How to be a self-employed and go on holiday.

In April, my daughter and I had a mini-break abroad. Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? Expect it was. This was our first holiday abroad since 2015, it seems being a freelance Digital Marketer and working from a home office are not the usual buzz words associated with going on holiday.

Current business model

Now, I read plenty of stories of how freelancers take off chunks of time and of course this is the dream. However, my digital marketing business model has has been to focus on retainer clients first to allow for a steady income and then build on project work and training workshops. So far so good. On the business side that is, not so much for holidays.

Holidays 2016-2018

Up until April our holidays included road trips to stay with family – ticking the family time, play time and work time boxes; “Adventure Dates” where we went away for one night or a Friday to Monday adventure trip. The prerequisite was always good signal, a digital nomad staple and a play park, my daughter’s staple.

Current workload

Managing client social media accounts is a key part of my work, so that meant a holiday where I do no work whatsoever is not really a thing and I knew I had to put some things to place to be able to have this time off and keep on top of client work. Now, yes I use scheduling tools but how I use them in client work is a whole other blog post subject. Furthermore, the sheer volume of work I had on at the time meant even scheduling wouldn’t save me for a whole week.

Holiday prerequisite list

  • Sunshine
  • Limited travel time
  • Easy travel
  • Wifi
  • Kids club
  • Swimming pool
  • A play park

Sounds tricky, but I pulled it off. All but a solid 5 days of sunshine. I chose Spain as it meant travel time was limited and we have been before so it was familiar and meant we could settle quicker. The resort had a kids club and a waterpark on site, a patio area that was close to the play park and was also walking distance to the beach.

The holiday schedule

I scheduled content on the “travel days” so that I could just focus on getting us there and back and planned work time for 3 of the morning’s during our stay. We’d have breakfast together and then my girl would go and play whilst I sat on the patio and took care of emails and social schedules. My notifications were on, so that I was on top of what was happening but otherwise was able to have plenty of time in the waterpark with my girl and even read 2 books during the week. That is the real success story of the holiday!

Where to next then?

No kidding that I was absolutely thrilled to pull off our week abroad and my girl and I had a great time together too; I am fortunate that my business is in digital marketing and this means I take it with me. Of course, that needs to be balanced between actually taking time off, but it is nice to know that running a business and going abroad on holiday is not completely impossible.

Any questions? Email is always open. #BirdandEmmy

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