This blog post is for all of you who want to take a vacation, but aren’t really sure how you can possibly do so and NOT spend the whole time working and replying to emails and calls instead of relaxing. As a small business owner, you want to have a plan in place before you leave, so you won’t spend almost every moment of your vacation with your phone glued to your hand to anxiously check email and stay on top of everything. You’ll wind up feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation and no one wants that.

Read on for 15 tips for working on vacation while still actually taking a vacation.

  1. DO trust that your employees will be able to keep your business running smoothly in your absence. Relax. You hired them for a reason.
  2. DON’T set your employees up for failure by assuming they know the tribal knowledge you have in your head. Make a list of everything that needs to be handled while you’re out and any information they may need to know about your clients’ histories and go over the list with each employee.
  3. DO figure out a plan in advance for any issues that may arise. Let your employees know when and why they should contact you, if necessary.
  4. DON’T lose new business because you’re on vacation and you didn’t think to have a process in place to handle business development.
  5. DO train one or more of your employees to be the point person for business development while you’re away. This will also serve to empower your employees and help your business grow further even when you’re back.
  6. DO keep any weekly update meetings on the calendar and assign someone to run them for you to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
  7. DO utilize marketing automation technology, which will keep your drip campaigns running smoothly. Your potential customers won’t even know you’re away as they’ll still be receiving emails from you.
  8. DO set up an Out of Office auto-responder that will be sent out to anyone who emails you while you’re on vacation. Make sure to mention the people who are covering for you in various areas and their contact information in your message.
  9. DON’T say that you’re on vacation in your auto-responder. The last thing you need is someone seeing that piece of information and breaking into your home or office since they know you’re away. Simply say that you will be out of the office from such date to such date.
  10. DO set up your voicemail to say that you’re out of the office, when you’ll be back and who the person calling can contact if they need to reach someone immediately.
  11. DON’T redirect your office line to your cell phone. Yes, it’s tempting, but don’t. If it already is forwarded, deactivate that before you leave for vacation.
  12. If your cell phone is your office phone, DO turn it off before heading out for each day. You can turn the phone back on if you need to make a call; look up something online; or use the Waze app or another navigational app for directions. But there’s no need to have it on for potential calls from clients all day.
  13. DO have a checklist of everything you need to pack, and also one of everything you need to do before leaving the office for vacation. Checking off those items one by one feels great. Plus, it gives you an added way to make sure everything is covered.
  14. DO plan ahead to take off the Monday after your vacation, especially if you’re returning home from being away on a Saturday or Sunday. You will want that extra day to return to reality and get laundry done; go grocery shopping; and yes, you can check your work emails and calls to your heart’s content then to prepare for returning to work fully on Tuesday.
  15. DO have fun! Rest, relax and recharge. Explore, eat great food, and have an adventure. Find a hammock, grab a book, and just enjoy! Our CEO, Don, does just that on a well deserved break every once in a while: