The summer vacation season is coming and respondents to our most recent community survey appear say they plan to get away this year for a little rest-and-relaxation.

They just may not go as far as they did last year.

Nearly 11 percent of the 200 respondents said this year they plan to take a “staycation,” a vacation at home. That’s up from just 4 percent of the respondents to a similar survey in 2017.

And 19 percent said they would travel abroad. Last year, 29 percent of the respondents said they planned international travel.

A graphic showing the responses to a question about how much vacation time respondents plan to take off work this year.

The survey of residents of Reporter Newspapers communities was conducted via cellphone by and is not scientific.

Overall, the amount of time respondents said they plan to spend on vacation this year appears to be about the same as last year. About 28 percent said this year they planned to take more than three weeks off, compared to 30 percent in 2017. In 2018, about 43 percent expected to take two to three weeks of vacation, compared to 41 percent in 2017; and 24 percent expected to take one to two weeks of vacation, as compared to 23 percent a year ago.

Project: Time Off, an organization financed by the U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, found in 2017 that Americans overall had started taking more vacation days than just a few years ago. A survey published by the group last year found that in 2016, average vacation use climbed to 16.8 days per worker, up from 16.2 days the year before. “The more than half-day shift changes the trajectory of America’s vacation trendline, with the most upward movement seen since vacation usage started its rapid decline in 2000,” the organization said.

But the group says one difference it has found is that fewer vacationing employees actually disengage from work while taking time off. Instead, they read emails and keep up on memos while away from the office.

“Thanks to today’s technology, face time does not mean what it used to. Email response time has replaced the last car in the office parking lot,” the organization said after a 2017 online survey of 7,331 adult workers.

“This dynamic does not change even if an employee’s location does. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) say they are more comfortable taking time off if they know they can access work. Most employees (46 percent) reported that they check in with work occasionally during vacation while smaller percentages (27 percent) are logging on frequently or fully unplugging.”

So, summer’s near and the time is right to pack your bags and head off to someplace you can relax. Just try, once you get there, to leave your cellphone turned off.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.