It's summertime and the living is sweet: Hello, white sand beaches,
drinks by the pool and sunshine tempered by sunscreen. But for many
entrepreneurs, vacations are a luxury rarely enjoyed.
Whether people are working for others or self-employed, regular
vacation time is rapidly becoming extinct. Employment experts
Glassdoor found in a recent survey that while most employees use at
least some vacation time, 75 percent do not take full advantage of it.
And of those on vacation, 24 percent report having contact with
co-workers about a work-related matter.
Whether too busy with work to turn off all devices or prefer to stay
connected and mix a bit of work and play while on vacation,
entrepreneurs can make the most of their well-deserved time off this
summer with these 20 tips:
Related: Common Vacation Mistakes Managers Make (Infographic)
Plan ahead to arrange for optimum timing.
1. Wake up early. For many people, vacation is for sleeping in. Take
advantage of your family's morning snooze time. Schedule meetings with
customers and clients during the early morning hours so you can enjoy
the rest of your day worry-free.
2. Compartmentalize your time. Allocate a few well-placed, hourlong
blocks during your vacation to allow for email housekeeping or client
meetings. Typically, scheduling these blocks early in the morning will
allow you to fit into family plans later in the day, depending on
3. Account for jet lag if you have traveled a far distance or
overseas. Adjust your body clock as quickly as possible by drinking
plenty of water, avoid alcohol until you stabilize and drink green tea
for a gentle pickup.
4. Use the Free Wi-Fi Finder app to figure out where to plug in,
regardless of location, and avoid spotty Internet connections from
keeping you from signing that next customer.
5. Save email to your drafts folder. By bundling emails and sending
them only in the morning or evening during set times, you set the
expectation that you will not be available for ongoing communications
throughout the day.
6. Switch your smartphone to periodic email-push settings. Do you
really need to update email constantly while you're on vacation?
7. Reinforce boundaries by making use of an out-of-office response to
email. Let people know you are available, but to expect a delay in
8. Create a summer calendar that maps your specific industry and pick
the ideal window of opportunity for leisure time. Generally speaking,
the busiest months for retailers are from September to January, with
August often an optimal time for small business owners to take
advantage of downtime and plan personal vacations.
Related: 5 Hidden Ways Your Summer Vacation Pays Off for Your Business
Budget for the best break.
9. Save money little by little all year long for a two-week vacation.
For those running a single-person business, budget for two weeks of
vacation, estimating an approximate income based on a 50 weeks of
earnings and business expenses based on 52 weeks.
10. Consider a staycation. According to a survey on summer vacation
travel conducted by American Express, the average cost per person in
the United States is $1,145 per person. If you live in a city but
haven't enjoyed all that it offers, explore new restaurants, the
museums you never get around to visiting and see your hometown with
11. Consider more creative and personal lodging accommodations using
HomeAway or Airbnb for a more unique and personal travel experience.
12. Mix business with pleasure. Studies have revealed that many
Americans expect to stay connected to the office on vacation. By
combining your vacation with a business trip, you can potentially
reduce some vacation costs. According to the IRS, travel expenses
within the United States are tax-deductible for business owners when
more than half a trip is spent conducting business. Consult a tax
advisor for more information.
Related: 6 Ultra-Handy Tech Tools to Simplify Your Summertime Travels
Use technology to your advantage.
13. Try video conferencing. Free video conferencing tools like Skype
let entrepreneurs be available for virtual face-to-face conversations,
regardless of geography.
14. Purchase separate technology for the kids. Buy a cheap laptop or
tablet for the kids and load it with games and movies to keep them
entertained in the hotel room on rainy days or during downtime.
15. Look for local co-working spaces for your conference calls and
online meetings and investigate them for opportunities to network with
other like-minded entrepreneurs. If there aren't any co-working spaces
available, most hotel business centers offer private areas with
computers, printers, fax machines and myriad other resources. If all
else fails, find yourself a quiet corner in a coffee shop.
16. Consider splurging on Google Glass. Flow information about your
new environment directly to you and manage email and meetings in the
blink of an eye.
Related: Burned Out? 4 Destinations to Bring Back Your Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Find creative inspiration everywhere.
17. Go on adventures and move your body to get the creative juices flowing.
18. Be a detective during your vacation time. Sightseeing is research
and development in disguise for the entrepreneur. Take pictures of
storefronts, marketing and point-of-sale materials, storefronts and
packaging. Relentlessly window-shop in other localeswith your own
business in mind.
19. Be curious about all things around you. Talk to strangers in the
stores you visit to understand what interests and excites them.
20. Use easy and fun multimedia tools like Evernote to save your
thoughts, images and ideas and share them easily with co-workers and
clients while you're away or once you return.
Whether you choose to compartmentalize your time while on vacation,
fully disconnect or engage in what some call "life slicing," (where
multitasking extends to blending the professional and personal parts
of life), entrepreneurship is a marathon not a sprint and is often a
family affair. While entrepreneurs build their business, they are also
building their lives, and vacations can be a meaningful way to
contribute to both.