It’s that time of year again and you will need some vacation phrases for the office! Companies are clearing out (becoming empty) and people are getting ready to go on vacation (holiday UK). Whether that means setting your away message (Out of Office Reply) on your email, or covering some shifts to pocket (save) some extra cash, there are a few vacation phrases that can be useful around the office this time of year.

People love talking about things they have coming up (in the future), so asking your colleagues about their upcoming vacations is a good way to start conversation around the water cooler (Don’t know if we have a water cooler anymore, but this is any place in the office, like the kitchen, where colleagues gather and chat). If you’re not sure exactly what to ask, here are a few vacation phrases for the office that can help jumpstart (start, kick off, initiate) the conversation:

Are you taking a vacation this year?

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to take a vacation somewhere every year, so it’s always nice to ask if someone is, indeed (in fact, actually), taking a vacation, instead of just assuming (thinking is true) right away. A good follow-up question to this is, “Are you going anywhere?”

Many people, myself included, also enjoy taking some time off only to spend time at home- this expensive place where we sleep every night, but hardly ever see because we are so busy working!

One may take the time to do some repairs on their house, hang out on their balcony (the Germans call this Balkonia), or just enjoy sleeping in for a few days. Just because they aren’t traveling to a foreign destination, doesn’t mean they’re not taking vacation!

Have you ever been there before?

If one of your coworkers happens to be traveling this summer, a good follow-up question is to ask if they have been to this place before (present perfect tense!). Some people like exploring new places every year, while others like things that are familiar, and visit the same place more than once.

If you’ve never been to this place, it’s a great opportunity to get some travel tips from them!

What’s your favorite thing to do there?/What are you most excited about doing when you’re there?

Again, people love to talk about their plans, and what they’re going to be doing when they’re on vacation. If you really want to jumpstart a conversation using one of your vacation phrases, ask them what their favorite thing to do is in this place (if they’ve been there before) or what they’re most excited about doing (if they’re visiting somewhere new).

You may be surprised at how different everyone’s plans are! Some people love spending all day, every day (24/7) on the beach, while others plan things like parasailing or swimming with sharks. Take inspiration from your colleagues’ vacations to help plan your own, as well.

How long will you be there?

Besides being useful to know for business purposes (especially if you’ll be covering some of their shifts while they’re away), asking how long someone will be on vacation also shows interest in the details of their trip.

This could also help start a conversation about favorite trips, favorite places to go, and more!

Have fun! / Enjoy your time off!

Is it your colleagues’ last day at the office before they take off for a few weeks? Send them off with good wishes for their trip with one of these vacation phrases! Saying “have fun” or “enjoy your time off” is a friendly and polite way to say goodbye to someone before they leave for a few days (or weeks).

Welcome back! How was your trip?

As we mentioned above, people love talking about their experiences, so when your colleague comes back from vacation, make sure to ask them how it was. It will be seen as polite, as well as a great opening to talk about what they experienced while away from the office.

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Are you taking a vacation this year and need some vacation phrases for the office? Share your plans with us in the comments below!

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Check out these other popular blogs: Taboo words in English, 7 Synonyms for Being Drunk, 7 American English Slang Words, or these Sports Idioms used in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and wants to hear about your vacation plans! Tell her all about it and click on the “buy lessons” button above!

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