I'm a web developer/database&front/backend systems designer at a large Canadian university. I get 4 weeks of vacation time a year, but at the time was only banking 3 weeks a year. My vacation time basically keeps piling up until I use it though - something that doesn't get reset each year. Right now I have about 5 weeks weeks of vacation time banked for example. Usually my boss will get on our asses to start using up some vacation time when we have crazy amounts banked.. Technically the limit is 25 days, but way too many people are over this limit. People here just don't take that much vacation time, for whatever reason. I don't really remember how I brought up this particular vacation plan to my boss. Previously my longest time off was 3 weeks (My trip to Patagonia in 2008), and that's the longest I've ever heard anyone take time off here at the University (not including leaves)... Usually people take off 1 or 2 weeks max. My thinking though was that if I'm going to fly down to New Zealand, I might as well make it count.. So right away I was hoping to do at least 4 weeks. And it just sort of happened I guess? And then 4 turned into 5, or should I say more like 4 and a half. We're usually not that busy in November/December, so I guess that helped too. My boss is incredibly chill and his philosophy is basically: "You're a professional, if you think you can afford to take of all that time, go for it". I knew I was kind of pushing it with 5 weeks, but I just went for it and figured I'd deal with the fallout later. And there really wasn't a fallout, so I guess I made the right decision! As a result asking for 3 weeks off since that is a lot easier - there's precedent... "Well, at least it isn't 5 weeks", etc. And even if it were, depending on the circumstances, it would probably be approved again. I know my boss wouldn't love the idea, but he wouldn't stand in my way unless there was some project on the horizon that required my presence here. So I'm limited a bit in that regard, but this job is great for travelling.. and you know what, I still get jealous of Europeans who get 7-8+ weeks off. I meet people like that when I'm travelling all the time.. and I guess I should be more thankful of my own job, but compared to what they get I just can't help it but feel a lil bit jealous.