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It’s summer, which means it’s time to reward yourself with some time off.
But before you jet off to some sunny shore, you need set your affairs in order at work.
The night before your vacation is a crucial time to prepare.
Effective planning will give you peace of mind while you’re catching some rays, and it will prevent problems from cropping up when you drag your sunburnt self back into the office in a few days.
The last thing you need after leaving paradise is to have to deal with some preventable fiasco at work.
Here are seven things you should do the night before your vacation starts:
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Before you leave the office, take some time to tidy up your desk.
That way, you’ll at least know you’re coming back to a “well-organized, inviting workspace,” Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage,” tells Business Insider.
Set up your out-of-office messages
Remember, your phone and inbox won’t just freeze up while you’re gone.
“This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked,” he says. “You may be on vacation, but others may not be. Don’t risk inadvertently damaging any relationships.”
“Make sure your voice mail accurately gives your date of return,” Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” tells Business Insider.
She also recommends ensuring sure your boss and key coworkers know the procedure regarding emergency contact.
Kerr says that it’s also a good idea to include additional info in your OOO messages.
“Let colleagues and customers know what options they have for reaching someone else who can help them,” he says.
“Don’t overlook the positive goodwill you’ll garner from adding some humor to your message: One of my client’s e-mail auto response described how she’d been kidnapped by her three small children and held in Disneyland,” he says.
Make a list
The night before your vacation, take the time to sit down with a pen and paper.
Kerr suggests creating a final, detailed to-do list of action items, both personal and work-related, that you know you’ll need to do once you return from your vacation.
“Doing this will reduce your mental clutter as you head out on vacation and help you feel more relaxed knowing that everything’s down on paper and organized for your return,” he says.
Double check all of your reservations
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Kerr says confirming all reservations, schedules, and timelines the night before can bring you peace of mind. He also suggests taking photos of pertinent details like tickets, your driver’s license, and passports for backup.
And, as an airline gate agent previously told Business Insider, try checking in as close to 24 hours in advance as possible to potentially get a better seat and avoid involuntary bumping.
Make sure you have all your documents in a safe place
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“The last thing you want to do is have to stop at the office before heading to the airport,” Taylor says. “Make sure you’ve packed your laptop – if you need it – and have access to all necessary documents and phone numbers.”
Charge your devices
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Top up all your electronic devices including laptops, mobile phones, and cameras, Kerr says.
“And while you’re at it, double check to make sure you’ve packed all your charging cords or batteries in one safe location,” he says.
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Taylor says that it’s important to use the night before your break to start getting into a disengaged, vacation mindset, “as your time off has technically begun.”
“Take the time to enjoy being on vacation and spending time with loved ones,” Kahn says. “If you can avoid checking your email or phone messages, do it. You’ve earned a break.”