This rant isn't about what constitutes a "real" vacation (as opposed to, I suppose, a "fake" one.) No, it's just a reminder of how I think vacations should be, and should not be.
The girlfriend and I are taking a week-long trip to Florida. It will involve a mix of theme parks and other points of interest, beaches and restaurants...equal parts planning and spontaneity. It will NOT involve the answering of personal cell phones during the day, nor will it contain the internet or email, and work will most certainly not have a means of reaching either of us.
I take a hard line on this. Vacation time is a benefit of one's job, and its value really lies in the fact that you're getting paid to not be at work, to relax and spend time with family, friends, or even alone - whatever you choose. Of course, in this hectic era of cell phones and the internet, the mentality of our management is that we should be accessible at all times, from all places. I realize that there actually are people who are so important that their job cannot go on without them; I would also note that these people tend to be well-compensated for letting their work control their life. I wish them luck in having a happy home life and making it to 40 without heart attacks and ulcers.
As for me, I plan to actually ENJOY my vacation.