How to Make a Working Vacation Work for You (And Your Family)

family vacation
Echo / Cultura / Getty Images

Vacation season has arrived, and the pressure is on to spend some time away with family and friends. But you're a small business owner, so you're tethered to your business, right? Wrong. With a little planning and foresight, you can get the best of both worlds -- a relaxing vacation and a business that continues running smoothly while you are away. This is how you do it.

Plan Your Work Hours in Advance

Vacation is a time to let go of the hustle and bustle of a normal working day.

Time slows down and there is less urgency to do certain things at certain times. This will work in your favor as a small business owner who wants to squeeze in some work. Since early mornings and late evenings tend to be the quieter periods during a vacation, plan to complete the bulk of your work during those hours. You may even be able to fit in a short mid-day check-in during lunch or in-between activities. If you break your work down into smaller chunks it will be easier to squeeze it into the day.

Leave Work Behind During Vacation Time

When it is time to focus on vacation during your trip, don't be tempted to bring your phone "just in case." It will probably be very difficult to resist the urge to check it if your phone is in your pocket and you hear it buzzing and beeping during the day. Leave your phone and all other work behind to get fully into vacation mode. It will be there when you get back later in the day.

Be Prepared with Technology

In order to make this working vacation actually work, you will need to be fully prepared to get right down to work when the time comes. Make sure your laptop is charged and ready to go, and your smartphone has all of the mobile apps you need to get your work done. These 8 must-have mobile apps will get you ready for working remotely.

 You should also check on what type of Internet connectivity is available where you're staying so you know ahead of time if you will need to do anything special to get connected. 

Let Your Customers Know

While you don't need to provide specifics on where you're going and who you're going with, you should give your customers notice ahead of time that you will be on vacation. Explain that you will be away and will have limited access to email and calls. This is will not only reinforce to your customers that they are important to you, but it will also help keep your workload manageable while you are away.

Prepare Your Staff 

Before you leave for your vacation, make sure you take time to fill your employees in on current projects and other important tasks that need to happen while you are gone. Give them access to all of the information they would need to make to make decisions that keep the business running. You may even want to do a practice run a few times before you leave so both you and your employees are confident things are covered.

We all know the importance of taking time off in order to find a work/life balance, and combining work and vacation is a great way to do it. The key is making sure you plan out the specifics well before you leave for your trip.

Once you do, you will be in a position to take a much needed break from your business without being completely off the grid.