For many solo practitioners, taking a lengthy vacation is neither financially nor logistically feasible. If that describes you, a spring break trip might be a better option.
If your heart rate is already going up from just thinking about how to sneak away on a spring break trip, take a deep breath and read on. There are ways to tackle the two main vacation stressors -- finances and scheduling -- and maximize your well-earned (and frankly, much needed) vacation.
Calculate the Financial Impact of Your Trip
Let's face it, you won't be able to relax until you have a clear idea of how much of a financial toll your vaycay is going to take on your practice.
To assuage those concerns, roll up your shirt sleeves, whip out your calculator and start crunching numbers: "Factor in the cost of the trip, the loss in income while you're away, the cost of paying your staff and ongoing practice expenses in your absence, and the chance of things being slow to pick up again once you return," Software Advice's blog The Profitable Practice suggests to solo doctors. This happens to also apply nicely to solo attorneys.
Get Your Spring Break Ducks in a Row
Scheduling is the other main issue to resolve before packing your bags. Though it might feel like you need a vacation from vacation planning, it's actually more doable than you realize.
Here are three spring break scheduling tips to help you get started:
- Schedule your trip early. Clear your schedule at least 90 days before you go on your trip. That will help you avoid accidentally scheduling meetings, motions, depositions, and other commitments when you're unavailable.
- Set an auto-reply early. Don't wait until the last minute to activate your e-mail or voicemail "out of the office" message. Be sure to specify the dates of your vacation.
- Notify others early. Give advance notice to your support staff, opposing counsel, and active clients of your travel dates so that they can arrange their schedules accordingly.
Finally, make sure to unplug from work while you're on vacation (unless you're using tech to help make vacation happen). Set aside a time to check emails and voice messages (for example, in the morning), but don't let it take over your vacation.
- Lawyers on Vacation? Yeah Right. 8 Tips to Make It Happen (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- 5 Fun Law Firm Retreat Ideas Worth Trying (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Need a Break? 5 Attorney Vacation Tips Before You Go (FindLaw's California Case Law)