Interns are the lifeblood of the modern economy, as they’re often tasked with gruelling office work that most companies couldn’t live without, yet seldom reward sufficiently. Those who find themselves in an internship are thus likely to be stressed out and in dire need of a break. Nevertheless, most interns avoid asking for time off because they fear doing so will thwart their future job prospects. In reality, asking for a well-deserved vacation illustrates that you’re an adult who knows their limits and understands the basics of bargaining, which will make you a more appealing job candidate in the future.

Here’s a review of how to ask for vacation time during an internship, and how to ensure your pitch isn’t ignored by your higher-ups. 

Illustrate why vacations are needed

The first and most important task is illustrating why vacations are needed in the first place. Some entrepreneurs and corporate professionals still make the silly mistake of thinking that vacations are frivolous expenses that should be enjoyed rarely, if at all. In reality, vacations actually recharge a tired workforce and ensure that you’re content enough in life to capably manage your responsibilities without leaving anything by the wayside.

This isn’t a random claim – years of research show that employees with ample vacation time perform better in the office than those who are overworked and bereft of downtime. The Harvard Business Review has published a data-backed case for why vacations are excellent. When making your vacation pitch, cite this and other data-heavy experiments that illustrate that workers and interns who get some time off come back to the office more productive than ever before. Professional organizations care about workers who look after themselves, so don’t be deterred from making your pitch because you fear it will be a weak one. 

After you’ve demonstrated why vacations are actually a plus for the company in question, you need to prove why you, specifically, deserve a vacation. There are many reasons to take some unpaid or paid time off, whether you’re studying, honing your skills, or simply need to spend some downtime with your family after a hectic work period. Managing the delicate process of asking for time off begins with proving to your boss that you’re seeking a vacation for valid reasons. 

Know how to impress your boss

Negotiating a vacation while you’re an intern necessitates impressing your boss ahead of time. This is because you’re not yet a full-time professional who’s already proven their worth to the company, so you need to demonstrate with your actions why you’ve earned some time off. Reviewing some excellent tips that can be relied upon to impress your boss as an intern is highly recommended if you don’t want to botch the job. 

After you’ve demonstrated how much value you bring to the company, consider pointing out that taking a temporary vacation will allow the company to become more flexible. In this day and age, business owners need to be ready for anything, and preparing for the sudden, unexpected loss of a crucial worker by experimenting with vacations is a good long-term investment in your commercial prosperity. 

Make sure your request for a vacation isn’t filled with complaints about the company – this is a surefire way to squander the opportunities that your internship has handed you. Instead, pitch it as a much-deserved break that you’ve earned with your hard work and tireless dedication to the brand. Before long, your boss will understand that you’ve put in so many hours that you deserve a vacation, and you can enjoy some time off to visit the local sites or spend time with your family and friends.


  • A digital nomad and an internet entrepreneur with a thirst for food and travel.