Ever heard someone utter "I can't take vacation, when I get back there is so much work it isn't worth it!" While that is partially true, the work won't complete itself, it doesn't mean you shouldn't take your vacation. It is part of your compensation package, so if you don't use those days you are actually losing money. So how do you take your vacation and still actually enjoy it?
Prepare Before You Go Out
Think about what is coming up and make a plan to get everything done that needs to be prior to you going out. It may require you to come in a bit earlier and stay a bit later than normal to get this done, but it will be worth it to not have to worry about it while you are out.
If you have tasks that need to get some traction while you are out, talk to a colleague about filling in while you are out. Choose someone who you know will help and offer to repay the favor the next time they are out. Only do this for tasks that can't wait though. It is unfair to put unnecessary tasks on your work partners.
Ignore Your Phone
Do NOT look at your email. On your out of office, state that you will have no access to email and let them know who they can reach out to if they need something prior to your return. If you think your manager will try to contact you, tell a white lie about your lack of service in your destination. To be honest, it is none of their business where you are going and they should be respecting your time out of the office.
After a few trips where you don't respond, you will train your colleagues and clients that you are out of contact when you are on vacation. Don't feel bad about not responding. Getting a break from your job will actually help you be better at your job. Check out this article from Forbes on this topic.
Enjoy Your Time
To get the most out of your vacation, forget about the office. Be present in the moment you are in and enjoy every moment of your time. Plan out everything you want to do and take loads of pictures! Take time to enjoy everything you can without the stress of the office. Don't even bring up work to avoid getting yourself all worked up. There will be plenty of time to worry about work when you return! At the end of your vacation, start thinking about where you want to go next, that way you will have something to look forward to!