14:04 PM

Strategies for a stress-free vacation

A little prep can make a big difference

by Anne Chambers, LCSW

It has been argued that we in the USA don’t vacation often enough, long enough, or well enough. In fact, we often try to work even while on vacation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of attorneys work 50 or more hours a week on average.  As you plan your vacations, here are some strategies to consider in an effort to relax and make the most of your time off work.    

Remember to pack some travel snacks and drinks, especially when traveling with small children or taking a long road trip. This can help reduce costs and crankiness.   

Consider reducing your level of technology exposure on vacation and leaving your laptop at home. Set up buffers between yourself and work while traveling.  Watch out for that slippery slope of checking work-related messages, and be aware that if you respond to one work email, colleagues might assume you are ready to work, opening the floodgates. For gadgets that you bring on vacation, consider making up rules that you can live by before you head out on vacation. Some examples might include:   

  • I will play computer games for 30 minutes a day, then turn off the device or give it to someone else in the family for the rest of the day.   
  • I will check my personal email and financial accounts once per day and then sign off.   
  • I will leave my laptop at home this year.   

Tips for maintaining sobriety during your vacation include looking up meetings you can attend during your trip, bringing along your sponsor’s phone number, and having a backup plan.   

Have fun and stay safe!


  1. Drews, Toby Rice.  “Tips for Dealing with Holidays/Vacations for Families of Alcoholics. GettingThemSober.com Newsletter, 6/20/12.   
  2. Gross, Doug. “Vacation Tips on How to Truly Unplug.”  CNN Tech, 5/25/11.