Vacation Time

Vacation time as the new American dividing line. Who gets it? Who takes it? Where?

Hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. About 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. (AP)

Hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. About 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. (AP)

Summertime starts the movie in our minds.  The classic images of vacation.  Toes in the sand.  Backpack in the woods.  On the trail.  On the road.  Free.

But the fact is that a whole lot of Americans have cut back on vacations lately.  Afraid for their jobs.  Too much work after layoffs.  Too little money in the kitty.

Luxury travel is booming back.  Family vacations, not so much.  We want them.  We need them.  We don’t want “vacation deficit disorder.”  But American vacations are changing.

This hour, On Point:  Vacation time now in America.  Who gets it?  Who takes it?  Where?

-Tom Ashbrook


David Lazarus, American business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Gary Cross, professor of modern history at Penn State University. He’s the author of A Social History of Leisure since 1600.

Pauline Frommer, editor at large for the Frommer guidebooks and founding editor of She’s also a syndicated newspaper columnist.

Vacation Rentals

During the show, Pauline Frommer mentioned several websites for vacation rentals, including HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey, and Zonder.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Huffington Post “The consensus was that it may be time for that proverbial wakeup call and pressing the reset button in regard to our nation’s incredible shrinking vacation time. But to get from crisis prognosis to cure, we have to understand how we got into this predicament. And for that, context is important, and as always, the past is prologue… ”

New York Times “With summer in full swing, the top priority of most travelers is simple: relax. But for many people that isn’t such an easy goal to attain.”

Reuters “The recession caused many American workers to rule out their annual vacations, but according to a new survey from CareerBuilder, bosses are finding more time for getaways than their workers. Eighty-one percent of managers have taken or plan to take vacation this year, compared to 65 percent of full-time employees.”

New York Times “For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.”

Video: National Lampoon Parody

Check out this parody video of National Lampoon’s “Vacation” films, produced by HomeAway, one of the most popular internet sites for finding vacation rental homes.

Video: Who’s With Me?

A funny video here from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority:


“Vacation” by Connie Francis

“Vacation” by Vitamin C

“Holiday” by Vampire Weekend

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