Taking Time Off: How to Plan a Seamless Holiday

man ready for his vacation

When you’re swamped with work, and you feel like you’re doing too much, the last thing you want is to go on a hastily cooked-up vacation and return to even more work. That would render your vacation useless as you just gave yourself more work in exchange for a few moments of rest. So to make your holiday truly a recuperative one, here are a few tips to help you out.

Organize Work Before You Leave

First things first, of course, you should organize and plan the tasks you’re going to leave. You don’t want your office to run amok because you’ve dropped your tasks without assigning them to the right people or talking to the ones who are next in line for your responsibility. Take a deep breath before starting the task assignment process so that it doesn’t feel like such an overwhelming process. List down all the things you need to regularly accomplish, and set up a meeting with your manager about them. Ensure there is enough time on your calendar for the meetings you have set up to discuss and assign these tasks. Think about what other jobs and responsibilities you have besides the one you’re currently working on, as they might also have to work on that.

Plan Your Vacation, but Don’t Overplan

Flexibility is one of the keys to traveling. It allows you to spend more time experiencing your destinations than if you are restricted to only seeing a few sights in a day or even within a single tour or travel package itinerary like group tours, all-inclusive vacations, etc. You are the ultimate decision-maker when you travel. The problem is that you also have a choice between lots of options with no clear idea which would fit into your budget and vacation plan best, so how do you choose? It’s easy if you know the type of activities and attractions you want to see. However, when figuring out what to do, how to organize your trip, and when to go, there is often a lot of uncertainty about your goals and priorities.

That’s why it’s better to create a plan, a general outline of what you’ll do, but not to overplan it and overbook yourself. Just create a skeleton of how you intend to spend your vacation. You want to enjoy your trip after all. If you’re planning to rent a boat overnight, you want to schedule what you’re going to do during the experience and allow for time just to relax. If you’re going on a hike, you might need a schedule, but it’s critical to be flexible and adapt to any changes that might happen during the trip.

Leave Work at Work

When you’re finally spending your vacation, fight the urge to pick up your phone and check back on work. Remember that this is your well-deserved break. If you feel guilty that you’re leaving your coworkers, keep in mind that the reason for your absence isn’t important to anyone but yourself, unless it has a negative impact on someone else’s life or work situation (like if your absence impacts client deadlines, or causes others in your organization to take over your responsibilities). But that’s why you’re going to prepare everything for your vacation anyway. If you’re planning an extended vacation from work, it may be wise to talk to your boss about a longer arrangement, especially if other employees will need your help during your absence.

Most Importantly, Plan Your Transition Back to Work

The first week back at work from a long vacation is always the most difficult. Not only is returning to work stressful, but it can also be challenging to figure out how to reconnect with your coworkers after a break, especially if you’ve been separated for an extended period or haven’t worked together all year long. The best way to break the ice once more or at least make it easier for you to talk to them about work is by bringing them something from your trip. Just dropping yourself back to work talk can be difficult, so doing this will make it easier.

And you also need to set boundaries for yourself. This may seem like common sense, but many people who come back from a long absence forget to set limits on the time or activities they want to pursue outside of work or obligations that have become routine during the holidays or summer off (such as family dinners or daily exercise). Set parameters to allow yourself to focus on work.

Share this post:
Scroll to Top