Want to get away from your stressful project, forget your busy schedule and spend some quality time with friends and family?
Often project managers refrain from taking a vacation or are unable to take some time off because of tight deadlines or scope creeps! And, a perfect vacation with white sandy beaches, turquoise blue sea, palm trees … is nothing but a distant dream or fantasy for project manages. But taking some time off from your projects can be good for you as well as your projects.
Also, vacations are somewhat like a project. They have a happy beginning and a sad end! But unlike projects all vacations are often a success. You can use the same approach and techniques you use for your projects to plan your vacation. So busy project manages out there here are some tips to plan your vacation and make your stay unforgettable:
Define the scope and budget of your vacation
Just as in any project management, it is necessary to define a scope. For example, would you like to go on a luxurious vacation in the Caribbean or you want to take a cruise ship in the Mediterranean or you just want to take a simple and affordable city break. Also, before planning the vacation the most important thing is to allocate a budget. It helps you to plan and enjoy the journey while remaining within your limits. Always estimate a little more than what you might need, just in case.
Plan ahead like you would plan your project
To properly plan your vacation the first thing you need to do is find out what you expect from this trip. Do you want to experience the local culture or simply enjoy the sandy beaches? Do you want to mingle with the local population or vice versa? Do you want to stay in a 5-star hotel or stay as a paying guest with a local host? Tailor your trip according to your needs and tastes. Create to do list of things and activities you would do each day. Set up milestone of places or monuments you would visit.
Gather enough information before you leave
Prepare yourself before diving into an unknown holiday destination. Buy a good guide and learn about the culture, history, local attractions of the destination. You can read local publications or surf the net for more information. The more you know, the better you can enjoy and appreciate the place and its traditions. So, gather enough information to plan your trip efficiently.
Pack smart and travel light
Pack only the essentials. Avoid carrying unnecessary things, a heavy baggage can sometimes ruin your holiday spirit. Wear clothes that are comfortable and fit for the season. As much as possible, try to get everything you need into one carry-on bag.
Always book your stay in advance
It is always best to book your hotel and tickets in advance, because even though you want to discover new places, things and people during your vacation, you don’t want unnecessary and inconvenient surprises that can ruin your vacation.
Have Realistic Expectations
Unreasonable expectations can lead to unwanted stress, so enjoy your stay by managing what you can with the budget and time you have. But above all, embrace every moment, whether good or bad. After all a vacation is like an adventure!
Some final words of wisdom – as project managers remember to get along with your stakeholders, aka, the hotel owners, receptionists, the local people, travel guides, waiters….