One of the first things I learned about freelancing is that most people don’t work from the beach with a mojito in their hands. Although it sounds great, it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not impossible either.
As a business owner, I always feel bad when I take a few days off and I don’t answer emails on time or I have to tell my clients that I’m not available for work.
I often read about bloggers and freelancers that haven’t taken a vacation in months or years, and that makes me feel guilty too. I’m just not the type that can work without a break. I need to relax in order to be creative and productive. Although I have to admit that I also have a hard time disconnecting from my blog and business.
Since I just came back from a real vacation, one that involved airplanes (and trains, buses, and cars), I’m going to tell you how you can take a guilt-free vacation as a freelancer with just a little bit of planning in advance.
Expect a drop in traffic and a lower income
For a lot of freelancers, income usually varies from month to month. Some months are great, while others are slower, even though you work just as hard. But taking a longer vacation will take its toll on your income. In the end, it’s the yearly income that matters.
You should also expect your traffic to drop if you don’t blog as often or if you don’t have time to promote your posts. Don’t worry, it will get back on track when you return to your normal schedule.
Tell your clients and readers
Most people will understand you, but just to make sure that there will be no problem, you should tell them about your vacation before booking them.
Be honest with them and tell them when you leave, when you return, and how to contact you while you are away.
Manage your shops
The people that buy your products also need to know that you are away. Some online selling platforms, like Etsy, let you close your shop for vacation, but it’s not possible everywhere.
If you sell digital products, it’s easy to manage your shops while on vacation. Most of the time the shop runs itself and you only have to answer a few daily or weekly messages. Just make sure you leave a message for buyers or try to answer urgent emails while you are away.
In the past, I used to just turn off my computer and leave, but I always worried about what was happening with my blog. To avoid that, I decided to take it with me on my phone. These are the apps that helped me:
I didn’t have time to use them very often but knowing that I can answer messages made me feel much better.
Blog in advance (or don’t)
I had a hard time deciding what to do with the blog. I wanted to write and schedule posts in advance, but couldn’t find the time to do it, so I wrote a post with links to my most useful posts for blogging and business. This way the blog wasn’t abandoned and I didn’t have to spend so much time writing.
If you do have the time or are more organized, you can write posts in advance and schedule them for when you are on the beach. The built-in WordPress scheduler works very well for this.
Round-ups of you best posts or favorite posts from other bloggers are always good and can save you a lot of time
Schedule social media posts
We all spend a lot of time trying to build our following and increase our reach so it’s a good idea to have some posts lined up for when we are away.
Relax, you’re on vacation
You probably feel that all your hard work will go down the drain if you are not there to supervise things. I know the feeling. But one or two weeks is not such a long time and nothing bad will happen. So just relax and enjoy that wonderful place you are visiting.
How many breaks did you take as a freelancer and how do you prepare for them?