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Re: Holidays and vacation as a phd student
A lot depends on the school and your advisor specifically. Some people are perfectly fine with you being away for a while. Some people prefer you to be there all the time.
For the record do not go to a school or work with an advisor who is unwilling to give you a week off at winter break and a week off in the summer. It's not worth it. I can't speak to all programs, but for me I worked in the office through yesterday (12/22). I had a meeting with my advisor at 4 PM and then headed out for a week. I have to get some stuff done at home over the following week, but I won't be back in the office until January 2 at the earliest. For others in my program I know some left around the 19th and won't be back for a month. Again it all depends on what your advisor (and yourself) is cool with. If you can work fine from a separate location, then you'll likely be OK. There are some required things that you'll need to be at school for, but no one is going to bat an eye if you leave for a few weeks during the summer (almost everyone does).
It all really comes down to how much work is getting done. If you are staying on track to graduate in a reasonable time, meeting regularly with your advisor, and not missing any departmental things, it shouldn't really matter where you work. I know people who work better from home and they do. I rarely see them in the office. I also know people (myself) who prefers to not work when I'm at home with my family, so I do about 80% of my work in the office.
Unfortunately, there isn't a standard and as I stated at the start, it all depends on your department and advisor. As far as long distance relationships go, they're difficult during grad programs, but I know a few married couples who make them work. You'll get used to Facetime. The other thing is that if you're so far away from your spouse you might want to just assume that when you are together you won't be getting any work done. If you go in with that assumption you won't feel like a failure when you don't get stuff done and you'll more fully be able to enjoy your time with them.
Congrats on the offer by the way (this seems extremely early).