19
May 6, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "On average, how many weeks of vacation do you take each year?".

This poll was originally submitted by ArtefactHT. View the poll results »


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Slave labour May 6, 2015

Even in the UK, a country not known for generous labour rights, employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' holiday a year.

Yet the highest option in this poll is only "4 or more weeks", and only a third have chosen it.

I seem to be in a minority in believing that being your own boss is about working less for more.

With most translators happy to be paid peanuts, work silly hours and take hardly any holiday, it's no wonder rates are tumbling.

I probably take 8-10 weeks off a year, all told. And I knock off at 4.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 10:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 6, 2015

I did not become a freelancer to have more time for myself, but to be independent and to do as I please. I was “forced” to take summer vacations when my children were still at home. They are all grown up now and left the nest. So nowadays I take quite often a few days off here and there between jobs, but I haven’t had a week-long break for some time... It all adds up probably to more than 4/5 weeks a year, but I’m not counting!

[Edited at 2015-05-06 09:06 GMT]


Domenico Trimboli  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
Member (2013)
English to Italian
I usually don't take vacations?! May 6, 2015

How's that possible?

I usually take 4 to 6 weeks off every year, plus 1/2 days off per month almost every month. I think I'm somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks as a total. Always been pretty happy with that!

[Edited at 2015-05-06 09:50 GMT]


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Usually 2 x 1 week May 6, 2015

Plus a long weekend here and there.


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
English to French
More than 4 weeks May 6, 2015

Because I'm French.
It may be less some years (like last year), but on average it's more than 4 weeks.


[Edited at 2015-05-06 10:15 GMT]


David Earl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:19
Member (2007)
German to English
Perhaps because of being American... May 6, 2015

my approach to vacations is different than most. When I take time off, I want to see my relatives. They're scattered across the continent in three general groups distances that mean roughly 3 or 4 days of travel by car to move from one group to the next (several hours by air). Plus most package deals will not work for such "vacations". because of my need to move from city to city.

So, I save up my pennies and tend take a formal "vacation" of several weeks roughly once every six years, once I've earned it. "earned it" in this case means that I've got the money to cover the everyday expenses, the travel expenses and any presents and lost work.

Also, I've been to so many places that seeing a new city just to see the sites holds little or no meaning for me. (35 states, 2 or 3 provinces and 9 schools before I reached majority, for example.) When I go somewhere, I want to meet the people, talk about how they live, make some "sociology in the field" I guess you could say. My personal needs seem to be very different from those of most people.

I know: "silly boy". 8)



DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:19
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
More than 4 weeks May 6, 2015

complete vacation that is and I also do several semi-working holidays/travels too.

I have a family and a life and I also have hobbies and I love travelling.
I did choose freelancing to spend more time with my family and for the freedom it offers me to travel, etc.

I would probably take more time off if the situation was more stable in my country of residence (Greece) but all this instability is apparently making me more conservative.

P.S. How do those who don't take holidays stay sane and motivated?

[Edited at 2015-05-06 15:54 GMT]


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
Member (2006)
German to English
Take or need May 6, 2015

I do not take any direct holidays.
I always take trips for a couple of weeks to somewhere, but generally work a bit when I am there.

My aim in life is to get my mortgage paid off asap an have a decent financial resources for my children. Yes, if I did not have any goals in life, I would probably also take 8 weeks holiday a year.

In about 10 years, I will slowly start to put my feet up and take it easy as then, when it counts, I will hopefully not have any fixed costs that will MAKE me have to work.

In my case, it is all a matter of not really needing a holiday.
When I am away with the family, there are a few days where I do not do anything because I am day trips with them, and other days, I let them get off with the grandparents and finish off whatever I have to do.

[Edited at 2015-05-06 12:00 GMT]


Alexander Hartmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
Italian to German
+ ...
Hard to say May 6, 2015

Well, I have to say my answer will be "I don't know".

The point is, what is considered a vacation?

I take long weekends every now and then - depending on, to be honest, my mood and my lady's work schedule - and we head off to the beach around Charleston or Myrtle Beach. Very long vacations like a three week trip to whatever country is said to be paradise at the moment are just not my thing, since I would simply miss working. In my case, a long weekend or even just a day trip to the beach is way more relaxing anyway.

How often I do that? Maybe once or twice a month.


Luiz Barucke
Local time: 07:19
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
At least 4 weeks May 6, 2015

My best rate. Not negotiableicon_smile.gif


Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:19
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Made a conscious decision May 6, 2015

5-6 years back to not just "go away" (which I do every year - for language maintenance and other reasons) but to actually refrain from working for at least 4 weeks per year.
Last year I had 5,5 weeks off (2 at Christmas - 2 in the summer - 10 days in February/March) 1 week more than the year before, and strangely enough, not only my health benefited from it, my income was also up 7% compared to the year before.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
As much May 6, 2015

or as little as I want whenever I want - I make the decisions, at least that's the theory.

A lot of the time, family and other issues other than business-related this and that play a big part in how much time I can take away from work.
On the whole, though, I'd just love two straight weeks in the mountains during January or February in Hokkaido schussing over crisp, crunchy powder followed by a daily dip in nice hot relaxing hot springs - aaaaaah! - and then followed by tons of fresh crab, abalone and other local cuisine and specialties. All washed down with nicely chilled sake - aaaaaah! - again.icon_biggrin.gif

In my mind, I'm already doing this. I hope the extra kgs I'm putting on round my midriff will not cramp my style.


Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 04:19
German to English
+ ...
Other May 6, 2015

As a freelancer, I am not part of a herd that some company has to "schedule". My work load fluctuates, the seasons fluctuate, so the whole thing is a lot more fluid and less defined. I like it that way. Someone wrote something like "as needed" or "as wanted" - that probably defines it best.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different versions of vacations (or holidays) May 6, 2015

Here in America, there are some cultural differences about taking a vacation, especially in the length of time. Companies are very stingy with vacation time (about 1 week per year of service). Companies also have consolidated sick days (time off for illness) and vacation days as time off.

Imagine that! And the law only requires unpaid 12 weeks for maternity leave. Unpaid! I'm no woman nor mother, but that stinks and it is one of the darker sides of American capitalism.

Americans take different types of vacation, including summer vacations (they go to some water park or to a theme park, which I find sacrilegious to my well being) and Thanksgiving vacations (it's like our second Christmas).

As for me, I take vacations alone (no family of my own) in two ways: one to visit a sibling and her family (Utah) or to visit siblings and their families, plus some of my friends (Argentina) or one just to enjoy alone time in a new place (my 2009 vacation in London, for example; or my 10-day vacation in Patagonia in 2005).

This year I took a nice 1-week vacation (family time but also plenty of alone time) in Lima, Perú.

Like many of you, however, I take days off all the time. If I spent 8 days working for 14-hour days on a project, I usually take 3-4 days off if I can. I don't count them nor do I schedule them. I do it as I roll along.

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