Stress-Free Vacationing: Tips for Before, During, and After Your Retreat

DSCN0986You know you need it—time away from the everyday routine to refresh and relax. However you choose to get away, it’s the planning and prepping before, during and after your vacation that brings added stress to an already busy schedule—especially as a business owner!

As I prepped for my recent vacation to the Smoky Mountains, I experienced a jumble of stress and joy while getting ready. Not only did I have to plan for the journey, I had to make plans for the business and for my family (who stayed home this time). With help from Cathy Sexton of The Productivity Experts and Lisa Smelcer of Virtual Admin Experts, these tips help made the process faster, easier and stress-free:

Before Vacation

• Create a checklist for your business, yourself, and the family. Review ahead of time with key members to discuss plans and procedures.
• Utilize email autoresponders for email which includes a business-emergency contact. It’s also advisable to mention that internet and cell phone services will be limited.
• Create a vacation voice mail message during your time away.
• Let your business emergency contact (virtual assistant or team member) know of your vacation plans in advance.
• Block a day before and after vacation for no meetings, calls, or email. Use this time to tackle last-minute business needs before vacation AND to take care of urgent needs upon your return.


• Make a priority list: what must be done before vacation? What can be delayed or rescheduled?
• Implement To-Do lists: One Note is a great tool that can sync with computer and smartphone.
• Complete all critical tasks ahead of time—client projects, meetings, phone calls.
• Work extra hours ahead of time to complete critical, urgent or time-sensitive tasks.
• Involve team members or your assistant with the prep and planning.
• Make sure team is up to speed with activity.
• Trust in your systems and your people.
Hot Tip: A few days won’t spell disaster for your business.

During vacation
Lisa and Cathy agree:

Take time for self!
• Disconnect from your electronics for some well-deserved ‘me time’.
• Use this time to clear your mind and relax. Open yourself to new ideas for yourself and your business.


• While on vacation, bring a notebook and pen to write ideas down. Put the thought on paper and forget about it. It will be waiting for you when you return.
Remember: Most tasks don’t have to happen right away.

After vacation:

• Use the first day back to get in the groove again. Take care of urgent issues.
• Turn off autoresponder and vacation voice messages.


• Create a priority list of what needs attention first: emails, meetings, phone calls and client projects.

Once your groove has returned, review your vacation response system and revise, if needed. When your next vacation is due, you’ll have systems in place with less fuss and muss.

What stress-free vacation tips do you have? Share below and share with friends!

Kristen Edens
Making midlife better!

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