Taking a vacation can be tough when you have a business to run. You might feel like getting out of town will cause more headaches than it’s worth sometimes. However, with some clever tips and tools, you can leave your work running smoothly and manage affairs from afar.

Stay Tethered

If you’re trying to plan a multi-week trip and hoping to completely cut the cord while you’re away, chances are you may never be able to take your vacation. That perfect window of opportunity is unlikely to ever occur. Instead, Business News Daily recommends reframing how you define getting away. By taking shorter trips and touching base regularly, you can realistically plan vacations without losing track of what’s happening at work. At the same time, if you end up checking in constantly, your getaway won’t be much of a vacation. By using good tools and planning carefully, you can enjoy your break without letting things get out of hand back home.

Plan Ahead

While it may seem like your opportunities to get away will be fleeting, by scheduling well in advance, both you and your employees can prepare. Some professionals suggest a one-month window so you have time for training underlings for any duties and buffering your calendar appropriately. Scheduling on the fly might sound like a good idea, but by planning in advance, you’re more apt to actually see your trip manifested.

Delegate and Discuss

 One of the best things you can do is instruct your staff to stay on top of specific items while you’re away. Make a task list and designate who will tend to which items. Connect with your point person on each chore before leaving, and talk with your entire team about supportive duties. If things aren’t accomplished, make it clear there will be ramifications. Forbes notes some business owners fire employees who are unproductive when their supervisors leave, noting those who take advantage of your absence aren’t trustworthy.

Another suggestion is to communicate well with clients during to your trip by loading information in your out-of-office automated messages. Clarify who is tending to pertinent tasks in your messages so your clients know where to turn as needed. Deputy recommends discussing what constitutes an emergency as well so your staff is well aware of items that require keeping you in the loop. Also, budget your time effectively before you leave; think through the tasks you can accomplish ahead of time, and do them prior to heading out.

Keeping Tabs

Thanks to technology, you can stay in touch from almost anywhere these days. Designate a time of day when you’ll check email and voice messages, and don’t let what you find in them take over your downtime. Remember to separate what is happening in the workplace with your time away; you won’t feel like you’ve enjoyed a breather if you spend too much time on tasks.

If you don’t have a staff to manage things, you can set up automated bill payments to ease bookkeeping concerns, or hire a freelance virtual assistant to help with tasks while you’re away. Electronic payment systems are also an excellent tool for managing your business on the go, offering the ability to reach a new audience, improve efficiency, and increase security.

Upon Return

When you return from your getaway, one suggestion is to do a debriefing. It’s a chance to evaluate where you and your staff failed and how to improve. Do some troubleshooting with each team member and contemplate better options for the future. By thinking through the weak areas, you can resolve issues. Also, discuss what worked well so you know what not to change. Next time, you can leave with more peace of mind because you will have a better system.

Enjoy Your Trip! 

Taking a vacation may seem impossible when you’re trying to run a workplace. Make the most of opportunities with good planning and a handful of clever tools. You can enjoy a terrific getaway without allowin