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Why you need to take your vacation days, even if you’re stuck at home

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have canceled your vacation plans, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re taking advantage of your paid vacation days to get some rest and take a break from your work. Even if you’re stuck in the house, doing so is vital to your own happiness and productivity once you do get back to work.



a woman sitting on a bench next to a fence: Vacation Time Is Important Even Under Quarantine


© Ariel Skelley/DigitalVision via Getty Images
Vacation Time Is Important Even Under Quarantine

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According to a report by the U.S. Travel Association, 85% of managers participating in a study believed that time off allowed their employees to work more efficiently and productively once they were back to work. Yet another study cited in the same report found that 82% of small business owners who took a vacation saw an increase in job performance afterward. So, it’s actually good for your managers and job if you step away every now and then.

Even if your travel plans have been canceled, under the present circumstances, it’s important to manage anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic and the everyday stressors that come with it. That includes work. If you’re working from home, it can be quite difficult to differentiate between work and home, but you need time away from your job even if you’re not going any farther than your own backyard. And, hey, that yard can be quite fun if you create the ultimate staycation.

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Living in This Modern Home in Byron Bay, Australia, You May Feel Like You’re Always on Vacation

Listing of the Day

Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia 

Price: A$3.5 million (US$2.06 million)

Set on a quiet street, in one of Australia’s best-loved holiday destinations, just moments from its beaches, this renovated monochrome house is shrouded in tropical greenery and has distant views of Cape Byron lighthouse.

Named Byron Bay Black and previously a high-end holiday rental home, this newly renovated property has open-plan living spaces in a contemporary minimalist interior, with rooms that flow onto shady and secluded outdoor spaces.

Designed for relaxing, the property has a laid-back vibe created by its lush, tropical gardens, which are planted with palm and eucalyptus trees and flowering bushes, and its upper deck, with its covered and open terraces and chlorine-free pool.

More: Live-Streamed Auctions and Remote Deals: How Australia’s Real Estate Market is Weathering the Pandemic

The property has an upside-down design, which brings it closer to its surroundings. The main living spaces and bedrooms are on the first floor and they open onto balconies via glass sliding doors, which put palm leaves and bird life within touching distance, while offering views over the garden and beyond to the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Inside, natural materials and modern technology meet western and eastern styles. Dark brown and charred wooden elements, reed mat screens, stone and pebble surfaces have Asian influences, while the monochrome color palette evoke Scandinavian stylings. Clean, minimalist lines bring the two aesthetics together. 

“Byron Bay Black has been newly renovated to suit the stunning coastal feel and laid back attitude of Byron Bay,” says listing agent Sean Cussell. “Combining style and comfort, this home provides the perfect family home or weekend retreat.”

“Positioned in an iconic Australian location, close to two world-famous beaches in an elevated premier location, this is a beautifully presented family home generating excellent rental return,” he added.

More: Real Estate Auctions to Be Halted in Australia as Part of Effort to Combat Spread of Covid-19

Stats

The property has three bedrooms on the first floor and a further bedroom and one-bedroom attached studio on the ground floor, which also has a private courtyard and an outdoor bath and separate shower.

The house also has five en-suite bathrooms, a further family bathroom, a first-floor open-plan kitchen/living/dining room, a ground floor kitchen/living/dining room, a kids’ retreat, gardens and a driveway.

Amenities

There is a first-floor covered deck, a rustic, wooden outdoor bath adjoining the studio, a swimming pool and a bike rack.

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Neighborhood Notes

This house is on one of Byron Bay’s best streets, set a few roads back from the beachfront, where Tallows Beach and the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk 4-kilometer track are located. It is a few minutes’ walk from the Top Shop, an iconic café and burger bar; Beach, a seafront café/restaurant; Clarkes Beach and the scenic viewpoint of Captain Cook Lookout. 

A coastal town in Australia’s state of New South Wales, Byron Bay is a popular holiday destination that has gone

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How to grow your vacation savings while you’re at home in quarantine

  • As the stock market has tumbled, the Fed has slashed interest rates to near zero in an effort to boost the economy.
  • Those cuts have meant that APYs on high-yield savings accounts have plummeted. 
  • If you’ve been saving for a vacation and counting on the interest earned on your cash, you may be wondering if you should move it elsewhere to earn more.
  • For most people, leaving your money alone is the best choice. But if you have a longer timeline, you could put into a high-yield CD, change savings accounts, or even invest it if you won’t need the money for a long time.
  • Find out who has the best high-yield savings account rate right now »

As the stock market has plunged over the last month in response to fears about the coronavirus outbreak, the Fed has slashed interest rates in an effort to boost the economy and get markets moving again.

That may be beneficial for you if you’re looking to borrow money or refinance your mortgage, but if you’ve been counting on the interest earned in your high-yield savings account, the cuts probably weren’t as attractive.

Since banks and financial institutions follow the Fed’s lead, interest rates on high-yield savings accounts have dropped to new lows. If you’ve been socking away cash for your next vacation (whenever that may be) you may be wondering what to do with vacation savings that are suddenly sitting idle in high-yield savings accounts with rapidly dropping rates. 

With much of the country — and the world — in quarantine, it’s hard to know when travel will be feasible again, so what should you do with your funds in the meantime to make the most of that liquid cash? 

There are a few options on the table to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Move your funds to a better savings account

With the Fed cutting rates to near-zero, it’s likely that you’re seeing the interest rate on your high-yield savings account (HYSA) follow suit. In January, it wasn’t uncommon to see a 1.90% APY, but just a few months later, many are hovering closer to 1.50% or much lower.

We love an HYSA as a spot to stash vacation savings until you’re ready to use them, so now might be the right moment to look around for one with better rates. 

It is important to note, of course, that interest rates are fickle friends even in the best of times, and with all the uncertainty in the air right now, they’re sure to fluctuate even more. So try not to get in the habit of moving your savings every time you spot a higher interest rate. Do your research, find an institution and an account that works for you, and give your cash a chance to grow uninterrupted.

Consider a CD

A savings account is always a great option for funds you need handy at a moment’s notice, like an emergency fund. But when it comes

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