President Obama will be departing the White House Thursday for a 10-day family vacation to Martha's Vineyard.
Critics say his choice of such an upscale destination is inappropriate with so many Americans out of work.
"If you're the President of the United States, and the nation is in crisis - and we're in a jobs crisis right now - then you shouldn't be out vacationing," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on a Chicago radio program.
"Instead you should be focusing on getting the economy going again," he added. "And, yeah, go back to the office yourself, pull back members of Congress and focus on getting the job done."
The White House says the president needs time to recharge and spend time with his family, noting that even on vacation the president is briefed daily and is never really off the job.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are also taking a break. They left town shortly after negotiating an agreement with the White House to raise the nation's credit limit.
Republican consultant Rich Galen noted that even if Obama chose to forego his vacation, there's not much he or lawmakers can do to solve the nation's current economic woes.
"They don't have anything to act upon," Galen said. "If anyone knew what the answer to this was, they'd do it."