How do you take a holiday if you can’t afford one?

Posted on: April 16th, 2012

Freelancers generally take far fewer holidays than corporate employees – for the simple reason that we don’t earn any money when we go away. (Well, unless you are on a paid monthly retainer, in which case you will have to put in the extra hours either before you go or when you come back.)

And, in the current climate, it’s likely that we are all taking fewer holidays than ever. So here are a few ideas showing how you can take a well-earned break, even if you can’t afford to go away.

Take a series of day trips

Going on five separate day trips will give you a good break from work and from your desk. But don’t forget to tell your clients you are taking a week off – if they know you haven’t actually gone away, they might try and sneak a ‘Can you just’ by you.

Why freelancers need to go on holiday

Posted on: September 28th, 2010

I recently returned from holiday. It was the first break I’d had in 15 months and it made me realise I should have taken time off sooner. There are all kinds of reasons not to go on holiday if you are freelance:

  • You won’t earn any money (unless you’re lucky enough to be on a retainer).
  • You need to save money for your ‘buffer’ fund for when times are quiet, not spend it on holidays.
  • You risk losing out on projects that come up while you’re away.
  • If you’re midway through a project, the likelihood is it will be given to someoen else to complete
  • You have to work like crazy to finish everything off before you go, and then you need to work like crazy when you get back to catch up – so is going away worth the effort?
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Holiday: when was the last time you took one?

Posted on: May 28th, 2010

In the UK, most employees get 25  days a year holiday entitlement. As freelancers, we can take as many weeks off as we like. But the reality is, we don’t. However, it’s important to recharge your batteries and take time out. That’s why one of my Top Ten Tips For Freelancers is to go on holiday.

I tend to take a week off in June and September, have the odd long weekend and then take Christmas/New Year off. It’s not anywhere near the 25 days that my employee friends get but, as I’m not on a retainer with any of my clients, I don’t earn anything while I’m away.

I say ‘no’ to laptops on holiday

I know some freelancers who take their laptop on holiday with them and continue to work/respond to clients’ emails while they are away. I don’ t do that. My goal is to have a complete break  and come back rested and revitalised.  I make sure I tell all my clients well in advance that I’m taking some time off, so I either get any urgent stuff written before I go away or it’s there waiting for me when I return.