5 Tips For Having A Successful Vacation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many well-known reasons to take a vacation. Among numerous other benefits, vacations relieve stress, help workers focus, make them happier, strengthen relationships, and make employees more productive when they return to work.

But it’s important to remember that simply taking time off does not guarantee a vacation will be successful. To fully reap the benefits, there are a few things workers should do before, during and after their vacations, said Bill Watts, employee relations manager for SH Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Gulf Shores, Ala.-based Meyer Vacation Rentals.

Bill WattsWatts is responsible for counseling and assisting employees with work-related or personal concerns and otherwise providing employee support as needed. His services are one of the many ways Meyer parent company SH Enterprises Inc., recently voted one of the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama in 2017, works to help employees stay happy, healthy and productive.

“It’s very important not to let work cause stress in our personal and family lives—not just for ourselves but also for our families. When someone gives everything to their job, something is left out. And, most of the time, it’s our families,” Watts said.

Watts entered the ministry as a pastor in 1976 but also held a job in the corporate world and attended college at the same time. As a minister, he provided support to members of his congregation while also managing his own busy work and family life.

As he worked, attended school and raised a family, retired from the ministry and one corporate career, and embarked on a completely new career at SH Enterprises in 2011, Watts said he learned some very important lessons about work-life balance that he passes on to his SH Enterprises colleagues today.

“For 37 years, I was a pastor of a church and almost all of that time worked a secular job. Because of that, many times, when my children were involved in activities, I did not get to spend the time with them that they would have liked for me to,” he said. “I didn’t realize until they were adults that they often felt shortchanged. They had resentment I didn’t understand until they were adults. It’s very important to pay attention to the needs of our families. And one of those needs is for our time.”

Watts said taking time to care for our own loved ones—and ourselves — is vital to finding happiness at work.

“Simply put, we are not going to be happy or successful in our work lives if our home lives are not happy. It is especially important to plan time to be with family, not just spend time with them when you have a few minutes.”

To make the most of time off the job, there are five things Watts suggested everyone do before, during and after a vacation.

1. Tie Up Loose Ends & Communicate

If you know you’re going to be away a month from now, try to leave as few loose ends as possible, Watts suggested. “Also, communicate to your colleagues that you are going to be away on vacation and that you will not be as accessible as you normally would be. Make them aware you won’t be checking emails every time you hear a ding or that you’ll only look at emails once or twice a day. At the same time, if there is a real emergency—if someone needs something right then—tell them they should call you and that if you don’t answer, you will call them back. This creates peace of mind for you and instills confidence and trust in your team.”

2. Lean On Your Team

It takes discipline to disconnect from regular work duties during vacation. However, giving direction to teammates about handling important tasks that may come up in your absence can help relieve pressure and help you focus your attention on the family.

“Empower whoever is going to be in charge in your absence to make decisions within certain parameters. Let them know that they can make whatever decision is needed. Not only will this help you vacation with greater confidence, but it will also help your teammates grow and develop in their own jobs.  While you’re away, you don’t need to worry about what’s not getting done. Enjoy your family. If there’s something that the person you’ve empowered can’t manage, realize that you can deal with it when you get back. There’s likely nothing you could do while you are out anyway.”

3. Limit Work Interruptions

“Remember that time away means time away. I urge people here all the time when we talk about stress and planning for vacation to realize that a true vacation can’t really happen if they still answer all their calls or emails. Many of our team members are in the position of taking calls from guests or vacation rental owners and feel like they can’t really get away because they must always be available to meet others’ needs.”

Watts advised that if workers simply must review emails while on vacation, they should only respond to those that simply cannot wait or be rerouted to a colleague to handle.

4. Prioritize Your Work Upon Your Return

Watts said when he plans for a vacation, he organizes and completes important tasks in advance. However, he is prepared for there to be numerous tasks to manage upon his return.

Rather than allowing himself to become overwhelmed when he returns to work, he prioritizes emails and tasks by deciding which ones must be handled immediately and which ones can wait until the next day or even the day after that.

“Prioritizing is a way to organize your time and energies or efforts to help you manage the workload when you return,” Watts said.

5. Kick The Fear

Watts said many people avoid taking time off from work because they fear their employer will find they can get along without them or their role in the company. This fear is unfounded, he cautioned.

“You shouldn’t worry that just because a team member can cover your duties for a few days, the managers are going to think they can get along without your position,” Watts said. “You must realize and accept your value and your position’s value to the company and understand that just because a co-worker can double up for a short time does not mean they can do it for an extended period of time.”

When such thoughts pop up in your mind during a vacation, Watts had this advice: “Turn to your family or return what you were doing. Refocus on enjoying the moment.”

Watts reinforced the need for workers to plan and enjoy productive vacations. “We are mentally, emotionally and physically healthier when we enjoy planned time away from work. Through a bit of self-management, we can vacation with confidence and return to work refreshed and more productive.”

ABOUT SH ENTERPRISES: Voted one of the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama in 2017, SH Enterprises Inc. is the umbrella company for CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate for real estate sales and long-term rentals; Meyer Vacation Rentals for vacation rental management on the Alabama/Northwest Florida Gulf Coast; and Starr Textile Services of Alabama and Louisiana, with two commercial laundry facilities serving the Gulf Coast hospitality industry.

Why You Should Take A Week For Vacation

Spend A Week In Paradise In Gulf Shores

To gain the maximum benefits of a vacation, experts advise taking at least a week off. Vacation-related happiness peaks at eight days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To gain the maximum benefits of a vacation, eight days is likely the ideal number of days to take off, according to researchers from Finland who followed vacationers for the duration of their getaways.

The study measured the highest and lows of their happiness and satisfaction as their vacations, which spanned over 23 days, progressed.

Researchers discovered that vacation-related happiness peaked at eight days. “Eight days seems about right,” said Tim Sackett, an HR expert and blogger who commented on the study. “You take off on a Friday after work, maybe sneak out a little early. You then have Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Also psychologically beneficial is the period of time used to plan and anticipate the vacation, according to some psychologists whose experiment asked participants to imagine a vacation.

Psychologists concluded that mere anticipation led to more intense and satisfying emotions than the act of remembering past experiences.

To experience the excitement of planning a vacation and to maximize your vacation joy, plan for a weeklong vacation at the beach. Below are popular summer weeks along the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast. 

Book your beach house or condo in Gulf ShoresFort MorganOrange Beach or Perdido Key now to begin your journey toward a fun vacation in 2018.

Book now to ensure you are able to secure your family’s favorite vacation rental.

CHOOSE YOUR WEEK!

MAY 26-JUNE 2

JUNE 2

JUNE 9

JUNE 16

JUNE 23
JUNE 30

JULY 7

JULY 14

JULY 21

4 Reasons That It’s Smart To Book Your Vacation Early

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many reasons to book your beach vacation to the Gulf Shores area early, not the least of which is giving yourself something extra special to look forward to.

It’s so much easier to manage the tasks of the typical daily grind if you know you are looking forward to spending some downtime on the beach, right?

Here are our top reasons for booking your next beach vacation early.

The Planning Can Be As Much Fun As The Vacationing

According to a research study of more than 1,500 people, planning a trip can actually bring even more joy than remembering the trip afterward.

The mere anticipation of a vacation boosted happiness in participants for eight weeks before the trip.

“For most, the enjoyment starts weeks, even months, before the holiday actually begins, said authors of a study called “Applied Research in Quality of Life.”

Get A Bigger Selection Of Vacation Rentals To Choose From

The closer to your preferred vacation date you wait to book, the more difficult it can be to find the right property.

Say your group would like to stay in a beachfront house with a private pool in July. Well, those vacation rentals tend to book first not only because July is within the peak summer season for the beach but also because vacationers are able to book their favorite properties up to 24 months in advance. For some vacationers, this means booking their preferred property for the following year before they’ve even finished this year’s vacation!

See Our Seasonal Calendar Here

Or, say your family wants to stay within walking distance of the Annual National Shrimp Festival, held in October every year. The beach condos closest to the festival site book more than a year in advance because they are so popular.

To avoid having to reorganize family schedules or dash vacation expectations, it’s best to research and select your desired property. (Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About A Vacation Rental)

Here is our very best advice on the best booking timeframes for maximum selection:

No less than 9 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select properties with four or more bedrooms in which you plan to stay for a longer period of time, i.e., seven nights.

No less than 6 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select smaller properties, with three or fewer bedrooms, in which you plan to stay for a longer period of time, i.e., seven nights.

No less than 3 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select smaller properties, with three or fewer bedrooms, in which you plan to stay for a shorter period of time, i.e., three, four or five nights.

Use advanced search capabilities to find exactly the features and amenities your group wants. Or, our local, experienced, in-house vacation planners are available 24/7 by calling (866) 382-9635 to help match your family’s vacation rental priorities to the perfect property.

Relax, The Big Task Is Out Of The Way

Once you’ve made the best vacation rental selection and booked it, you can set about the really fun stuff—figuring out what activities your family might enjoy doing, planning where you’re going to eat dinner and imagining yourself already there.

Another way to deepen your sense of satisfaction and well-being is to protect the investment you make in your trip with an inexpensive vacation insurance policy.

No one wants to think about unexpected issues that could arise that would keep you from taking your well-deserved vacation. However, should something get in the way of your trip, travel protection insurance allows you to recover your vacation rental investment and have the ability to plan again. Travel protection insurance is designed to protect your investment, belongs and, most importantly, you and your family.

Meyer Vacation Rentals has partnered with Red Sky Travel Insurance to provide two different policies. The Sun Trip Preserver option provides cancellation and interruption services as well as emergency assistance and travel services, covering financial losses. This policy protects in the event of storm evacuations and family emergencies such as illness or death in the family.

Another option, called Cancel for Any Reason, is a benefit that allows cancellation up to 48 hours prior to departure for any reason to receive up to 75 percent trip reimbursement.

Learn More About Trip Insurance Here

Pay For Your Trip On Your Own Schedule

When you book your vacation early, you will have more time to pay for your reservation. In fact, consider the extra time and ability to set your own payment schedule a little like a “vacation layaway plan.”

At booking, you will make an initial reservation payment. If your arrival date is more than a year in advance, a non-refundable processing fee plus 10 percent of base rent is due at the time of reservation.

The remaining balance of the initial reservation payment is due one year from the date of your stay.

Payment in full at the time of reservation is required if arrival occurs within 30 days for properties with four or fewer bedrooms or 90 days for properties with five or more bedrooms.

Final payment—or the balance due after the initial reservation payment has been paid—is required 30 days prior to arrival for properties with four or fewer bedrooms and 90 days prior to arrival for properties with five or more bedrooms.

Online reservation payments can be made anytime at meyerRE.com/pay by entering your confirmation number and arrival date or by calling one of our 24/7 local vacation planners at (866) 382-9635.

See Frequently Asked Questions Here

With so many benefits to booking vacations early, don’t wait another minute to get started. Book your vacation stay to Gulf ShoresFort MorganOrange Beach or Perdido Key today.

Rockin’ Thursdays at The Wharf

Starting May 10 and running throughout the summer, Rockin’ Thursdays will bring a great variety of popular local acts to the Ferris Wheel Palm Plaza at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.

The Wharf, Orange Beach, Alabama, concert, shopping, dining, marina, condo, pool, Ferris wheel

The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama, offers year-round entertainment and activities, including this summer's Rockin' Thursdays.

Mark your calendars now to enjoy the following acts scheduled thus far:
May 10 — The Jay Williams Band
May 17 — Lee Yankie
May 24 — Bud Smith and The Budz
May 31 — Ryan Balthrop and Friends
June 7 — Jason Justice and Hung Jury

The music begins at 5 p.m. and will keep you hoppin’ for the next three hours. The best part? It’s free! So plan to spend your Thursday evenings at The Wharf this summer—music, dining, shopping and fun!

Choose to vacation in a one-bedroom, two-bedroom or three-bedroom condo at The Wharf, each with a marina view. Play all day in the pools, lazy river and waterfall, then walk to dinner and pick up a few fun items in the unique shops before taking the boardwalk to a headliner concert in the amphitheater.  Or take in a current movie showing on one of 15 Rave Theatre screens, followed by a ride on the Southeast’s largest Ferris wheel. You may find that you never want to leave!

The Wharf, Orange Beach, Alabama, condo, music, pool, waterfall, lazy river, dining, shopping, concert, movie

Play all day in the pools, lazy river and waterfall, then enjoy dining, shopping, the Ferris wheel, music and more through the evening.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Vacation Rentals on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Celebrate Your Valentine at the Beach

Valentine greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages. The first commercially printed Valentine cards in America appeared in the 1840s. Today, an estimated one billion cards are sent each year, often accompanying the popular gifts of candy and flowers.

Valentine's Day, gulf shores, alabama, orange beach, sweetheart, romance, sunset

Make Valentine's Day even more special when you bring your valentine to the beach.

Those gestures are wonderful, sweet, and certainly appreciated by anyone who receives them. But wouldn’t you like to do something a little different for your sweetheart this year? Say “I love you” by creating a wonderful memory together at the beach.

We can help by offering some love to your budget. When you take advantage of the Valentine Special through Meyer Vacation Rentals, you’ll receive TWO free nights. Rent a romantic 1-bedroom beach or bay property for four nights, but just pay for two. That’s a 50% savings!

If you prefer to celebrate the occasion with spacious, private accommodations for the whole family, rent a house for seven nights and get the sixth and seventh nights free.

Even if you can’t stay the extra nights, you can use them for an early check-in and late check-out, allowing for more leisure time along the coast.

So instead of thinking red or pink this Valentine’s Day, think white sands and blue water—and a little extra green in your pocket. Your sweetheart will love you for it.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Labor Day, Cajun Style at the Beach

For many people, a Cajun celebration may not be the first thing that comes to mind for Labor Day. But why not?

Party Cajun-style at The Hangout this Labor Day Weekend!

Unless you are from Louisiana, you may not even know what “Cajun” means, much less what kind of celebrating it might describe. If so, it’s time to change that! This Labor Day Weekend is your chance to party like a Cajun, whether as second nature or for the very first time.

The folks at The Hangout in Gulf Shores, Alabama—yes, where Highway 59 ends, right on the beach—are making it easy to live it up. The three-day festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. this Friday, August 27, and each night it doesn’t wind down until 2:00 a.m.

During this time, you’ll enjoy Cochon de liat, a traditional pig roast. You’ll also be treated to zydeco music all weekend, including dance music from the Mermaid Stage. A free family show by Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening. Saturday’s special guests are Don Fontenot and Lez Ami de La Louisianne beginning at 7:00 p.m. And Sunday at 8:00 p.m. is another lively show with Wayne Toups.

It’s not too late to plan your road trip to the party. In fact, Meyer Real Estate has teamed up with The Hangout for the weekend and beyond, offering 50% off accommodations plus a $50 Hangout gift card. See the details and reserve your beach headquarters online. This is a celebration you don’t want to miss!

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