It’s getting to be that time. The flowers are starting to bloom, the temperatures are warmer and yes, many of us are making our vacation plans.

Whether you head to the beach, travel to a new state or country or simply have a relaxing and enjoyable “stay-cation” if you’re in business there are things that you MUST do prior to heading out the door.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Alert your clients about your impending vacation. It’s not enough to just clean up their work in advance of the trip. They should be forewarned about your departure date so that if they need to have something else executed they will not be caught off guard by your “sudden” disappearance. Clients like to be “in the know” and they will appreciate the notice.
  1. Try to get ahead of your deliverables so that you won’t return to a huge pile of time-sensitive work. The more that you can complete before you go means the more time you will have to acclimate when you return. And remember even if you have to work some extra hours you’ll soon be on vacation and it will be behind you.
  1. Leave some extra time in your schedule for those “emergencies” that are bound to arise. You know that things “pop up” at the last minute and when you are under the gun because of an impending vacation those things become even more problematic. Schedule in some “free time” and if no emergencies come up you can count yourself lucky!
  1. Will other employees pick up some of your work when you are away? If so make certain that they are completely trained in the tasks and feel confident about doing the work. It’s a good idea to let them execute some of the work before you leave so you can see if any remedial training is required.
  1. Pay bills, file applications and take care of all of the administrative tasks that fall out of the scope of client work but are time sensitive nonetheless. You certainly don’t want to return to work and find late charges and cancellation notices on your desk.

There are two schools of thought. Some folks believe that a vacation is sacrosanct and nothing in the office should be allowed to interfere. No email or voice mail, the time away is THEIR time. Others check in periodically and will review emails and check phone messages. There’s no right or wrong way; do what works for you! Regardless of which philosophy you prefer it’s always best to be proactive before you leave for vacation rather than be caught “in a pickle” when you are away.

Happy travels!