Going on vacation is hard work. Luggages after luggages to haul in and out of cars, up and down stairs. Praying that flights do not get delayed or canceled. If in a foreign land, understanding the Covid rules is not easy as it changes weekly. PCR or antigen test or vaccine certificate or a weird combination of those? Wait. What do you mean we need a QR code that verifies the combination of what is being asked? Another big deal these days is figuring out wifi for every person and kids along with their multiple devices.
That is just to get us to the location. Restaurant options need to be planned to the precise detail so that there are enough seats for everyone. Even then, it is impossible to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Double the logistical fun if there are kids involved. Tours involve knowing how much the others can and want to walk, and what their preferences are. Museums. Shopping. Cathedrals. Castles. Foodie related places. Oh, some prefer none of the above.
Before a real rest happens, everything above is repeated if there is a next location. It’s no wonder that I typically need a vacation from a vacation to be able to wind down and catch up on sleep. While I have learned many tips over the years around vacations, here are the top ones that I follow.
On the vacation itself:
Duration: For me, it takes about 5 days of not thinking about work for my body and mind to go into a non-work mode. So, if I want a true vacation, it is usually longer than that to start.
Do what I enjoy: Instead of trying to hit up every major site at a location, I focus on doing what I enjoy. If that entails sleeping in everyday and skipping major attractions, so be it.
Out of office plan: For every aspect of my role, what would happen if I were 100% not there, as if I had left the firm. I plan who would be in charge of what, including who would attend what meetings and submit what work. Then, I write down the details and let everyone know ahead of time.
Work email/ chat/ calendar: Delete the apps from my phone and shut off all notifications. Give everyone my personal WhatsApp in case anyone needs to reach me. Available 24x7 on that channel.
Plan time to get back to work: On my first day back, I block out an entire morning or day to review what I missed (e.g., emails, docs, etc). It will help me know where to focus my efforts.
What are your tips around vacation?