Taking A Vacation When You Are Self-Employed

Taking A Vacation When You Are Self-EmployedI switched to full-time self-employment back in October of 2013, and I will be honest and say that taking a vacation is much more difficult than I thought it would be as a self-employed person.

It’s tough because of multiple reasons:

  • I enjoy what I do. I don’t feel like I need as many breaks like I did when I hated my job.
  • I want my business to succeed. I know that a one week vacation wouldn’t kill my business, but my business is still so new that I want to pour all of my time into it.
  • It’s hard to break away. I do so many different things that I think it would be very hard for me to take time off. I need to be better with delegating tasks so that I can take a vacation. I also need to work on scheduling more work ahead of time so that I can relax on my vacation.

There are many reasons for why vacations are important, and that’s why I think everyone should take them if they can. A vacation can really help lower your stress. It can also rejuvenate you and actually make you more motivated when you return to work. They are also fun and allow you to explore a new place!

Here are my tips to take a vacation:

Try to get as much done ahead of time.

One thing that I always try to do is to get as much work as I can get done. I usually write somewhere around 20 articles each week, so I will try to write more than usual so that I don’t have to worry about writing while I am on my vacation, as well as writing the few days after I come back from a vacation.

I try to make a to do list of everything that needs to be done and I will go through my list and tackle as much as I can before I actually leave.

This takes a significant amount of stress off of my plate, and it really helps me enjoy my vacation.

Let your clients or customers know that you will be gone.

In some industries, it is a good idea to let your clients or customers know that you will be on a vacation.

In most cases, they won’t even notice that you are gone, but there are probably certain circumstances where they should know ahead of time.

Have someone help manage your business while you are gone.

Even just hiring a virtual assistant to reply to e-mails or handle non-emergency issues can be a lifesaver.

It is usually best to do a test run before you head out on your vacation though so that any problems can be cleared up ahead of time. It takes out a lot of the stress while you are on vacation to do a test run.

Take your vacation during a slow time.

If you want to take a vacation, usually it is best to take one during a slow time. Taking a vacation during a peak time for your business will just add extra stress, and you may upset customers as well.

Lastly, try to take an actual vacation!

I am guilty to opening my laptop and working whenever I am on vacation. I don’t even remember the last time when I took a vacation and did not work at least a few hours each day. It’s like an obsession, I just have to work!

However, you should truly try to enjoy your vacation. Turn off your cell phone, laptops and everything else if you can. If you can’t go the whole vacation without working, try to limit it to certain parts of the day and give yourself a working limit as well.

If you are self-employed, do you find it hard to take a vacation? How about if you work for someone else?

When’s your next vacation? Tell me all about it! 🙂



Taking A Vacation When You Are Self-Employed — 25 Comments

  1. Pingback: Do You Find It Hard To Take A Vacation? | Making Sense Of Cents

  2. Hey Michelle! I also love to work (and just stay busy in general). But vacation is essential. A little bit of down time helps your creativity. You should take that trip to Asia soon. I bet you’ll find tons of inspiration in the Asian cultures. We went last year to China and Japan (on points!) and it was fantastic.

    • Yes, I really want to go! There were just so many reasons for why we had to put it on hold though – not just because of my online business.

  3. Great post! I agree that since I started doing more writing it’s harder to truly take a vacation, both because I really like it and am kind of addicted to it AND because the virtual world never sleeps so there is literally always an email to be answered, a plugin to update on the blog, etc.

  4. I find it hard enough to take a vacation being an employee, as there are things I do each month that I have no backup for and that training a backup in would be a total pain. I can’t even imagine how easy it would be to never go on vacation if you were self-employed, mainly because there is no PTO!

  5. You sound a lot like me Michelle, yes I would find it difficult not to work on vacation as well.. I am going on holidays for all of July and luckily although I don’t have many customers will be interested to see how it goes coming back..

    Would you suggest putting a post up to let your readers know?

    Chris Ducker may be able to offer some tips, he is a big advocate of VA’s

    Enjoy your vacation 🙂

    • I have never put a post up to let my readers know. I don’t really see the need to do that. I have read articles on other websites saying not to do that as well.

      • Fair enough, the main reason I would do that is so that readers are not expecting comment replies.. Am heading away for 5 weeks and probably won’t be checking emails or the website while I am gone 🙂

  6. I’ll assume some of us get anxious on vacation since we work hard. I know I do. Maybe it’s how I was raised but I feel guilty/anxious when I’m ‘relaxing’ on vacation. A laptop really helps though because I can get a little work done here and there. Checking email is fun for me so…

  7. “working on vacation”…I’ve done this before. But working on your laptop poolside is way different than in your office back home. I think it’s OK to do that minimally while on vacation. But my first priority would be the family and then work only if there is downtime (like when the kids are resting or watching movies in the hotel).

  8. Both the DH and I are self-employed and taking a week off seems to be impossible at this point. Plus it’s a huge undertaken to try to co-ordinate our schedules since we work in very different industries. Time off is essential because we all need to rejuvenate and dial back our energy output. So far I have taken two days off…and still ended up working a couple of hours. Baby steps…

  9. Hey Michelle and thanks for a fun article!

    “I enjoy what I do” – That pretty much sums it up for me. I also enjoy what I do and don’t really feel the need to check out so to speak as well!

    That being said, I have been flirting with the idea of possibly taking a vacation next year for the first time in like 20 years. We’ll see how the finances stack up first before I make any sudden departures.

    Take care and all the best.


  10. I’m the opposite – I find it easy to take a vacation. I work so hard up to the holiday that I enjoy every moment away from working. Of course I try to write extra posts and schedule items to go live, as well as setting an out of office reply. Then it is on to enjoying the time.

    • I am so jealous that you can do this so easily! I’m going to Vegas next week and I plan on completely not working – except for checking my email 🙂

  11. I’m self employed – and therefore I find it difficult to take off more than 1 week at a time
    I leave my work phone on divert all the time to a message – I’m in a meeting please leave a message and I will get back to you. I call everyone up to sort out whatever it is they want once a day
    And I check my email early each morning.
    Then I forget about work and enjoy the trip

    It doesnt upset me that I have to work while away. Its what I do, I enjoy it so its not a big deal

  12. My next vacation will be next month, June, I would travel to Korea with my brother for 2 weeks there then go to the States for another 2 weeks. Does that count as a vacation? i will bring a laptop though because most of my work/hobby is online. Your personal finance blog inspires me to continue what im doing as self employed. Thanks Michelle S.

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