Though it’s one of the most important aspects of your honeymoon planning, asking for time off from work is often an overlooked detail that’s frequently left to the last minute. Instead, requesting time off from work should be one of the first steps you take toward planning for your honeymoon. Upon having this conversation with your supervisor, you’ll have a more concrete idea of how much time you’ll have to be away. So, it’s best to have this conversation as soon as possible. More importantly, there’s certainly a right and wrong way to make your time off request. Check out our top tips for how to request time off from work for your honeymoon.
While there is no definitive rule for how far in advance you should speak to your boss about your honeymoon vacation, it’s best to give them as much time as possible. In some cases, you may not be able to formally submit the request form for your time off with human resources until closer to the trip, but it’s still a good idea to clear your chosen dates with your boss.
Oftentimes, deciding when to ask your boss for time away is more about the circumstances of your unique situation, rather than a particular timeline. For example, you’ll want to have this discussion before booking any of your arrangements. While most companies and supervisors are more than understanding when it comes to weddings and honeymoons, it could prove challenging to adjust your plans, should anything go wrong. It’s also best to consider the time of year you plan to travel and what will be happening in your company at that time. For instance, if your employer puts on a large conference every fall, that may not be the best time for you to be away for two weeks.
Similarly, it is also beneficial to consider the time of day you choose to have your conversation with your boss. If you know she is usually busy in the mornings, don’t try to talk to her right when she walks in the door. Instead, wait for a time when she is free and able to process your time off request.
Unfortunately, this is a question with no clear answer. The amount of time you are permitted to take away from the office and how to request time off for your honeymoon will primarily depend on your company and its paid time off policy. If you work for an organization with a traditional paid leave policy, you’ll most likely be permitted to take as much time as you have accrued by the date you leave. So, if you have one week, you can take one week. However, if you want more time, you may be able to ask for, or negotiate, additional unpaid leave.
If your company has a more contemporary leave policy, such as unlimited or flexible time, it may not be as clear what you can expect. In this case, consider what the norm seems to be within your organization. If you have “unlimited” time, but most employees only take a week or two off at most, consider that when determining how much time off you’ll request.
If you plan to travel immediately or shortly after your wedding, consider the total amount of time you’ll want to be away during that period. It may be difficult for your manager to approve a vacation request of two weeks off for your wedding, and then, only a short later, three weeks off for your honeymoon. For this reason, many couples choose to delay their honeymoons at least three to six months after the wedding. Plus, by delaying your trip, you can save up your vacation days over an extended period.
So, when you’re planning, ask yourself how long should a honeymoon be, and determine the appropriate amount of time you should request off.
Once you have decided what to ask for and when to have the discussion, it’s time to actually make your request. Thankfully, this should be a relatively straightforward process, and it’s highly unlikely that your boss will deny your request if you have carefully thought through the two questions above. However, just because you’re likely to receive approval, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you should do to make the conversation easier. This can be done by putting yourself in your boss’s shoes and considering the questions that she will have so that you can ensure that she has a clear understanding of what steps you’ll take to guarantee things run smoothly while you’re away. Explaining how the operations of your department will not be impacted by your absence and knowing which employee(s) will cover you while you’re out will increase your chance of having an approved request.
For example, if you’re managing a critical project team, you might say, “I would like to request two weeks off in October. I have already discussed coverage of my project management responsibilities with Tanya on the team, and she is prepared to step in while I am away.” The key is to show your manager that you have considered how your trip may impact the business, and you have taken the appropriate steps to minimize disruption. If she knows everything is taken care of while you’re gone, she will feel more at ease approving your request. While it can be tempting to submit your request via email, it’s best to have your initial conversation in-person. This allows your boss the opportunity to ask any clarifying questions, and makes the leave request feel more like a discussion that is open for schedule adjustments, such as shifting your days off earlier or later, if needed.
First, breathe a sigh of relief that the hard part of requesting time off is over. But, don’t relax just yet! Preparing for your time off is key to ensuring that you are able to relax while you are away. Start by setting expectations with your colleagues, manager, and anyone helping to cover you while you’re gone. This may include training another employee on certain aspects of your job, such as making sure that he or she knows where to access specific information or paperwork, and understands pertinent details for any customer-facing projects or work.
The more care you take in making these preparations, the more you’ll be able to unplug while you’re away. Think about everything you do throughout your workday and write down information as you go. In some cases, it may be worthwhile to create a document to house all of the details of your daily schedule. Start taking these notes a few weeks prior to your departure so that you can review them with relevant colleagues closer to your leave time.
Once you have set all expectations and shared all relevant information and paperwork, the last thing you need to do is put up an out-of-office reply on your email and/or phone line. This helps you, and those covering you, by notifying anyone who tries to contact you of your absence. A key element of this away message should be sharing whom people should contact while you are gone. In addition, stating when you’ll be responding to messages is a great way to continue setting expectations. For example, your out-of-office reply may look something like this:
Thank you for your email. I am away on my honeymoon from October 14 to 29. During this time, I will not be responding to any messages, and you can expect a response upon my return on October 30. If you require assistance in the meantime, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This short message clearly sets the expectation that you will not be responding to emails during your honeymoon, while also redirecting anyone who needs help before you return.
Hopefully, you found these tips on requesting time off to be helpful. Remember, every company is different, so be sure to review your request policy in the process. Then, once your pending request is approved, visit Zola to find great honeymoon deals for your upcoming trip!