You’ve booked your tickets, picked all the right restaurants, and packed your bags. You’ve taken the time off from work, set up your “out of office” email reply, and maybe even *shudder* removed the Twitter app from your smart phone. But the question remains, when you take a vacation, what do you do about your blog?

If you’ve developed a loyal following and are passionate about sticking to your meticulously planned editorial calendar, this can be a real concern. What’s the right way to handle temporarily stepping away from the blogosphere?

Here are three ways to be sure you aren’t blogging from the beach or posting by the pool during your summer vacation.

Schedule New Posts with a Special Message Continuing to churn out new content when you’re away from the interwebs is an ambitious and completely feasible option. With tools like IFTTT and Twitterfeed you can even do a bit of promotion without ever touching your keyboard. Just be sure to let your readers know you’re on vacation. Either mention that you are unplugged in your posts, or edit your comment message to remove the  expectation of an immediate response.

Rally The Troops An extended vacation can be a fantastic time to invite other bloggers to submit guest posts. Include a specific topic or prompt in your invitation and be sure to tease the series before you leave, to build anticipation. Not only will you publish fresh content, you’ll also introduce your readers to bloggers that you enjoy and respect. Be sure to include a personal introduction in which you share why your readers will find the content valuable.

Silence is Golden It is absolutely, positively, perfectly acceptable to take a few days off. It is also absolutely, positively, perfectly acceptable to go a few days without new posts on your blog. In fact, it might even be a good thing. Give your writing muscle a break. Give your readers a chance to miss you. As the wife of a pilot, I can attest that absence unequivocally makes the heart grow fonder. If you’ve cultivated a loyal community through your blog, they are not going to abandon you if you take a few days off. I promise.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to plan ahead. Nobody wants to be cobbling posts together or begging blog friends for guest posts in the hours before your departure. Something tells me you booked those tickets months ago. Don’t let your blog be an afterthought. Make your decision and take the time well in advance to prepare your posts. Lining up posts ahead of time or allowing yourself the freedom to unplug will make your vacation all the more relaxing and rejuvenating.

Tell us, what happens in your corner of the blogosphere when you take a vacation?