Proper Ways to Request Vacation Time

Proper Ways to Request Vacation Time

Going on vacation bears the responsibility of being accountable to your co-workers and boss. You cannot simply up and leave because you purchased plane tickets or found a great deal on If you are not sure how to go about it, we share the proper ways to request vacation time at your next job.

Check the Rulebook

Before you begin to plan a vacation, check out your employee handbook or operational guidelines. Make sure you know the company’s guidelines for requesting vacation days. Ultimately, when you are planning your vacation there will be a greater sense of ease that you are not risking your job in the process.

Not only is it respectable to the other co-workers when you start sharing your pictures and locations on social media, but there is also no concern someone from work will see it.

On top of this, you want to make sure you are not taking too many days at once or taking more days off than you are allowed. Checking the rulebook will help you with both the formal and informal rules for taking days off in your workplace.

Plan Around Work

The next step here is not to plan a vacation when a serious amount of work is about to affect your department. For example, if the company is planning on doing an internal audit of its processes and you happen to be Head of Operations. It would be a bad idea for you to disappear because you will be heavily needed during the audit.

This will also cut down on you having to stay engaged with work while on vacation. Try to think of all co-workers and their needs and you “not being there” will impact the team. Even if someone can cover you, it is a good idea not to put others in that situation (especially if the person who covers for you REALLY screws up).

Give Plenty of Warning/Notice

When you have planned out some target dates, give your boss plenty of notice. Even though you have collected vacation days it does not mean you can leave work whenever you want.

When you present your request for vacation time, try to avoid presenting it as a list of demands. Make some suggestions and see what the boss has to say, instead of simply saying, “I am taking a vacation this week.” The last thing you want to do is undermine your boss's authority.

If you must keep a certain date for vacation time, such as attending a destination wedding, do everything in your power to find someone to cover you.

Pick a Good Day to Request Vacation

Try and gauge the kind of day your boss is going through before requesting a vacation. If he or she is having a bad day or coming off some uncomfortable meetings and calls, the last thing you want to do is walk in and say, “I need this time off.” See if you can wait until the boss is not having a stressful day. When you are asking your boss for something, you want him or her in a positive frame of mind. 

If you work in sales or some other role where you are facing a big deadline like the end of the quarter, or right before a product launch, you should probably be strategic about the dates you pick for a vacation.

Accept Your Fate

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Be prepared for the boss to say no to your request. Sometimes, work and life are so horribly out of whack that the “perfect vacation” conflicts with “the perfect storm at work”. If the boss says, “No”, suck it up and deal with it. You will be appreciated much more in the end.

  • Getting Your Mind In Shape for an Interview

    Getting Your Mind In Shape for an Interview

    Find My Profession by Terri Rodriguez-Hong
    Read On
  • 5 Irrational Thoughts and Fears After a Job Interview

    5 Irrational Thoughts and Fears After a Job Interview

    Steven Lowell by Steven Lowell
    Read On
  • How To Become The Perfect Job Candidate

    How To Become The Perfect Job Candidate

    Michael Gorman by Michael Gorman
    Read On
See All Articles