Have you not heard? No one is taking long vacations these days! (Um, except all of us here! Apparently we are shiftless and lazy.) The new trend, we hear, is for employees to take a few four- or five-day breaks, instead of a full week or two. Oh, and everyone brings their BlackBerries and "checks in" with the office while they're poolside. Wow! Sounds like such a great life! And the Times was so eager for us to hear about this new trend that they wrote two articles—one in Metro, one in Styles—about it this weekend.
"Vacations Get Shorter, But Turn Up More Often," we learned from Metro on Saturday. The reporter talks to one lady who's taken a series of shorter jaunts with her family this year, and opines that "While such minibreaks used to supplement traditional vacations when work was slow, a growing number of Americans are now stacking up a series of shorter getaways and shunning longer stretches." In Sunday Styles, unspeakably tall Allen Salkin worked a political angle (Sam Brownback is the only candidate taking a vacation this year!), but still couldn't resist throwing in this depressing statistic: "A 2007 survey by the travel Web service Expedia found that 23 percent of employed adults check work e-mail or voice mail on vacation, compared with 16 percent in 2005."
But when you think about it, this is a story that could be adapted easily to several other sections of the Times. In Thursday Styles, Michelle Slatalla could write about how her husband, Business 2.0 editor Josh Quittner, insists on taking along a Blackberry and computer when they go away. (She's pretty much exploited every other way of writing about her vacations already. Is there no aspect of their lives that this family will not write off on their taxes?) In Dining, Frank Bruni could write about his idyllic meal of local cuisine on the Istrian coast was disrupted by the food bloggers at the table next to him who insisted on taking photos of every piece of food; Verlyn Klinkenborg could write about how, since his entire life seems to be a vacation, he can never really get away. And so on! Try it yourself!