Workation vs Vacation

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What’s the difference between the two and why does it even matter?

Story by Dr. Stacia Pierce

Because you matter — and if you’re going to be a successful boss lady for the long haul, you must properly weave downtime into your life’s schedule. And sometimes that downtime may have to take a different form to actually occur.

The life of an entrepreneur can be chaotic, unpredictable and incredibly rewarding all at the same time. Then there is the never-ending conversation of work/life balance. As busy boss ladies we have even begun to question our time off. We volley back and forth between…

How can I possibly take a vacation right now?  I SO need to get away from all of these daily tasks so I can have some quiet time to finish my ___________.  OMG! I’ve got to get away, unplug, relax and have some fun!

Although small business owners tend to shy away from taking a break because there is so much to do for their business; in the long run getting away empowers you to be more productive.

So now that we are solid on the fact that you need a getaway, what’s the difference between WORKATION vs. VACATION? 

Workation: It’s a vacation infused with the elements of work: checking emails, writing, meeting with clients, signing contracts, taking sales calls etc. in a remote location outside of your normal workspace. It provides a change of scenery while getting things done.

Vacation: Taking actual time off from work. Truly taking a break from all things work related.

Here’s how I define my workation vs. vacation getaways at a glance 

Sometimes I need to get away to get things done that are outside of my day to day work tasks. So, a workation is needed. Sometimes you need to completely shut down from work mode and take a traditional vacation. How do you decide? Well that’s up to you — here’s some insight into how I set up my workations vs. vacations.

When I’m workationing, my day is less structured than when at home in my office. I’m usually getting away to write a book, complete a course or work on the vision of my business. So, this kind of getaway doesn’t necessarily require a remote island in the Maldives; just a beautiful change of scenery to spark my creativity and new ideas.

I love to work in the mornings while the rest of the family is asleep or relaxing. I’ll normally working until about 2 p.m., then play and have fun for the rest of the day.

I often bring my family on workation trips so that we can still spend time together away from our daily routines. My kids and husband usually spend their free time exploring our destination or meeting up with friends, while I work.


While, I love workations because they empower me to be more productive, there are times where you need to take a real vacation and unplug.

My vacations are much more of a family affair. Our focus is on enjoyment, excursions, shopping and dining. I create a loosely planned schedule to keep our days exciting and we jump right in and have a ball.

I take at least 4 vacations a year with my family. We have our favorite destinations like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Then, every year we add some place new. My daughter is big on overseas travel, so we’re planning a trip to Spain for the fall.

I have found that taking occasional breaks is best for you and your business. I am much more creative, inspired and relax when I return.

Whether you are scheduling a workation or vacation, here are a few of my favorite tips to have an incredible time

1. Script a successful getaway — Before you even pull out your suitcase, plan and script out in your Success Journal how you want your trip to go. Who do you want to meet? What do you want to see? Where do you want to dine? What adventures do you want to have?

Even if it’s strictly a vacation where your goal is to just relax, script out what that means to you. My most rewarding vacations have been the ones where I was very intentional about how I wanted the outcome to be.

2. Protect your plans — If you are traveling to a place where you have friends and family nearby, schedule when and how long you want to spend time with them. Depending on what your objective is for the   trip, you may go with the flow or opt to just hang out with the family. There is no wrong or right, just be mindful to protect your time and your plans so you can enjoy your trip the way you intended.

3. Add new fun or relaxing experiences — Even if we are traveling to a city we’ve been to hundreds of times we try to find new experiences to enjoy that fit the tone of our trip. This will keep your creative juices flowing and ensure you have a good time.

Sidenote: Be sure you have a great mix of people (that are positive and get along). All experiences are better when the whole group goes with the flow.

4. Keep the conversation amazing — The point of a getaway of any sort is to return refreshed and revived — and the best way to protect your experience is to keep the conversation on a high note. We share our dreams and goals, laugh till our tummies hurt and express gratitude every step of the way. That’s how we roll and anyone in our vacay or workation crew must do the same.

Workation vs. Vacation: it’s up to you — but make sure you weave times to refresh and renew into the fabric of your life.

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