How to REALLY Go on Vacation

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Summer has arrived, and we know you are counting down the days…or dreading them, until your much awaited family vacation. Whether you run your own business or work as an employee, leaving all of your responsibilities behind can be a real cause for anxiety, and may even prevent you from completely enjoying your time off.

But the time you will spend with your family is precious! If you are a working mom, it is a time to really get to know and be with your children for longer and more extended hours in the day than you are normally able to. It will be a wonderful time to reconnect with your little ones in a deeply profound way. But won’t be able to do this if you are constantly checking your email, or worrying if the people you left behind are meeting your deadlines. The key to a family vacation well-lived is peace of mind. And the only way you can really do this is to make sure all your bases are covered.

Here’s how.

1. File your leave in advance. Don’t wait until a month before your long leave to tell your boss, partner, or assistant that you will be gone. In fact, inform your office even before you book any tickets or finalize any plans so that the rest of your office can anticipate and prepare you for your leave.

2. Get a sub. If you have the kind of job that requires day to day work, for example, a sales role that requires constant communication with customers, then you need to ensure that there will be someone who is capable and willing to do this for you while you are away. Depending on the size and nature of your company, this can be your direct supervisor, your boss, or your assistant.

3. Endorse. Let your partners or colleagues know what needs to happen while you are away, or if you are expecting clients to check in or respond to queries you may have made before. Endorse any pending projects and relevant contact information that your subs may need while you are gone. Be as thorough in your endorsement as you can, so that your office will find no reason to call you while you are on vacation.

4. Choose specific hours to be available. Most offices are able to respect vacation time, but it also helps to let them know that they can contact you at specific hours of the day, considering the time difference. That way, you can plan your itinerary (but only if you really need to) around these hours, and know when to expect calls and texts from your office.

5. Shift mindset. As creatures who are talented at multitasking, women find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time. To have a truly enjoyable family vacation, try to let go of all the concerns that are distracting you. Vacations don’t happen often, so try to focus on your family, because before you know it you will be back in the office, scrolling through your family vacation photos and wishing you were away.

Don’t be that mom who is always on her phone or her laptop while she is with her children or on vacation. That’s not the kind of mom you want to be remembered as, right? So this summer, if you can, leave your work in the office and be really present to your kids while you all go on vacation. These are memories you are going to have and cherish forever.

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