“Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation…had to get away.” So said The Go-Go’s, and who can’t relate to their timeless song? It’s funny how vacations are all about relaxing and escaping work, responsibility and the stresses of daily life but think about how many people are employed to help you get to that Zen-like state of bliss.
At every stage of your vacation, from planning to the trip home, you come across many people who are working to keep you and your family or friends comfortable.
Planning the perfect escape
Today, many people book their own flights, find the best hotel deals and determine the best way to get on-site transportation. But alas, travel agents are still around and can help with package deals to help you save money. And if you are like me (in which case, somewhat neurotic about the pressure of doing all that research), it’s nice to hand it over to someone else to do it for you. The burden of doing all that research and creating cost comparisons? No thanks.
Also, travel agents are usually in contact with onsite entertainment, so if you went on a tropical vacation, you could get information and deals on waterskiing, snorkelling and other nearby excursions.
Packing and take off
Depending on the locale, there are going to be items you’ll need to pack. Whether it’s visiting your favourite retail location for a brand new bathing suit (or ski boots perhaps), going to the nail salon to get your toes in check, or calling up your trainer for a few last-minute workout sessions, gearing up for vacation can be manic.
As you pack for your trip, also be mindful of any relevant travel restrictions. Nothing is worse than a rocky start with the screening officer over a can of aerosol hairspray in your carry-on luggage. Believe me.
While most of us consider the airport to be chaos, think of all the people who are working there and the customer service skills they have — or we hope they have. Whether you’re talking food service, luggage assistance, gate agents, flight attendants or pilots, everyone is trying to make your experience as painless as possible.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, chances are the first person who greets you is a cab driver, a hotel valet or the hotel concierge. One of the most confusing parts of vacation is knowing whom and how much to tip.
If you didn’t book through a travel agent, you’ll want to ask someone from the hotel about great nightlife, daytime excursions or pampering at local spas or salons.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to chat with locals and ask them about their jobs, career path, career outlook, etc. If there’s one thing we’ve all got in common to talk about, it’s work. I’ve met some of the friendliest and most genuinely good-natured people while on vacation who were tour guides, bartenders, waiters and retailers. And these people will give you the inside scoop on where the locals are hanging out and the best places to eat, shop and more.
While you’re on vacation, the people around you are working to make your vacation what it is. Be appreciative, courteous and gracious toward their efforts — just as you would (or should) in any other situation.
Back to life, back to reality
Often when a vacation is coming to an end, you’re ready to get back to life and — sadly — work. Well, maybe not all of us feel that way. But it’s normal to miss your regular routine, the sense of productivity or purpose and – for those that like their jobs – your work family.
Don’t overlook the graciousness of workers who are helping you return home, whether it’s the bell hop, the airport barista or the cab driver delivering you from the airport to your doorstep.
Justin Thompson, CareerBuilder Writer