Guide to Leaving Work Behind

Naples-based luxury travel expert Jen Mitchell offers three insights for making the most of a much-needed break

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According to a recent survey, the Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report 2022, 50 percent of Americans bring their work laptops on vacation and 41 percent often join Zoom calls when they’re off. Working while traveling is common, but you may not be achieving the full benefits of your vacation if you’re click-clacking away poolside. It’s essential to get away from everything and decompress, notes Jen Mitchell, founder of Jen Mitchell Travel in Naples. “People think that vacations are a luxury,” she says. “But really, they’re essential.”
Mitchell explains that even a short trip can be rejuvenating, lower stress levels, and provide needed time to bond with family or friends.

Glean a few quick tips from Mitchell below for making the most of a much-needed break.

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Set an out-of-office automated reply that includes a coworker’s contact information—not your own. If customers or other employees need assistance while you’re away, ask a coworker to cover for you and include their email address in your out-of-office auto reply. When you do this, “you don’t feel like you have to worry since someone else is taking care of your business while you’re gone,” says Mitchell. (The Expedia survey also found that 63 percent of Americans add their own cell phone numbers to their out-of-office auto replies. Don’t be one of them!)

Leave your phone in your room. You may be tempted to bring your phone when visiting local attractions for quick family photos, selfies, and social media posts. However, Mitchell says, we often end up checking our work email or responding to job-related texts and calls. If you have trouble separating work and play, consider designating one person in your group to carry their phone, or try bringing a separate camera.

ALG Experience Mountain BikingSchedule time for working. Sometimes, work is unavoidable. But, that doesn’t mean it needs to constantly interfere with your trip. If you’re needed on the job, Mitchell suggests checking emails and completing tasks at designated times that minimally affect your vacation, like while your companions are asleep. The rest of the time, relax and enjoy your days off.

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