5 Tips to Balance Summer Travel with Running a Business

Yes, it’s possible.

There’s a joke claiming that the phrase ‘family holiday’ is an oxymoron. Parents with very young kids often agree with this while also loving the precious memories they’re building together. This love-hate relationship with vacations is one that a business owner can relate to as well. 

The logical mind agrees that every engine needs downtime to stay in peak running condition. The nervous entrepreneurial mind, however, has a panic attack at the thought of stepping away from the wheel for any amount of time. So what’s the happy balance that would satisfy both? Let’s begin with why taking a break is essential – not a luxury.

We usually break our normal routine when we travel, which means we can’t be on autopilot, thus increasing mindfulness and stimulating well-being. Taking time off improves the capacity to learn. When your brain is completely relaxed, it is better able to integrate knowledge and brainpower. According to a study released by the American Psychological Association, time off helps reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments they associate with anxiety.

Taking regular vacations could help reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health issues including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Sounds good, but still have those niggling doubts? Here are five tips to help you enjoy your summer vacation with a stress-free mind while keeping your business in check.

1. Goal Check:

Check your goals for the year and assess where you are right now. Prioritise by order of what needs immediate attention in order to stay on track for timely completion. Identify the specific areas that absolutely need to be worked on during the summer break.

2. Delegate:

Once you have a bird’s eye view of the areas that will require attention during your vacation, identify the people best suited to handle them and delegate. If you are a solopreneur, check on outsourcing tasks that fit your budget and plan, so that they can be completed while you’re away. Consider trying out a Virtual Assistant for a while before you travel, so you can assess their efficiency. That would make delegating tasks to them during your absence a smooth transition.

3. Plan Ahead:

Since you are realistically not going to be able to completely switch off work mode, taking care of the following can ensure you get the most out of your time away:

  1. Map out all the main activities and events in your holiday schedule and any critical work-related meetings/calls that you absolutely have to attend. Once you know what you are committed to and when, you can plan accordingly, ensuring no overlaps or unexpected surprise calendar events pop up. This will manage everyone’s expectations as well as ensure boundaries are maintained.
  2. Give your clients and suppliers a heads-up on your travel dates, so they are informed and prepared well in advance. Anticipate things that might pop up during that time and ensure they are either addressed ahead of time or delegated to someone to take care of. Keeping them in the loop keeps them calm and confident that you have a handle on things. It also ensures they have enough time to raise any relevant concerns and allow you to sort them out.

4. Watertight Compartments:

When you are on vacation, be fully in vacation mode, and when you are stepping into your planned work time slots, focus only on that. As I said earlier, maintaining distinct modes ensures healthy boundaries, which honestly are the secret to peace of mind in these situations! How do you keep work and play separate?

  1. Unplug: When in vacation mode, make a conscious attempt to unplug from devices that keep you tethered to work – no sneaky peeks at email notifications. I realised just how huge the impact of not being mentally connected to work was, only when I had no internet on a holiday and couldn’t even ‘just glance’ at emails. Whether we respond or not, once we’ve plugged in to what’s happening at work through email or chat, we’re mentally and emotionally invested in the subject and how it’s being handled. The solution, therefore, is abstinence! Only check mail at the allocated time at the end of the day, unless of course there is something critical that requires you to monitor and stay in touch. Otherwise, your holiday will become like working from home with some sightseeing and shopping thrown into the mix!
  2. Identify triggers and prepare responses: Mentally review the thoughts that lead you to panic about work and not be present with your loved ones. It could be recurring worries about something you have already delegated to someone or that is under control, it could be seeing someone working away at their laptop or on a work call, or someone asking if your business can manage without you being there. We all have different triggers and once you’ve identified what yours are, they can’t blindside you anymore. 
    Now plan a suitable response to each one, that will neutralise its impact and allow you to continue to get the most out of your holiday. For instance, when you see someone else hard at work, you could say to yourself, ‘Wow, they look stressed and tired, and that’s what I’ve looked like for the first half of this year! Thank God I took a break. It will recharge my batteries and let me return to work relaxed and with a full tank!’ Again, find the responses that make sense to you. You can test them out by visualising your trigger, bringing up the response, and noticing how different your response is now. If it’s still triggering you, find a stronger response.

5. Agree on Outcomes with Your Family/Friends Pre-Travel:

This is so that you can track your success in sticking to the plan. If you are travelling solo, set your own expectation markers. You only know something worked if you have criteria to confirm it was successful, so just as you have KPIs and ROI criteria at work, you need clear indicators that have been agreed on prior to the vacation, which factor in all your stakeholders. 

So, what exactly do your family/friends expect from you prior to and while you’re on vacation? Having this clarity will prevent regrets and finger-pointing later! Manage your client and supplier expectations as well, with a clear understanding of your availability with specific timings set for catch-up calls/meetings, frequency of expected updates from them, your response time while away, emergency call protocols etc. The more clarity everyone has on details, the fewer misunderstandings and the risk of things falling between the cracks. Now that you have everything under control, get ready for a well-deserved break, secure in the knowledge that you and your business will be fine. Bon voyage!


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Remote Work: Empowering UAE Women

Make this trend work for you.

Ladies, it’s time to say goodbye to stressful commutes to the office and hello to more flexible career options! The rise of remote work across geographies and occupations has been noted the world over. Initially a necessary product of the Covid-19 pandemic, the remote working trend is here to stay providing greater autonomy and, the bonus for women, an opportunity to balance work and life better. The result? A happier and more diverse workforce – basically, a game changer.

A Women’s Career Cycle

The traditional 9-to-5 grind simply didn’t work for working women with personal responsibilities such as family and children, creating a dynamic where 50% to 80% of women drop out of the workforce to have families, with only 20% ever returning back to work once their children are older. And, when women return to the workforce after a significant absence, they aren’t easily able to return to the same career level and face the reality of starting at a few pay grade levels lower than when they left. For women who do return to work, they often struggle to balance their careers with family life, social obligations, and personal interests. But with the rise of remote work, women now have more flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes, on modified schedules, and without the stress and hassle of commuting to and from a physical office.

Benefits of Remote Working

Companies have recognised the benefits of having a remote workforce. Not only does it save on office space and overhead costs, but it also allows businesses to tap into a larger pool of talent, regardless of location. But it’s not just the employers who benefit from remote work.

Women, in particular, have found that it gives them the flexibility they need to manage their work and personal lives more effectively. A Harvard Business Review study found that women who remote work from home are often more productive and satisfied than those who work in an office. They also have more time to take care of their families, pursue hobbies, and engage in other activities that are important to them.

Of course, remote work isn’t without its challenges. Here, we share some easy-to-implement tips to make the remote working experience a more positive and fulfilling one for any woman.

Top Tips for Remote Work 

Set healthy boundaries: It’s important to have clear and healthy boundaries for yourself and others you work with, particularly in a remote working situation. Simple hacks like designating a workspace that’s just for work, communicating clear working hours to colleagues and family members and sticking to them, and establishing work routines at home that you’d typically observe at the office, are all ways to create a healthy remote working experience.

Connect with your team: Working remotely can be isolating and drastically reduce social interactions that come so easily in an office environment. Frequent communication via email, instant messaging or video conferencing is, therefore, quite important.

Take breaks: Take short, frequent breaks to stretch and recharge during the workday. Breaks help keep you motivated when working from home. And don’t forget to incorporate some self-care during breaks or after working hours!

Pursue hobbies: Remote work gives you back time that you’d otherwise spend commuting. Looked at from a different perspective, it also gives you the freedom to schedule new hobbies, pursue interests and explore passions with all that extra time saved, without sacrificing your career. This also creates that healthy separation between ‘work’ and ‘life’ even when the physical separation between the two no longer exists.

With these tips, you’ll save yourself from burnout!

The Fun in Remote Work

Set your space: Create a workspace that inspires creativity and productivity (hint: no, you can’t use your bed).

Tech like a boss: Invest in the best equipment and high-speed WiFi (no more video call freeze frames or angry laptops – or their owners – throwing a tantrum).

Move it, shake it: We’ve already emphasised the importance of taking breaks to shake off stagnant energy – dance breaks are highly encouraged (bonus points if you bust a move on a conference call).

Coffee, tea & me: If coffee isn’t your jam, keep your mug filled with our natural and organic teas. A sip here, a sip there and you are having the break we’ve already mentioned. Yes, it’s so important to take breaks that we’ve mentioned it 3 times!

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Remote Work Essentials


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So if you’re a woman who is looking to take control of your career and your life, consider exploring the world of remote work. Doing so may help add the flexibility, autonomy, and balance you’ve been craving for so long in your professional life. You might just find that it’s the perfect fit for you!

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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