When it comes to the summer holidays, there are several things that cross our minds and it will really depend on whether you have kids or not as to how you are feeling about the next 3 months!

First things first – deciding when to go on holiday

If you don’t have children or work in a school, then you are fairly free to travel anytime so you can make the most of cheaper prices outside of peak school holidays. Not everyone is able to do this, so the timing of your holiday may only be possible doing the school holidays.

You may also need to factor in when is a busy time for your business and your clients. For example, not many accountants and bookkeepers are likely to take leave towards the end of January.

Have a think about when you and your clients are most likely to be busy and see if you can avoid those times. If you are always busy, then great! In that case, you may want to think about holiday cover options (see below).

Once you have decided when you are going to travel, the next thing to work out is what you need to do before you go and then what will happen whilst you are away.

The pre-holiday panic and how to avoid it

A Quartz article states: “A number of recent surveys suggest vacation stress might actually be a thing. A poll of 1,000 UK workers conducted by Britain’s Institute of Leadership and Management noted that just the prospect of an upcoming vacation made 73% of respondents anxious”

But surely holidays are supposed to fill us with excitement, not anxiety! However, many of us feel overwhelmed and like we have no time to organise family, fetch travel money, pack suitcases and finish up client work before we jet off. This leads to us feeling stressed and even dreading our holiday!

The trick to avoid the pre-holiday panic is to start preparations earlier rather than later. Always prepare things which will help to make your life easier when travelling. For example, help your kids to relax on the plane by allowing them to help you pack a ‘games’ bag with toys, books, iPads, colouring, etc.

If you find yourself worrying about your business, I suggest getting some holiday cover! Give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect person to look after your business whilst you’re away and you’ll be able to work with them year on year! Virtual assistants are a fantastic resource when you need someone to manage phone calls, emails or your diary. Find out more about VAs on The Outsourcing Way.

Whilst you are away

To plan activities or to be spontaneous; that is the question. My advice would be to pre-plan and pre-book any activities that you are desperate to do (or get your VA to research and book these for you!) and then get an idea of some other things you can do when you’re away and choose which ones you’d rather do when you are actually there.

Make sure to leave yourself enough time to do whatever it is that relaxes you; long walks, laying poolside, shopping, eating out…

And there’s no need to worry about your clients or your business – your VA will be handling it all!

When you get back

The most important thing to do here is to be kind to yourself!! You must factor in some time to get back into the business and catch up on emails, post, enquiries etc. Try and keep a day or half day clear on your first day back in the office to do so – it is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If you’ve delegated work to a VA whilst you were away, your workload when you return will be minimal. This means that you will be able to carry on the feeling of calm you gained when you were away!