(5:09 p.m. EDT) -- It should come as no surprise that in today's busy world, 72 percent of Americans have not yet found the right balance between work and personal priorities. Or, that one in four Americans is not planning on taking all of their vacation days this year, with 40 percent of those respondents citing work-related reasons.
Yet two-thirds of Americans say that if they had more leisure time, they would use it to -- you guessed it! -- travel.
These figures -- revealed today in the Princess Cruises Life Balance Barometer, a national survey commissioned by the cruise line and conducted by third-party pollster Harris Interactive -- are a not-so-gentle reminder to many of us that putting off getting away is not necessarily a good thing.
So what do we have to say on the matter? Take a cruise! You only have to pack and unpack once to visit a variety of islands or countries. There are itinerary choices for all types of travelers, from beach bummers to city slickers, and cruising is one of the best values around with almost all major expenses (lodging, meals, snacks, activities and entertainment) included in the fare.
Plus, four out of five of the "most stressed out cities" revealed in the study -- Chicago, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego -- are close to convenient homeports offering hassle-free cruise options. And let's face it: What's more stressful than having to fly?
Poll: More than half of Americans say they either work or think about work while on vacation, according to the Barometer. What do you think is the best way to relieve stress on a cruise? Vote here!
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
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Feeling Stressed? Take a Cruise!
October 21, 2009