How to Balance Work and Leisure on a Working Vacation

A growing number of people in the United States work for themselves. If you are one such person, there is a very basic reality associated with your professional life. If you don’t work, you don’t earn money. Like people the world over, you like to enjoy a vacation from time to time. If you say you don’t like vacations, you might want to consider that you’ve become a workaholic. The reality is that you may have forgone taking vacations because you feel you can’t sacrifice the time because you need a steady stream of money coming in. That is a reasonable concern.  Another reality is that you can structure your vacation into something that might best be called a working vacation. There is a strategy that you can employ that permits you the ability to take an enjoyable vacation and get some work done at the same time.

 Determine What Specific Projects You will Address on Vacation

 Before you take off on your work vacation, specifically identify the projects you will address while traveling. If you are like most people, you undoubtedly have day to day tasks that need to be dealt with on a recurring basis. However, like others, you have specific projects that take up at least part of your common workday.

 You may elect to limit your work while traveling to dealing with day to day tasks. On the other hand, if you do elect to include some projects into the mix, be focused in this regard. One thought you will want to keep in mind. Consider selecting a project or two for the time period when you are on your work vacation that you enjoy. You more than likely have types of projects that you enjoy far more than others. There is no reason to take along a project you don’t enjoy doing while traveling, unless doing so is absolutely necessary.

 Finally, when it comes to selecting what you will work on while on your work vacation, don’t overdo. One of the purposes of a work vacation is to enjoy yourself. You don’t want to be so overwhelmed with work related issues that you might as well have stayed home.

Determine a Specific Project Worktime for the Entirety of Your Trip

On a related note, schedule a specific time period on some, but not all, of the days of your trip during which you will work on projects. In undertaking this scheduling, coordinate these time periods around events, activities, tours, and so forth that are associated with your vacation.  There is no specific formula to utilize when it comes to balancing the amount of time you spend on work matters while on your vacation. However, a fairly decent rule of thumb is to create a work vacation schedule in which you work about a third of the time and enjoy yourself approximately two-thirds of the trip.


Establish a Specific Time Period Everyday of Vacation for Communicating with Colleagues

 You likely will be in communication with colleagues of different types if you take a work vacation. In this regard, set aside a specific time frame each day in which you will have communication with colleagues. This refers to more “instant” communication, like telephone calls, texting, face time, and immediate types of direct communication. You can deal with emails at your own speed throughout your work vacation.  For example, block out time on each day of your trip for colleague communication between 10:00 and 11:00 every day. Alert your colleagues that this is when you will be available to talk by phone or some other type of direct communication. When it comes to alerting colleagues, be specific about which individuals you will provide this open window for communication. You must definitely do not need to open this door to all of your colleagues.  

Family Takes Priority

When you are on a work vacation, and if you have a family traveling with you, they are the priority. If they end up wanting to do something that disrupts your preplanned schedule, go with them and leave work behind. You will be happy that you made this adjustment.

 Whether or not you are traveling with your family or alone, be flexible enough with your schedule so that you get full enjoyment from your trip. In the final analysis, when it comes to a work vacation, the world is not apt to come to an end because you’ve had to put a work related thing on the backburner for a bit.


Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

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