A simple hack will allow you to spend weeks away from work by just using a few precious vacation days.

By carefully planning your PTO you could take several more weeks off of work this year, even if your company is stingy with their vacation pay. It all comes down to taking advantage of some strategically placed calendar positions in 2024.

Live to Work or Work to Live?

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, a whopping 46% of American workers don't use all of their allotted vacation days. The survey shows the main reasons employees leave paid time off on the table are a fear of falling behind at work, feeling bad for having other workers cover for them or the feeling that they don't necessarily need a break from their job.

I don't want to sound harsh, but these reasons are just stupid. As corporations continue to slash budgets and personnel to maximize profits for their shareholders, the American worker is expected to work harder and longer, many times for little to no extra pay. Vacation days are part of a worker's salary. You've earned those precious paid days off and by not using every last second of them you're selling yourself short as an employee.

A wise boss once told me that it's important to work hard at your job and be proud of your chosen profession but always to remember that your family and personal life come first. Doing your very best job affords you the ability to take those vacation days with no regrets or guilt. I've always remembered this advice and kept in mind that enjoying a good life is the whole reason we work in the first place.


How to Maximise Your Days Off in 2024

Even if you don't have a whole bunch of vacation days banked for the rest of the year, you can still take advantage of the calendar and turn just a few days into a long, relaxing break.

Adding onto holidays such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas is a smart way to maximize those paid days off and give yourself an extra-long vacation week. Here are the remaining vacation hacks for 2024 that you might want to consider taking advantage of.

Labor Day Week

Taking off four days from September 3 to September 6 will result in nine days off in a row.

Veterans Day

If your company gives you the day off on November 11, taking off four days from November 12 to  November 15 will net you a nine-day vacation.

Thanksgiving Week

If you're fortunate enough to work for a company that gives you Black Friday off, you can take just three days off to spend nine days away from work. Even if you're forced to use a vacation day for Black Friday, you'll more than double your time off by using the Thanksgiving holiday.

Christmas Week

This is one of the most valuable times to use your vacation days. In 2024 you can grab 12 days off using just five vacation days between Christmas and New Year's Day. You may want to secure these days off now before your coworkers do. The dates to take are December 23, 24, 27, 30 and 31.

2024 Vacation Inspiration-Top 15 Places to Visit in New York State

Sometimes the best places to visit are right here in New York State. New York State has something for everyone from beaches, beautiful mountains, the bright lights of New York City, and the gorgeous roaring Niagara Falls not to mention the many gleaming lakes throughout the state. Check out the many different options right here in New York State. These are the top 15 destinations to visit according to U.S. News and World Report. They considered sights, culture, adventurous pursuits, and the opinions of readers and experts.

Gallery Credit: Google Maps-Canva

See Which New York Beaches Made America's Best Beach Towns

A trip to the beach when the weather is warmer is always incredible. Maybe this year you can visit one of these 14 in New York State that were the Top Rated in America.

WalletHub compared 191 cities across America to find the best beach towns. Here's how they determined the winners:

WalletHub compared 191 cities across 62 key indicators of livability. We split our comparison into two categories, towns located by the ocean and by lakes. Our data set ranges from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to quality of beach water."

Here's a look at how New York scored:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler