Much is made every year about how Americans don't use all of their vacation time. I would counter that we do actually take all of that time off--we just do it at work.
I'm off for the winter vacation to see my folks down in Florida tomorrow--but I will readily admit that I was in Vacation Mode a week ago. It's not hard to look out the window and see snow for the umpteenth time this month and not think about being on the golf course instead--or on the rides at Disney--or even sitting on the lanai doing a crossword puzzle.
Then you have the time wasted telling everyone about your upcoming trip. "Sorry, Jim, I can't attend that meeting next week--I'm on vacation." "Oh, were are you going?" "Florida, we're going to........"
And then you have the websites with the 30-day extended forecasts--so you start checking out the weather for the days you are going to be there a month before you even leave. And then you're checking the Weather Channel app every couple of hours to see if they have added rain to any of the days or if they have raised the high temperatures. And then you start looking for places to eat when your on the road so you can try something different for a change.
Then you find reasons to get out of the office earlier to "take care of some things that need to be done before we leave". You know, important stuff like getting new swim trunks or picking up Claratin D so that my ears aren't plugged up all week after the flight.
And of course, you don't return to full productivity the day after you get back. You need to "ease yourself back into the routine." Plus, you have to tell everybody why you are so tan--and about all of the cool, fun things you did, and show them all of the pictures you posted to Facebook, and how you are "responsible" for bringing some of that warmer weather back with you. And don't forget about all of the "things you need to take care of now that you are back"--like getting cold medicine for the inevitable illness you get every time you travel or getting the mail that was put on hold all week.
So while we Americans may not take all of the "official" vacation time to which we are entitled--believe me, we are still taking all of that time "off".