Unlimited Vacation: A Do?

Are your vacation days sitting around, unused?

There are some pretty sobering statistics in this WSJ article about the gaining popularity of companies offering open-ended vacation days. According to the piece, only 38% of U.S. employees use all their allotted vacation time; the average worker took only 14 of 19 days permitted.

Last year was my first year at my company where I was given three weeks vacation, along with my two personal days. And let me tell you, my friends, I used every last bit of those days (as you may recall from this. And this. And this).

This year, though, I’ve found myself with a plethora of vacation days leftover. This trip only required 3 vacations. This was a press trip, so it required no vacation days. My upcoming Chicago trip will only require two days, and Jamaica three. I’ve put in to take the Monday off after the Philly 1/2 Marathon, as well—but that still leaves me with 15 days to plan for. 15 days! Imagine all that traveling I can do with 15 days!

To me, having a solid number (albeit a relatively large number, compared to some other people I know) of vacation days to plan makes the actual process of planning more fun. Of course last year, when I went vacation hog-wild, who knows? Maybe it would have been nice to have a few extra vacation days thrown in there.

What do you guys think? Do you use all your vacation days? Would you like to have an unlimited number of vacation days, or do you think, like the article mentions, that that would actually make it harder to take time off?