A break from work : how to prep for a week holidays (WORK and HOME)

4 months after my return to work post-maternity leave, we are finally going on our first holiday as a family of 4 ! Work has been so busy lately that I really feel I need a break.

The problem with holidays when you have a busy job and family life is that you really pay for it with an increased workload to make up for the fact that you are going to be gone a week. So here is my top tips to have an organized and smooth departure and return, both in work and at home.Departure :

  • Make sure everyone in work knows that you will be gone for a week. Put it as a public item in your calendar and make sure you remind your boss and your team several times.
  • Get a good view of how your first week back will look, because you want to prepare for it now. Ideally, dont overload it. It is really easy to lose track of your priorities when you unplug for a week so don’t assume you’ll remember everything and write down all you need to know and chase when you are back. Send it to yourself in an email or write it in your bullet journal.
  • Delegate what you can to your team but also remember that you being gone also gives them a break so don’t overload them. We all need and appreciate a breather when our boss is off.
  • Work out if you want to stay involved and under which conditions. I usually don’t pick up my emails when I am off but make it clear that I can be reached by phone if something urgent comes up. Do what works best for you and your family. Make that clear in your out of office reply too. Remember that as a manager, whatever you do will signal to your team what is acceptable or not, so don’t be on work emails if you don’t want them to be when they are off too.
  • If you can, plan your departure for a Sunday. It will ensure that you can have Saturday to focus on packing and will alleviate a lot of the stress of your work week. It’s easier to jump straight into it if you return on a Sunday than to plan our departure during the work week.
  • Make a list of all you need to pack that cannot be easily bought when in your holiday destination. In particular, include the things you absolutely mustn’t forget but will continue to use at home until the last minute (dummies, security blanket, baby monitors etc)
  • Food wise, meal plan cleverly in order to use up what is left in your fridge and not have a ton of waste. Freeze everything you won’t use (apart from eggs and raw potatoes, pretty much everything can be frozen, including breastmilk if you pump)
  • Make sure you have a change of clothes ready for the entire family for the first 2 days back.

Return :

  • Order your grocery shopping for a delivery in time when you arrive. If you are reallly super organized, make the order before you go, otherwise remember to do it when on holidays.
  • If you use a cleaning service, don’t cancel them for the week you are off as you will be happy to come back to a clean home.
  • If that reassures you, get in touch with work on the Friday to get an update on the week to come.
  • Check at what time you need to be in the office on Monday and remember that you may need a bit more time to get ready as it will take you a couple of days to get back into your routine.
  • Plan an early return home on the first day (if you can) as you will probably need the time to unpack the suitcase, do a load of laundry etc.
  • Plan to plan your next holiday soon after your return, it’s the best way to ensure your morale is high !

Do you have any other tips to ensure a smooth return and departure ? If yes,  please add them in the comments below. As for me, ciao for now ! Mic drop !


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