While most Americans are lucky to get a few weeks of holiday every year, it seems the country’s leader gets a little more freedom in the matter.
President Barack Obama has announced his Christmas vacation to Hawaii – for a staggering 17-day trip.
Obama, who visited the island just two weeks ago for an economic summit, will head to Honolulu on Saturday December 17 until Monday January 2.
Taking it easy: President Obama, pictured playing golf, has announced he will take off more than two weeks to visit Hawaii with his wife and daughters
The president, who was raised in Hawaii until he was six, will be joined by his wife Michelle and their daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10.
The White House travel office announced the president has no public events scheduled for the trip.
The President’s family covers the cost of a private beach front residence in Kailua, Oahu, for their vacation – a ‘Winter White House’ that costs up to $3,500 a day, or $75,000 a month.
But the local and federal taxpayers help pay the bill for travel and security.
Home for Christmas: President Barack Obama, pictured at the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Friday, lived in Honolulu, Hawaii until the age of six
Last year the trip cost more than $1 million,according to the Hawaii Reporter.
Obama announced the trip during a campaign fundraiser on Oahu’s Leeward Coast during his stay on the island last month.
THE HEFTY HOLIDAY BILL
Last year the Obama’s Christmas trip to Hawaii cost more than $1 million.
He covered the cost of his family’s accommodation, but the rest was covered by the taxpayers.
The bill to house Secret Service agents and Navy Seals in beach front accommodation stretched to $16,800.
A further hotel bill of $134,400 covered 24 White House staff staying in the Moana Hotel at a rate of $400 a day.
The estimate, by the Hawaii Reporter, also included $250,000 for local police overtime, $1 million for the president’s own round trip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One, and $10,000 for a local ambulance to accompany the presidential motorcade.
‘It is great to be home, great to feel that Aloha spirit,’ he said.
‘And Michelle and the girls will be back shortly for Christmas vacation, as we do every year. We’ll see if Washington gets its business done, so I can get here as well. But that’s always a challenge.’
It follows an 11-day stay in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, earlier this year, which is also believed to have cost the U.S. taxpayer millions
Next week, the president will be saving a few cents by hosting a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Obama will speak with Harper at the White House about economic competitiveness, security and key global issues.
Harper has urged Obama to support an oil pipeline from western Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
But the Obama administration said last month it was delaying a decision on the project until it can study new potential routes that would avoid environmentally sensitive areas in the Midwest. The decision is expected to be delayed until 2013.