Vacation season is well and truly upon us. That should be great news, but for many folks working at American companies world famous for their meager vacation allowances, beach season is more torture than pleasure. You see the glorious weather outside your office window yet you don't have enough time off to enjoy it.

Is there any way to end this torment? Maybe, explained The Cut's work advice columnist Alison Green in a timely column last week. It's sometimes possible to negotiate yourself more vacation time if you follow a few simple steps.

1. Arm yourself with info.

Green notes that the easiest time to ask for more time off is when you've just gotten a job offer and are negotiating your compensation package. She even offers exact scripts for broaching the subject with your new employer. But if you're past that point and have already been working somewhere awhile, getting more time off requires a little preparation.

Think of asking for more vacation days as similar to asking for a raise. Knowing your own worth and the market before you speak to your boss are key. It's "worth researching how much vacation time other employers in your field are offering. Your employer might be much more willing to grant your request if they know that their competitors are offering more paid vacation than they are," Green says.

Depending on the type of relationship you have with your boss and your company culture, arming yourself with hard data on how long vacations actually benefit companies could also come in handy. I'm not saying you should definitely send you boss this link or this one or this one, but if you have the right kind of relaxed office, circulating research like this might open the conversation.

2. Bring it up at your review.

Like asking for a raise, asking for more vacation time is best done when you sit down with your boss for a formal review and should only be attempted when you know your performance at work is excellent.

"Since you're asking for a change to your compensation package, you should wait until you've been at the job for at least a year, and you should be in excellent standing; this isn't a request you can make unless your manager is thrilled with your work," Green writes. "If you meet both of those conditions, you can try meeting with your boss and making the request. It's easiest to tie it to performance evaluations or salary reviews."

What do you say exactly? Green suggests one simple formulation: "One thing that would keep me really happy here is if we were able to increase the amount of vacation time I receive each year. Would you be open to giving me an additional week of vacation per year in recognition of the work I've been doing?"

Or, if you're pretty sure this sort of straight up ask isn't going to fly, offer to trade your raise for more vacation time that year. You're saving your boss money, she points out, so it's a whole lot easier to get a yes.

3. Document it in writing.

Got your boss on board? Congrats, but before you start packing your suitcase, don't forget one crucial final step. Make sure you document your new agreement in writing. This is an obvious way to avoid future misunderstandings (especially if your boss or HR person moves on to a new role), but it's easy to overlook.

A quick email saying something like, "I wanted to summarize our conversation earlier, agreeing that effective this month, I'll begin accruing four weeks of vacation time per calendar year. Thanks for working with me on this!," should do the trick, according to Green.