Don’t let frequent business travel take the excitement out of your next vacation!
A common misconception of business travel life is that it is like going on vacation. Most business trips are the exact opposite, and most business travelers are workaholics. After a long day of travel or work, the average road warrior returns to their hotel room and logs an hour or six in front of a laptop or tablet.
And, the work doesn’t end there. The true workaholic business travelers are working throughout their trip- at the airport, in-flight and even in the back seat of their Uber. After months and months of this insanity, it is time to take a break.
When the average person heads to the airport for vacation, the pre-trip excitement is already building. But, for frequent travelers, a trip to the airport may feel more like a drive to the office. So, how can business traveler truly relax on vacation? With lots of planning.
In the weeks leading up for your trip, plan ahead!
Plan-Give yourself enough time to complete the work you have committed to before you leave (and don’t take on any new projects!).
Delegate– Find someone capable that you trust to manage important tasks while you are away.
Practice– Start relaxing before you leave. Prepare for your trip by reading about the destination or YouTubing local guides.
Don’t plan on working while you are on your vacation.
During your vacation, enjoy yourself!
Scan Email– Occasionally scan your email to reassure yourself that nothing catastrophic is happening at work while you are gone.
Activities– Take advantage of your free time and try some activities. In addition to being active, and maybe trying something new, you will be having so much fun playing beach volleyball, you forget all of the stressful thoughts you were having about work.
Power Down– Turn your phone off. If you have to SnapChat every step of your vacation, turn off your email notifications so you are not being constantly reminded of work- or set your phone to airplane mode and work off the WiFi at your resort (if it is secure!).
Don’t be tempted to work. You are taking a vacation to get a break. Working during the break will add stress to your trip and resentment when you return.
Plan your return to work.
Block Time– You will need a significant chunk of time when you return to work the first day to read through ALL your email, so you can prioritize your tasks. It can be tempting to avoid your inbox but get that out of the way first.
Hide– Not literally, but keep your out of office reply on for at least your first day back to work. That will ensure you have one day of peace and quiet to catch up before things get back to the normal crazy. And, whatever you do, do not book a corporate trip on your first day back.
Vacay Mindset– Did your rediscover how much you enjoy swimming laps? Perhaps you realized eight hours of sleep really is necessary to remove the permanent bags under your eyes. Whatever stress relieving tactics you can take from your vacation into your normal routine, do!
Don’t work late. As tempting as it may be, work your normal hours when you return.
The Workaholics Guide to Relaxing on Vacation
by KRISTINA PORTILLO, CPT, MS