5 Ways to Make the Most of Vacation Time

Beach All year long, you dream about taking a vacation – just relaxing and enjoying some “me” time. Studies show that a work-life balance is important to your health and mental well being. Vacations are all about cutting loose and catching a break from everyday worries. To make your time away from work the stress-free oasis you’re after, follow these few simple tips.

Give Plenty of Notice
Nothing’s worse than booking a week in paradise only to discover you can’t get the time off. Save yourself the headache and the cancellation fees by getting your supervisor’s written approval before making final arrangements. That way if your dates have to be changed, you won’t be out the cost of plane tickets or a hotel room.

This is particularly important if you want time off around holidays like Memorial Day or Fourth of July. Chances are many of your co-workers will also request holiday vacations, and the time off may go to whoever asks first.

Don’t Leave Co-Workers in a Lurch
When you know you’re going away for several days, prepare by completing assignments before you head out. If you have projects that can’t be done ahead of time, be sure to leave detailed instructions for your co-workers to complete.
 
Tying up loose ends at work will simplify life for you and your co-workers. You won’t have to worry about coming back to projects that were botched from a lack of knowledge. And your co-workers won’t stress over handling unfamiliar duties.

Unplug to Unwind
Make the most of vacation time by limiting access to your cell phone, computer, or other mobile devices. To really get a break from the demands of your work life, you’ll need to set boundaries.

If you spend your vacation time checking email, calling into the office for updates, or catching up with co-workers on Facebook, you’re not giving yourself the breath of fresh air you need. While a little connectivity can be a positive, too much screen time can suck the life out of your vacation.

Seize the Day
Can’t get away from work for a whole week? If finances or a hectic schedule limit your time off options, don’t despair. You can enjoy a great vacation even if it’s only for a few days. Consider fun, long weekend options like camping at the lake, getting pampered at a day spa, or enjoying rides at an amusement park. With a little creativity, you’ll find a short break can be just as refreshing as an extended vacation.

Stay Close, Save Big
Maybe traveling to an exotic locale isn’t in the budget this year. You can still get a breather from work without breaking the bank. Treat yourself to a staycation – a vacation at home.

A staycation can save you big money by eliminating the need for airfare, a rental car, or a hotel. Catch up on your favorite shows, read a few novels, and enjoy your friends, family and pets. You can even check out the local tourist spots that you’ve always heard about but never had time to try.

Everybody needs a little rest and relaxation from time to time. With just a bit of planning, you’ll ensure your time away from work is truly a vacation. Being flexible about when, where, and how long you’re away will open the door for you to try new things and give you the break you crave.

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