I know, I know, I’ve flown home to Officially Autumn and nobody wants to read a sunshiney holiday blog post.
This blog post isn’t intended to be a gloaty LOOK HOW TANNED I AM post though, it’s more about switching off on holiday and the toss up between #blessedbeachlifecontent and actually giving your brain five minutes peace.
If you’re a blogger, it can be incredibly tempting to turn holidays into content opportunities. Obviously if the holiday is a press trip then that’s a different matter – you’re there to cover it – but I’m talking about proper holidays: the ones you go on 5am easyjet flights for with your mates/family/other half.
I’ve just come back from what I consider a “proper holiday” and whilst I always intended to use it as time to switch off, I was somewhat stunned that I actually managed it.
In the ten days I was in Mallorca I posted three pictures to Instagram and generally ignored Twitter. I posted a couple of times to Instagram Stories but didn’t watch any. I didn’t open Snapchat or Facebook. I only replied to three (genuinely urgent) emails, I also sent two emails to ST but one was to ask him to bring some crisps back from the shops and one was about bringing the lilo downstairs so I don’t think they count. I didn’t schedule any blog posts or social media updates. Navigation was done with a real map. Books were made of paper. I did do some filming, but to make a private video for my family and I’m not sure yet if I have enough content to make a public vlog out of it. I kept my phone’s data switched off.
And my goodness, it was just blissful.
I don’t think I’ve properly zoned out quite like that since my honeymoon, which is ridiculous really.
I think bloggers in particular will understand though, as the appeal in creating “holiday content” is very real. The holiday wardrobe outfit shots, the “what’s in my carry-on” videos, the reviews, the hotels, the food, the travel guides…it’s easy to get inspired by these types of topics simply because they’re a break from the norm.
But I can safely say, having chosen not to live-blog my entire holiday, that it was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever had.
It was a family holiday and over the ten days we were there we were joined by no less than fifteen family members. Cousins, in-laws, grandparents, all sorts. Different arrival and departure times meant we were never quite sixteen strong (although there was one beach lunch for eleven of us which was rather lovely) and the comings and goings meant we could all spend decent one-on-one time with each other, which doesn’t always happen in big families. You can see each other at a lunch and catch up on the basics, but it’s not until you’ve been playing catch in the pool for four hours straight that you can really get onto the beautifully bizarre topics of conversation.
It was so nice.
I will probably blog about two of the hotels we stayed in because they were immense and if you’re planning to go to Mallorca any time soon, they should be on your radar, but I’m glad my phone and camera were mostly in the hotel safe for the duration of the trip.
I’ve had time to reflect, time to recharge and time to plot some new ideas. Not only that, but I’ve realised just how much time I spend in my inbox and on my social timelines when I could just dip in a few times a day.
Of course, if you’re a blogger who doesn’t get exhausted by constant connectivity then by all means Instagram/blog/snap the hell out of your personal holidays. Lord knows I love seeing the pics. But if you want a break every now and again then do know it’s ok to have one. You can take a few pics while you’re there and blog about them when you get back. Readers should be able to forgive you a week off posting if you come back fresher and more raring to go than ever.
In the two week run-up before the trip, I made sure all my clients knew I was going to be away so that I could get work done in advance if needsbe. This is an obvious thing to do but giving people advance notice that you’ll be away is always a good idea. Yes, you may find yourself inundated with work in the run-up to the trip but at least expectations will be managed and you shouldn’t be pestered while you’re away. I also phrased my Out of Office to say that I wouldn’t be checking emails and people should text if urgent; if you write an Out of Office that implies you’re still checking emails and available then it can be a slippery slope. (I completely understand that some people will always have to do *some* work on holidays – my husband is one of those people – but if you can avoid it then it really does make a world of difference).
I’m going on an overnight press trip tomorrow and will no doubt be sharing my journey along the way all over social media, but for my next proper holiday I’ll be trying to go offline again. It’s so worth it.