Are YOU Taking a Vacation This Year?





As summer draws near, thoughts turn to lazy vacations. But not for more than half of small business owners. According to the 2011 American Express OPEN Small Business Vacation Monitor, only 46% of U.S. small biz owners plan to take a summer vacation this year.

That’s pathetic.

Consider, though, that in 2010 just 40% took a one-week vacation.  So it’s an improvement of 6%, at least.

So what about you? Will you leave your business behind and get some serious rest?

bali vacation

What’s Keeping You at Home?  Work?

The biggest reason business owners said they wouldn’t travel this year is due to busy work schedules (37% said this) or affordability (29% said this). Gas, surprisingly, wasn’t as big a factor in staying home as you might guess. Only 23% said gas prices would affect how far they traveled (guess the rest don’t live in California!), and 17% said the rising prices would keep them from traveling altogether.





Staying Connected … Or Not?

The good news is, entrepreneurs are checking in less with work than in years past. In 2008, for example, 81% of those surveyed said they’d check email or phone messages while on vacation, while this year that number went down to 68%. And only 27% will try to tie in a business trip to their vacations, a number which has gradually gone down over the years.

Guess the spouses are being heard on that one!

It’s pretty much impossible for small business owners not to worry, even while on vacation, but even that has gone down. Based on the survey of 501 small business owners, we do, however, worry about:



  • An important client not receiving the level of service he’s used to
  • Missing a business opportunity
  • Staff judgment calls
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Who will manage while owner is gone
  • Employees slacking off
  • Security

Overall, the survey seems to indicate that entrepreneurs are finally beginning to relax a little on vacation. Even the number of those who feel guilty taking a vacation (27%) has gone down since 2008, signifying that we all recognize that we need a little R&R to be better business owners.



What do you say? Is a vacation necessary to aid you in successfully running your business? Do you check email nonstop while riding amusement park rides? Are you calling your employees or manager from the beach? Let us know in the comments below. 26 Comments ▼


Susan Payton


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

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