How to Make the Most Out of Your Vacation
As I sit on the T every day to and from work, I can’t help but notice that just about every person is typing away on their Blackberrys and iPhones. In this day and age, it seems like our electronic devices truly define us. Although this trend is nothing earth-shattering, I have noticed that—over the years—my vacations are getting less and less relaxed. Between my computer, iPod, and cell phone, there is always someone to call or something to check online.
The World Tourism Organization notes that Americans take an average of 13 vacation days each year. Compare that to the 34 vacation days that Brazilians take and the 42 days that the average Italian takes and it becomes obvious that we Americans really need to make the most out of our time off. With the summer winding down, now’s the perfect time to recharge YOUR batteries! Here’s how:
- Many people think that saving vacation days for one long break from the office is the best way to take full advantage. However, taking long weekends or a break in the middle of the week here and there may actually be more effective in keeping you relaxed and well connected to family and friends (no, not through emails and phone calls but actual human interaction!) throughout the year.
- Set an “Out of Office” auto reply. If there is someone else in the office that might be able to help the person who is trying to reach you, make sure you include their contact information. If it is an emergency, I repeat, an emergency, they can call you on your cell phone.
- Avoid the urge to check your email every 10 minutes. Setting an “Out of Office” means that you will not be responding to email until you return to the office so why bother reading them?
- I forgot my charger one vacation. Even though I felt disconnected after my phone ran out of juice, not having the ability to call someone or look something up forced me to focus on my vacation, reminding me what vacation is supposed to be! So, as hard as it may sound, leave your precious Blackberry at home…or at least in the hotel room. Or, conveniently, “forget” the charger!
And if you really can’t stand the thought of being without your essential electronic devices…just remember why you wanted to take a vacation in the first place!
Posted by Lori