How to Go on Vacation

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 7:27 PM EDT

Laptop on vacationWhen was the last time you took a vacation? A real vacation? Two polls released this month show that Americans not only have trouble getting away from work, but they also have trouble staying away. A recent Yahoo HotJobs poll found that 45 percent of respondents didn't use all of their allotted vacation time and that 39 percent were too exhausted to even take a vacation. Today, an AP-Ipsos poll revealed that one-fifth of Americans work while on vacation.

CareerBuilder offers some good tips on managing your work and setting your coworkers' expectations so that you can enjoy your time off. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Leave a roadmap.
A few weeks before you leave, start recording important information, key contacts and any deadlines that will come up while you are gone. If you leave co-workers with a guide that will help them address questions that arise and keep things moving forward, they will be less likely to contact you on vacation and you will be less likely to walk into a war zone when you return.

2. Stick to an itinerary.
While it's best to leave the office at the office, if you must do work, set limits and boundaries for yourself and your co-workers. Don't let activities on vacation be interrupted by work. Instead set aside a half hour each day to think about work and stick to it. Instead of having co-workers call you, tell them when you are going to check in, so you can control the time allotted.

3. Think big. If you have a big project and a great vacation planned for the same week, you can expect one of the two to give. Schedule the dates before and after the big stuff to lighten your load and enjoy your time off.

4. What if you're the boss? If you're working for yourself, make sure you anticipate your busy seasons by reviewing your previous sales and current situation. Save vacation time for slower periods and make sure to notify customers in advance.

(Photo of Beach by Scott Ableman, CC 2.0)