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Top tips for running your business with passport in hand.

I recently went on my first overseas holiday as a business owner. It was only a week in beautiful Queenstown, on New Zealand's South Island, but it took months of careful planning.

Taking a break from business wasn't easy. I'll be really honest with you. It stretched the bounds of my comfort zone. I often hear people say 'you're on holidays, you shouldn't be working' but in the reality of a business owner that doesn't really work. We have put ourselves out there, our skin on the line, chasing work, managing people, sitting up late, that it's not as easy as someone telling you to leave the laptop at home.

My laptop connects me to home. It allows me to provide guidance if the team isn't sure. It means that every day I'm away, I know all is well in the office (and that makes a girl relax!). It connects me to my livelihood, if we're going to be really honest.

I also get really inspired on holidays. I feel the urge to write, to reflect, to punch in numbers, to dream.

However, were the months of careful planning worth it? Heck yeah. But everyone says that, right?! It's true though.

If you're dreaming of taking a trip abroad but afraid of leaving your business baby behind, or you have tried it and it all felt too much, here are the practical steps to put in place to avoid breaking out in a cold sweat with passport in hand.


It's no surprise I started with a plan. Plan what needs to be completed and communicated three months out, one month out, one week out. I knew I had to onboard a new team member with plenty of time to settle in and get to know the business, tasks and clients. What's your big-ticket item?

Plan what you need to do during your holiday. How much time do you need to be online each day? When is that? Create a routine based on that. Luckily for me, the time difference was in my favour so while I sipped my first cup of tea, I replied to emails and questions, and completed any tasks I needed to. That way, when the team and clients woke up two hours later, they had what they needed to keep moving forward.

Before you board your return flight, plan your first day back in the office. I cancelled any regular meetings. Just catching up, check-ins and debriefs with the team, plus much needed face time.


Set and be clear in your communication preferences. Is it text, WhatsApp, email? None or all of the above?

I was really clear about my communication preferences. I was available on our internal task management system,, and via email. That's it. Avoid texting or calling me unless a Stage 5 Admin storm had swept in.

HOT TIP: if you are planning a trip away, an internal task management system is a MUST. While the one I use is quite expensive but 100% worth it, it might not be the beast you need. There are less expensive and free options (Microsoft has a really good, basic planner).

Include detailed and clear autoreplies on your email account(s). Explain the alternative arrangements, what to do if urgent, how long you'll be away and maybe something fun because, after all, you are on holidays!


You've planned for months. You've packed. You've guarded the passports like a newborn. You've schlepped yourself and however many offspring through multiple airports. Take a break. Trust the plan and daily routine you put in place.

Trust your team. I know that as the business owner, we tend to micro-manage. And sorry, but not sorry! We can't help it. My business is my passion, my livelihood as a single parent and I've given it my all since day one. I've earned it. But everyone loves it when the boss goes away so leave them be. Stick to the plan you discussed, give succinct guidance and let them fly.

Don't answer an enquiry, reply to an email or complete a task if the team can. Leave them to think critically, problem solve together, use their skills or ask the client - never a bad thing to have a new point of contact. I encouraged my team to contact me only if they got really stuck.


After all, your business has likely supported you to save for this long-awaited trip. Savour it. Reflect on it. Dream of what's next.

Lean on your daily routine knowing you don't need to be pulled in every direction because you planned for this.

Complete your work when you agreed to, then jump on the bike, splash down the water slide and have that extra mimosa. Then do it all again the next day.


Max and I have already dreamed of what's next. We're planning Vanuatu in 2025. A closer-to-home destination was definitely perfect for us - worked in with coparenting plans and the time difference was brilliant professionally.

So, tell me, where will you go next?


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