10 Things You Should Do Before A Long Vacation
Do we take a vacation because we work or do we work because we take a vacation? Why not ponder over this philosophical question on your next long vacation? But before you do, consider these ten things you should do before a long vacation.
Use Vacation Tracker
Obviously, the first thing on this list is a shameless plug for our product. Vacation Tracker is a simple app that manages time off for your team to make your work life easier. It does only that. It’s its only job. Use it before a long vacation. From within Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Workplace platforms, make an easy-peasy vacation request using our user-friendly tool and have it approved by your team leader in no time.
Plan ahead at work
So many things at work can happen within a day, let alone a couple of weeks or a few months. Before a long vacation, make sure you have thought of everything so your team can operate smoothly during your absence, but also for an easy transition back to work when you return from a long time off. Clear your desk as much as you can before leaving. Complete any remaining tasks, urgent requests, respect your due dates and deliver your projects on time. It also means to leave your desk clean and organized so your colleagues can have access to it and easily find what they might need and more importantly to avoid unnecessary stress at both times as you can start enjoying your vacation by properly leaving work behind and upon your return.
Everybody should know
Well, they don’t need to know every single detail about where you plan to go, who with, and what you will do, but your colleagues, clients, and direct supervisors should be made aware of your time off period to manage people’s expectations. Plan your temporary departure and inform people affected by it of how you have organized your absence, and who to ask for help if needed. Have a meeting to clarify the remaining tasks and assign the resource and contact person as a backup. Write up a summary and send it to your team in an email or a chat to serve as a reference if necessary, along with contact information specific to the tasks, projects, and responsibilities under your role. Taking these additional steps will help keep your team productive, save time, keep your beautiful plants alive while away, and especially avoid confusion and frustration.
Try to be discreet
Are you the type to make countdowns from 90 days until your official Vacation Day, announce it every single day, and boast about how amazing this road trip will be? Please don’t. I’m sure it will be amazing and your team is happy for you and share your enthusiasm, but this behavior will become annoying after two days. Save it as an occasional topic of conversation during break or lunch.
The day before a long vacation, to make sure you fully enjoy your time off, turn off your work-related notifications and remember or configure it to turn it on again the day before your leave ends. Doing this will allow you to completely disconnect from work and better appreciate a restorative break.
Plan vacation ahead
To fully enjoy your time off requires a bit of work ahead of time. Think about what you would like to do in accordance with the duration of your vacation. Fill your vacation schedule with a healthy balance between fun, safety, and rest. We are all limited by Covid-19 measures but we can still enjoy the company of others while applying social distancing and sanitary measures. Research places, events, locations, travels, transportation, and people before booking anything to make sure activities haven’t been canceled, delayed, restructured, restricted, or postponed.
Get your paperwork in order
Do your vacation plans require a renewed passport or driver’s license? Do you need extra insurance coverage? Vaccination? Have you paid all your bills? Do you need to call your bank? Do you need a plane ticket? Book a hotel? Do you know where to park your car? Do you need to change your phone and data plan? Paperwork might just be a matter of a simple phone call or admin stuff, especially government or healthcare-related requests could take longer, so plan to have enough time to sort out these issues before your vacation begins.
Make a list
Once your vacation activities decided, make a list of things you need.
Purchase them all.
Empty your fridge
Planning for a fun getaway? Consider emptying your fridge or storing the remaining food in the freezer. Are you leaving your pets behind? Or a backyard and a fancy garden to care for? Arrange for an available and reliable sitter. Give them the alarm code.
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.