Poll Shows the Need for Vacations
by Jerry Morris, Globe Staff


    The Boston Globe 

    July 23, 1995

"Some people have to learn how to vacation," says Beverly Potter, a counseling psychologist. "It just doesn't come naturally to everyone."


That statement may seem surprising, but it is one of the findings of a recent Vacation Values Survey by Hilton Hotels. The survey also found that, to no one's surprise, one out of five Americans called in sick last year just to get a day of relaxation; amazingly, almost as many called into work while on vacation just because they couldn't relax.


So, gang, it's time to relax.


Free time, the survey reports, is becoming a valued commodity. Four-fifths of us would take a two-week vacation over an extra two weeks' salary, the survey said, and the number of people saying they'd rather give up a day's pay to receive an extra day off is up 4 percentage points from the time the first survey was taken in 1991.


Another discovery in the survey was that 21 percent of those interviewed have gone without a vacation for two years or longer, and of those, 77 percent said they needed a vacation right now.


If you're wondering why Hilton surveys people on vacation needs, it helps them plan leisure-time products to satisfy travelers. For example, the Hilton BounceBack Weekend, that offers low rates and free continental breakfast, was a result of the first survey. Saturday nights, once Hilton's lowest occupancy night, has now become its busiest night. For information on these easy-to-take getaways, ask a travel agent, or call (800) HILTONS.


Should you be undecided about where to go, Fodor's Travel Publications, in another survey, offers some clues. The top domestic destinations named are Florida, California, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, South Carolina, Hawaii and Virginia. The top foreign destinations are Canada, the Bahamas, England, Australia, Mexico, France, Ireland, Italy, Costa Rica and Germany.


Kristina Peterson, president of Fodor's, said, "American travelers tend to be a fastidious bunch." Practical concerns she said are the major reasons for choosing a destination site. Those surveyed cited hygiene and cleanliness (91.2 percent) and cost (91 percent) as the major factors. These were followed by personal safety (86 percent) and accessibility (83 percent). Medieval ride


Knights, knaves, gypsies and wenches will be seen along the Old Boston Post Road from Boston to Quebec on the Great Cavalcade, a one-of-a-kind journey on horseback. The equestrians, dressed in authentic medieval costumes, will be traveling 22 miles a day with an expected arrival Aug. 10 in Quebec for the spectacular Les Medievales de Quebec, one of the largest medieval festivals annually drawing more than a million people from around the world to the province. The cavalcade, a reenactment of the way people traveled during the Crusades in the Middle Ages, will be traveling from town to town, camping overnight and picking up additional riders along the route. The riders are already five days into their 25-day journey. Les Medievales will run from Aug. 9 to 13. For more information on Quebec, call (800) 363-7777. Cape by rail


A one-day Cape Codder rail trip is planned for Aug. 13 by the Mystic Valley Railroad Society. The trip will leave South Station at 8:30 a.m. with additional stops in Boston, at Route 128, Attleboro and Taunton, arriving in Hyannis at 11:30 a.m. Travelers will have an option to sail to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard or bus to Provincetown. Adult fare is $60; children 5-16 are $30. For more information, call (617) 361-4445. The dining scene


Weekends at Hyatt hotels in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region begin with Friday dinner. Now through Sept. 10, the Hyatts will feature low weekend room rates and a two-for-one dinner offer. For information, call (800) 233-1234.


Premier Dining/Great Britain is a discount dining program from Entertainment Publications that offers 25 percent savings at more than 500 establishments throughout the United Kingdom. There are no restrictions on the number of visits, and beverages are included in the discount. The directory, which contains detailed information on each restaurant, is $50 and can be ordered by calling (800) 926-0565. Thinking of snow


A cool thought for these hot days is news of $1.5 million in improvements going on at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire for the upcoming ski season. Highlights include 25 percent more snowmaking power, a new tree skiing area and a separate mountain for snowboarders (in addition to Mount Tecumseh). Season passes for the area go on sale in early August ($825 for adults, $525 for teen-agers). Skiers can also opt for an interchangeable season pass good at Mount Snow, Killington and Bromley in Vermont and at Sugarloaf/USA in Maine. For more information, call (603) 236-8311.


Perhaps you'd prefer to take a sleigh ride with huskies or reindeer or join a snowmobile safari around the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, which is also said to be the starting place for Santa Claus on his annual around-the-world trip. The Christmas and New Year's packages are available through FinnWay in New York at (800) 526-4927. Tombs and dinosaurs


The largest exhibtion of Chinese tomb treasures is now showing in Memphis. More than 250 objects excavated from the tombs of China's most prominent emperors and ancient rulers will be on view through Sept. 18 in the Memphis Cook Convention Center. "Imperial Tombs of China is without a doubt the best exhibition that has ever been sent to the United States," one Chinese official said. Since tombs were very important to Chinese emperors who believed them to be the portals between the world of the living and the world of the dead, galleries in the exhibit replicate the layout of actual tomb complexes that allow visitors to enter a tomb to better understand these treasures. For ticket information, call (901) 576-1290.


"The Great Dinosaurs of China" is on view at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta through Dec. 31. Unearthed in China and Mongolia's Gobi Desert, the fossils represent a valuable treasure. One paleontologist described the breed of sauropods as beasts the size of whales, on the legs of elephants, with tails of lizards, necks of giraffes, heads of horses and nostrils of tapirs. The exhibit is particularly important because these dinosaurs were found with the majority of bones together, leaving little question as to which pieces went together. For more information, call (404) 378-0127.


And more dinosaurs are coming our way. "The Great Russian Dinosaurs" opens Oct. 7 at the Mesa Southwest Museum in Mesa, Ariz. The exhibit will feature 24 full skeletons (as large as 19 feet high), 50 skulls and dozens of other specimens. This will be the first showing in the Western world of many of these specimens. The show will continue to Feb. 4, 1996. For more information, call (602) 644-2230. Nonstop "Moby-Dick"


What better way to celebrate Herman Melville's 176th birthday then to read all 135 chapters of "Moby-Dick"? That's what they will be doing beginning at noon July 31 and continuing through the night at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. One reader has memorized several chapters of the book, including the first, "Loomings," which he will recite in the voice and character of Melville. At noon Aug. 1, a giant birthday cake will mark the end of the marathon reading. For information, call (203) 572-5315. Audubon outings


In Massachusetts, the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will offer a three-day mini-course on Cape Cod archeology, Aug. 8-9. The course includes hands-on field work. For information, call (508) 349-2615.


In Maine, "Whales and Seabirds of the Gulf of Maine" will be the focus of outings from Kennebunkport aboard the 75-passenger vessel Indian. For information on the Aug. 19 and Sept. 9 trips, call the Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth at (207) 781-2330. Oktoberfest


Munich's famed Oktoberfest is now on the World Wide Web, and those visiting it (http://www.Munich.con/oktoberfest, or, http://www.bavaria.de/Munich) will have a chance to win a trip to the Sept. 16-Oct. 1 event. Pictures, music and information on the beer fest will be featured. Deadline for entering the contest (answer three questions based on site information) is Aug. 12. Good deals


Through Aug. 31, Kempinski Hotels will feature special summer promotional rates at hotels in Europe, Asia, and North America and South America. Kempinski has two in Munich: the famed Vier Jahreszeiten, with rates about $190 a night, and at the new Munich Airport, approximately $145 a night. For information, call (800) 426-3135.


The Noga Hilton Cannes is offering a Summer Fun package with guaranteed US dollar rates on the French Riviera through Oct. 31. Rates are $139 a person double occupancy and include an air-conditioned room, buffet breakfast and chaise longues on the hotel's private beach. In August, there is a $50 per room supplement. For information, call (800) 445-8667.