7 Vacation Tips for Women Who Travel a Lot on Business
When you travel a lot for work, you already know the travel tips and tricks for getting the best flight, booking a cheap hotel and so on. However, all of that business travel can get old.
This summer, treat yourself to a vacation that’s totally different from your work trips. Whether that means staying at home for a long weekend or embarking on a camping trip, read on to discover seven great vacation tips for making the most of your time off.
Technology Is Not Your Friend
When you travel for work, you’re expected to stay connected to the office from your smartphone and laptop. Vacation, however, is your time to relax with family, friends or savor alone time. So leave your devices at home or at least keep them off while you’re away. Take a camera instead and make memories you can share when you get home.
Even fun digital activities like social media will take you out of the moment. Once you’re on your phone to check Facebook, it’s all too easy for an email to pop up and pull you back into office business.
Rethink the Vacation Week
Just because beach rentals run from Saturday to Saturday doesn’t mean your vacation has to follow the same tried-and-true schedule. If a week is hard to find in your packed schedule, try a long weekend instead. Three or four days, if you spend them unplugged from work, can be just as refreshing as a whole week away.
Staycations can make for a great long weekend. When you travel a lot for work, just being home could be the thing you crave most. To distinguish a staycation from your normal weekend routine, arrange to have your home deep cleaned or treat yourself to a few days’ worth of catered meals. Enjoy all the comforts of home without stressing over the chores.
One of the biggest bummers of business travel is there’s often no time for sightseeing. Whether your destination is Paris or Pittsburgh, when you travel for work your days are usually filled with conferences, meetings and other obligations.
Your vacation shouldn’t be as overscheduled as your work trips. Instead of taking a highlighter to a guidebook, choose just three or four things you might really enjoy doing; or wait to see how you feel when you wake up. There’s nothing wrong with missing the activities most tourists flock to. You’ll have more fun if you’re not stressing over logistics.
Take Your Time Leaving and Returning
Bookend your trip with full-or-half-days off for packing and prepping as well as unpacking and readjusting to routines. Avoid the impulse many people have to leave as soon as possible and get home after dark the night before returning to work. Set a leisurely pace throughout your time off and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed. After all, nothing kills that vacation buzz faster than returning to a messy house and a pile of emails you have to stay up to sort through. On my first day back from a trip, I only schedule catch-up work and don’t let clients know I’m in the office until the following day. Trying to balance client demands along with everything else is almost enough to ruin the relaxation from a trip.
Just Checking in Is a Slippery Slope
True, one way to avoid an overflowing inbox is to process email while you’re away, but thinking you’re just going to sort and delete can be dangerous. Before you know it, a problem arises and now that you’ve read about it you can’t ignore it. Soon enough you’re working on vacation.
Set boundaries ahead of time. If the idea of being completely disconnected makes you anxious, then do check in, but decide the terms of engagement before you leave. Assign a point-of-contact at the office to handle emergencies in your absence, and tell co-workers how much you will or will not be available. For example, you could limit your email/online time to 15 minutes every morning at 9 a.m.
Try Something New
Chances are you already spend a great deal of your life flying from one city to another and staying in nice hotels. So why not try something different for your personal time? Find a new destination you can reach by car and throw your tent in the trunk. Getting away to an area where cell phones and Internet get no signal is one of the best ways to unplug and enjoy the trip.
If camping’s not your thing, you can still choose a drivable destination and mix things up by staying in a funky local motel instead of the usual Marriott. (And then turning your phone off to avoid being found.)
Give Yourself Permission to Take the Vacation You Want to Take
Above all else, your vacation is about you. Unlike your regular business trips, no one else is dictating where you go and what you do there. If all you want to do is lie on the beach, grab your sunscreen and go. If staying home and spending quality time with your kids or your dog is what you crave, stock up on movies and snacks and get comfortable.
Vacation isn’t a competition so plan the one you want, not the one you think you should want.