Summer vacation tips

June 1, 2011: 10:32 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Feeling burned out? Stressed?

Want to take a vacation, but just have too much work? Well you're not alone.

summer vacation
Nearly one-quarter of full-time workers couldn't afford to take a vacation this year.

According to CareerBuilder, even though 36% of workers feel comfortable taking time off from their job, 24% of full-time workers said they can't afford to take a vacation this year, and 12% who can afford one have no plans to take time off.

Well, workalcoholics, it's time to curb your habit, so here are a few tips to motivate you to take a much-needed break:

Tip 1: Avoid guilt trips

First off, stop feeling guilty about not being in the office, since a vacation might be good for your job and your health.

In fact, 34% of Americans say they come back from vacation feeling better about their jobs and are more productive, and another 53% of employed adults feel more rested after vacation, according to

Clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere says vacations are necessary to rejuvenate you, so whether it's a vacation, staycation, or any getaway from the office might be just what the doctor ordered.

Moreover, use your time off or lose it. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, only 57% of American workers use up all their allotted vacation days, compared with 89% of workers in France.

If you can't get away for a big two-week adventure, scale down your vacation plans, by taking your least busy weekday off or plan a long weekend trip.

Why do we always owe taxes?

Also, your work might lead to some big savings. Ask your HR department if your company offers any discounts with airlines, hotels, museums or attractions to make your plans more affordable, CareerBuilder says.

But if you really want to get out of town, Rick Seaney from says look for last-minute deals on Thursday to Monday or Friday/Saturday to Tuesday travel.

Tip 2: Define your personal space

Apparently, we just can't leave the work behind.

According to CareerBuilder, 30% of workers will contact work while on vacation, up from 25% last year. If you want to detach from the daily grind, make sure you've left all your responsibilities taken care of and define your personal space with your company.

Personal finance questions? E-mail The Help Desk.

On your e-mail out-of-office reply, leave a contact for immediate assistance, but just remember to tell your co-worker before they get bombarded with unexpected e-mail and phone calls about your job.

If colleagues have to reach out to you, CareerBuilder advises setting limits on when you'll be available to chat, and most of all, stick to them.

Go on a digital diet with yourself. Unless absolutely necessary, put away whatever technology you cling to during the workweek and set parameters with yourself on how many times a day you'll check your phone, e-mail, and social media sites.

You're on vacation, and it'll be there when you get back.

Tip 3: Make a staycation work for you

Having to take a staycation may bum you out, but it doesn't mean you need to be confined to your home.

Organize day trips in your town as long as they involve fun and relaxation, Gardere says.

Don't make a staycation about chores and errands -- cleaning out the attic can wait.

Also, if your boss allows it, try to shorten your work week. Get to work before your normal in-time and leave an hour or two earlier, or work a few more hours during the week and leave early on Friday, Gardere suggests.

Take a mini-vacation while at work. Don't eat at your desk, and instead get lunch outside.

Do more activities after work like dinners at outdoor cafes, or look for concerts, plays and movies happening in your local parks. Just a few ways to find excuses to take advantage of that summer sun, whether it's in the comforts of your own home or with some sand between your toes.  To top of page

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