The New York Times has an interesting "Room for Debate" series about vacation time in the United States v. Europe. Clearly, they get a lot more and at issue is whether or not this is a good thing.
(Chart and more information at EPI.)
Steve gets four weeks off a year, which is pretty good. His firm has to compete with European banks, so they have to offer their workers generous vacation time. Still, four weeks doesn't seem to be enough, because we only use a small portion of that time for actual vacation. When I was working full time, he had to use nearly all of that time to cover the kids during school breaks. There's all the hoopla at Christmas, which means he has to take off more time. With all the extended family and cooking and arranging, staying home during the holidays is actually more work than going into the office.
Still, it would be bitchy to complain. We actually have the money to go away this year, and four weeks is pretty good by American standards.
Thinking about it, I'm not sure I get any vacation time at all. If my full time job is parenting combined with putting together a new career, I never take a day off. Even when we're traveling next week, I'm going to be watching kids and composing blog posts. When does school start again?
<tangent> On Monday, I woke up with a terrible stomach virus. Blew chunks in the bathroom and then cleaned myself up, because Ian had an audiology test at a pediatric hospital. There was no way I was going to cancel that test. It takes months to get an appointment. So, I sat in a padded closet with him for TWO HOURS without moving. He had to listen to words and sounds with headphones that kept slipped to one side. Green faced and repressing the urge to heave, I kept sliding down in my chair. He did fine. He just can't hear anything with background sounds. </tangent>
That's why I need a vacation, too.
Do we need more vacation time in America? How much vacation time do you get per year?