If your Instagram looks even a little like mine, you most likely face pictures of palm trees and cocktails every time you open the app. It feels like the entire world is vacationing while you seem to be stuck behind your laptop, never finding the time to take time off. You know there are times when you won’t have any work coming in, and you might already be panicking about it.
While researching for Work Trips and Road Trips that I’m currently trying to publish via Kickstarter, I interviewed 15 ladies about how they manage to save up and take time off to travel. Here are seven pieces of advice you might want to embed in your own work life so you can be the one who enjoys margaritas on the beach!
1) Observe when it’s high and low demand season for your work
If you aren’t a freelancer newbie, then you’ve definitely noticed that there are times you get more requests and then again, times when no one seems to need your services. Observe when that is, make notes in your calendar, and plan to go on vacation when you know no one will call you!
2) Plan your vacation way in advance
Decide when you’ll go on vacation way ahead and book your flights to make sure you’ll really take off. Just like anyone, you, too, need time to recharge and reflect on what you’re doing with your life.
3) Be flexible about your destination
Skyscanner has a tool that enables you to determine in what month you want to leave, and then look for destinations accordingly. You don’t have to go to the most expensive spot just because it’s the one destination everyone seems to go to and that’s all over Instagram. Be flexible, and find the best deal that suits your needs!
4) Tell your clients in advance when you won’t be available
Reach out to your clients proactively and tell them you won’t be available for two weeks, or even longer, about a month before your departure. Ask them whether they have work they’ll need you to take care off before you leave.
5) Update your email signature
About two weeks prior to your departure, include a note in your email signature to remind people from when until when you won’t be reachable via email. Communication is key!
6) Turn on your OOO notice two days before your planned departure
Give yourself space to finish things up. By turning on your OOO reminder two days before your departure, you won’t feel pressured to respond to emails that trickle in at the very last minute before you need to take care of packing!
7) Turn off email on your phone
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while working in advertising, it’s that no one’s going to die if you don’t respond within 24 hours! You’re a creative, not a doctor. You don’t have to be available 24/7! You’ve communicated to everyone you’ll be on vacation. Allow yourself to be fully present!
This is a guest post by Monika Kanokova.
Monika Kanokova is a free-spirited connoisseur with a case of the travel bug. She works as a freelance community strategist, mostly with global clients to help them build local communities. She’s also the publisher of the book series Insightful Guides for Creative Freelancers. Monika is currently publishing the third installment, Work Trips And Road Trips, via Kickstarter. Look for @kathmo on Instagram to connect with her or tweet @mkanokova.