Whether it's a 3 Day weekend or planned trip 3,000 miles away, it can be quite stressful preparing to relax.  There's anxiety about the flooded inbox, peppered with last minute requests from clients.  Obviously, there's a few big projects that take up your time leading up to the vacation.  This trip shall be your reward for a job well done and some much earned R n' R!  For all of zen moments of fading sunsets and rocky vistas, there's right some real world work that needs to get done.  So let's set this vacation up for success.
 
IMG_5203 2First, plan ahead or try to.  It's very likely that you've known that you were gonna visit the in-laws in Florida over Memorial Day Weekend for a few weeks now.  It's in these early days that we can begin to shape our calendar and the limitations of the remaining time before the trip.  If it's taking of an extra day or two the preparedness can be scaled back a little.  If leaving work for a week or more, then you've got to really plan out what executable projects can and more importantly should be tackled.  The key is to see which goals would be both most impactful for the company as a whole and those that will be easiest for your co-workers to handle in your absence.  
 
When setting an out of office reply, you want to make sure that you that you keep it not only short but sweet. It's important to have a support system in place of a team member who'll be an alternate phone number or email that would be able to address any issue same business day for any 'squeaky wheel' customers. You'll want to sweeten up your OOO auto reply as well. I like to give them a little peek behind the curtain of what adventures lay ahead of me.  For example, "hitting the Alps hard next week with fondue skewers as ski poles", could excellently sum up a trip to Switzerland.  Or "toes in the sand with a can in my hand" could describe a short weekend on the coast.  Make sure to evoke a little jealously, while still keeping it professional.
 
Don't forget your swimsuit, but leave the headaches behind!  Use this trip as an excuse to clear your head and not think about your day-to-day stresses. This may be on a train through the countryside, staring at an centuries old oil painting from a Renaissance master or morning in spent in the dew of the mountains.  Take this time to not only ponder life's greatest questions and some ideas for a novel or screenplay.  Inevitably, this will happen - but work will seep in.  If it and when it does, focus on bigger picture innovations.  Something you can start to implement upon your return.  People like tchotchkes made from carved up coconuts, but fresh ideas will be a much welcomed treat to all at the office.  Spend that money at the pool bar!!
 
In the end, It's important to be grateful for this opportunity to escape the day-to-day and you can afford to not work for a few days and get outside and outside your comfort zone.  Use this time as wisely as possible while not at your desk.
 
King of Pops & Learn ... better than a Lunch & Learn?