When social media is a part of your job, it can be hard to disconnect and actually take a vacation.
But without one, you'll be on a first-class flight to burnout city (trust us, we've been there).
In this guide, we're sharing 7 tips for what to do before (and after) you unplug so you can take a stress-free social media vacation – you deserve it.
How to Take a Social Media Vacation
Before you go on vacation, you'll need to prep some things in advance – like your content calendar or where to find essential documents in case of a social media crisis.
Here are 7 steps to get OOO-ready:
Plan and Batch Schedule Your Content in Advance
Choose a Point of Contact Person
Have Essential Documents Organized
Set Expectations With Your Team (or Clients)
Unplug and Delete Social Media and Work-related Apps
Schedule Touch-base Meetings for After Your Return
Save Social Sharing for Post-Vacation
#1: Plan and Batch Schedule Your Content in Advance
Having content ready to go while you’re away is the first step to having peace of mind while you’re logged off.
Sitting down to create and schedule all your content in one swoop will not only keep creative juices flowing but also allow for consistent, strategic planning.
From Instagram to Pinterest, you can ensure that all your social channels are still running smoothly while you’re sipping a cocktail on the beach (or binging a new Netflix series).
TIP: Schedule a couple extra days of content beyond when you’ll be back from your vacation. This “buffer” room will make it easier to transition back into work without feeling overwhelmed.
Want to learn how it’s done? Check out our guide on How to Schedule 1 Week of Instagram Posts in 20 Minutes!
#2: Choose a Point of Contact Person
Give yourself permission to hand over the reins. Whether you work on a team or are a solo-preneur, it’s a good idea to have a point of contact available to monitor social channels as needed.
Identifying a team member to takeover can help ensure things run smoothly and will give you (and your team) peace of mind if a last-minute change arises.
To make passing things off to your team a little easier, use Later’s Access Group feature:
You can add specific team members to your Access Groups within Later, allowing them to see everything that’s coming up in the schedule and even make adjustments to social posts if needed.
If you’re a freelancer, there are plenty of great virtual assistant services that can help you with the basics. Or, consult your contact list of fellow freelancers to find someone you trust.
TIP: Be sure to set an Out of Office message before you bid adieu. And if it makes sense for your brand, you can even post a message on your social channels if you choose to go a little quieter than usual.
#3: Have Essential Documents Organized
Organization prevents stress. It’s a good rule of thumb to have your key processes documented and passwords securely stored so the preparation for handoff is a breeze.
One of the documents you create should be for "crisis communications", with steps on what to do and who to flag.
This can be a simple Google doc or available in whatever project management tool you or your team uses for easy access.
#4: Set Expectations With Your Team (or Clients)
Set clear expectations for when you’re away, such as when you'll be unavailable, and give plenty of notice.
There’s no need to apologize or feel guilty, either. Healthy work boundaries should allow for a little space to recharge and come back with your creative juices charged. Plus, time away can increase long-term motivation and productivity in the workplace.
#5: Unplug and Delete Social or Work-related Apps
We get it — this is a tough one, but it can work wonders for your mental health.
Deleting social media apps from your phone removes any temptation for scrolling and unconsciously checking-in.
You can even take it one step further by deleting your communication-based apps like email and Slack.
Don't worry, you can easily reinstall them once you’re ready to log back into work mode!
Tip: Set up quick-replies on Instagram for a mini OOO message, then flag the message to respond to it when you come back.
#6: Schedule Touch-base Meetings for After Your Return
Before you take your well-earned vacation, make sure to schedule touch-base meetings with your team members or clients for after your return.
This gives you a chance to catch up on what you might have missed to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Just be sure you don’t schedule them all the first morning you're back — give yourself a little time to ease back into the swing of things.
#7: Save Social Sharing for *After* Your Vacation
You might have sensed a theme here, but truly unplugging from social media is the only way to get a genuine rest. Not to mention the pressure to share on social media takes you out of the moment.
Go ahead and snap the picture, but wait until you’re back from break so you can stay present rather than stressing about what filter to use.
Remember that you can’t excel at your job if you’re constantly burned out.
And while it might feel impossible to unplug, the first step is recognizing that you deserve a break and then taking the necessary steps to plan for a proper, stress-free vacation.
Ready to take a little time to relax and reboot? Later makes it easy for you to schedule your social posts in advance — for free!