With most people these days having busy schedules that include a heavy workload and social calendar, it’s hard to find where to draw the line when you’re on vacation. Here are five tips to help you find the perfect balance between being totally accessible and disappearing off the face of the earth.
- Remember to set your out of office message. If you receive a lot of emails at work, this is basically a necessity. The afternoon or evening before your trip, you should set the auto-response in your email with a message stating you’re out of the office with the dates you’ll be gone. You don’t want your clients, customers or coworkers – who don’t know that you’re going away for a couple days or a week – to think you’re blatantly ignoring their messages, especially if they have questions or requests for you. If applicable, in your out-of-office message, name someone else in your office who can handle anything urgent in your absence.
- This tip also applies to personal email. If you get a lot of messages from friends or family, set up an auto-response for that account too. You don’t want Aunt Susan to think you’re ungrateful for that casserole recipe she emailed to you.
- If you NEED to respond, keep it short. Firstly, some messages, work or personal, can definitely go unanswered until you get back. It’s nice that Jim from HR let everyone know that he’s cleaning out the fridge at the end of the day – but there’s no reason for you to respond to this while you’re on vacation, even if you accidentally left a yogurt in the there. Some messages, on the other hand, may require a response. Tom from accounting may have an important question to ask you about billing one of your customers, for example. Of course, you need to respond, just try to keep it as brief as possible without leaving any pertinent information out.
- If you think you’ll be getting messages from your office that absolutely need to be answered, pick a time of day to check and respond. Consider setting a time limit for yourself as well. You can’t forget that you’re on vacation and should be relaxing, not stressing about matters back home.
- Check your emails and voicemails during downtime. A great time to check who’s been looking for you is at the airport while you’re waiting for your flight, or when you’re at your destination and your loved ones are getting ready. This is a great time to reply to text messages you’ve received and haven’t gotten a chance to answer, or to get your social media fix in.
- Don’t go too crazy on social media. Posting vacation photos is fun, but can get old pretty quickly for your followers. Try posting one or two good pictures a day to Instagram and post the other winners later on with the Throwback Thursday hashtag (#tbt). You can also make an album of your vacation on Facebook when you get back, so your followers, friends and family can peruse your photos on their own time. Try to keep in mind that not everyone is on vacation, and seeing photos of you with a margarita in hand on a tropical beach being posted every five minutes may rub some the wrong way.
- Check your messages, then get involved in something else. It’s certainly difficult to change gears from one thing to the next in a matter of minutes. Deal with what has to be dealt with then move on and head out to see a cool attraction, it can take your mind off what work or personal situation needed handling. There’s only so much you can do while you’re away anyway (excluding certain disasters that you may need to head back home for). Try to focus on enjoying yourself, not a situation or problem that can be handled just as effectively when you return in a few days.
To put these tips into use, start planning your next vacation to one of our 40+ fabulous destinations by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.