Nothing recharges and renews quite like a vacation. Even the most dedicated workaholic needs to get away sometimes. These days though, trying to find time to escape from work for a relaxing getaway feels increasingly more difficult. Between emails from the boss, and constant notifications on your smartphone, finding enough R&R time can certainly feel like a challenge.
However, there are a few tips you can employ to ensure that your transition from ‘work mode’ to ‘vacation mode’ is as seamless as possible.
Before Your Vacation
- Announce your vacation as far in advance as possible. The more time you give yourself to prepare for your escape, the less stressed you’ll be when it’s time to finally leave. Plus, providing advance notice will be helpful to those co-workers who may be managing your work while you’re gone.
- Decide whether you’ll need to travel with your laptop or not. Whether bringing a laptop for work or for pleasure, traveling with one can definitely prove to be a challenge. Pack your laptop in a sturdy and protected shoulder or laptop bag, and don’t forget the appropriate cables.
- Backup your laptop and smartphone before you leave on your trip. Luggage gets lost, smartphones fall and shatter, and devices get stolen. It’s better to be prepared in case of such an emergency.
- Don’t forget to set your “out of office” message for your email and voicemail before leaving on your trip! This is probably one of the most satisfying steps of vacation preparation.
During Your Vacation
- Dress comfortably and conveniently for the airport. Because you’ll be passing through airport security and waiting in long lines, it’s best to not wear complicated clothing or unnecessary accessories. The days of dressing formally for the airport may be long behind us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress to impress!
- From taking pictures to looking up directions, traveling can wreak havoc on your smartphone battery. Don’t forget to bring along a portable smartphone charger (or two) to make sure your smartphone is always ready for that picture, snap, tweet, or post.
- Sometimes though, it’s best to disconnect and leave your smartphone in the hotel room. After all, isn’t vacation a time to escape our work, stress, and notifications? Bring along ‘old school’ alternatives like a camera and GPS navigation systems to ensure your memories are still recorded and you don’t get lost.
- Unfortunately, accidents do happen – even on vacation. While most hotels will have a first aid kit and basic medical supplies, it’s a good idea to bring your own first aid kit, especially if you’re staying in somewhere other than a hotel.
After Your Vacation
- Welcome back from vacation! To avoid that overwhelming feeling we all experience when returning, get a head start on your day. Brew yourself a good cup of coffee and get to work as early as you can. You’ll be glad you did.
- Not sure where to start with that mountain of email? Filter your email by importance, and manage those emails with the highest priority. It’s ok to accept the fact that you may not get everything done in the first day back from vacation.
- Plan out your day and your week. You may feel slammed with everything that needs to get done, but don’t worry about tackling the biggest projects immediately upon returning. Take advantage of your clear post-vacation mindset, and you’ll find the headspace to accomplish and organize anything.
Have any other tips on preparing to take a vacation from work? We’d love to hear your own tips in the comments!