Vacations are highly anticipated and well-deserved for full-time employees and employers alike. With our emails at our fingertips and work often following us home via our smartphones, disconnecting and relaxing while on vacation can be challenging.
There are some steps you can take in advance to help you enjoy a stress-free, work-free trip. Brittney Jones-Dabney, Marketing and Communications Manager with the Montgomery Regional Airport, shared her top 10 things to know before you go on vacation.
1. Share Your Plans
Clearly communicate your preparation plans and your availability/reachability during your vacation in case any unforeseen issues arise. Make sure everyone knows what you plan to handle before you leave, what needs to be managed by someone else while you are away, and what you plan to handle on your return.
2. Delegate & Cross-train
Provide procedures or instructions to ensure the people responsible for covering specific tasks are equipped to manage them. You may need to train them, so make sure you give them enough notice prior to your absence.
3. Set Your Out-of-Office Message
This is one of the most important tasks and one of the easiest to forget. Go into your email settings and set up your out-of-office message. If someone will be monitoring your email or responding on your behalf, make sure you include in your out-of-office message to contact that person if there are urgent requests or issues.
4. Forward Your Emails
If you have heavy daily email traffic that needs to be frequently monitored, designate someone in your office to receive your forwarded emails. You can filter what is getting forwarded to which person, so your coworkers’ inboxes aren’t bombarded with non-urgent emails.
5. Clear Your Voicemail Box
Empty your voicemail box so anyone trying to reach you for work can leave you a detailed message. If it is an urgent request or issue, you can return their call or forward it to a coworker.
6. Address Any Urgent Tasks Before Departure
All time-sensitive tasks and important deadlines need to be addressed beforehand. Don’t leave your coworkers or clients scrambling to complete a task that was your responsibility to handle.
You can’t get your mind off work if it’s constantly at your fingertips. Take a break from checking your work emails and texts from co-workers, and if you must, set a designated time once a day to catch up and make sure there are no urgent matters to attend to.
8. Schedule Relaxing Activities
Vacations and uninterrupted time away from work are crucial for mental health and job satisfaction. Schedule some downtime during your trip to unwind by the pool, relax outdoors or make an appointment at the spa. Allow yourself to be fully present and make the most of your trip.
9. Plan a Recovery Day
It’s tempting to pack your vacation itinerary with activities from beginning to end, but setting aside a day to recover before returning to the office can help you start back on a positive, refreshed foot. Come back a day earlier and relax in your home, catch up on chores and unpack.
10. Ease Back In
Clean your workspace and remove clutter from your desk before you leave the office to help you ease back in when you return. Try to avoid tackling stressful tasks on your first day back. Instead, try spending your first few hours catching up on emails and anything you may have missed while you were away.
Pro Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel
From checking your accommodations and navigating security lines to finding your boarding gate, air travel today can be hectic. Follow these tips to keep calm and catch your flight.
Research the Airport You Will Depart From
Becoming familiar with the airport will allow you to formulate a game plan on parking. At MGM, parking is conveniently located steps from the terminal and minutes from the TSA security checkpoint. And if you’re pressed for time, you can download the TSA app to keep an eye on line length.
Locate the Airline Ticketing Counter
The airline ticketing counter will likely be your first stop if you’re checking in luggage. Locating the counter ahead of time will reduce anxiety. At MGM, arriving at least two hours before your flight is recommended, allowing plenty of time to check in (with or without) bags and clear security before your scheduled departure. Note that to complete check-in and check bags at the airport, you are required be there a certain amount of time before scheduled departure: For American Airlines, it’s 45 minutes, and for Delta Airlines, it’s 30 minutes.