Vacation email samples to use for your next OOO message


It's the morning of the first day of vacation, and you're pumped.

Time to hit the beach, relax by the waves, and sip a drink. But wait, what's this? Your email app is pinging with new messages from your teammates. You're sure you told everyone you were out of office... turns out, your OOO vacation notice wasn't clear enough. Oops!

Despite the number of instant communication apps we have today, email is still going strong. Many of us are in roles that involve a lot of emailing back and forth. So when you’re going on vacation, you’ll want to let everyone know not to expect a prompt reply. But that’s easier said than done — writing a vacation email can be quite the headscratcher. Should it be formal or casual? Detailed or brief? Funny or flat?

Look, we know how it gets before a vacation — you’re rearing to go, and you can’t be bothered to write a Pulitzer-worthy OOO email. That’s why we’re here to help! We’ve put together our favourite PTO email samples. So the next time you take off, all you have to do is come back here, copy and paste, and go!

Vacation email sample #1: Getting it over with

This PTO email sample is brief, to the point, and doesn’t mince words. It’s ideal if you don’t want to go into too much detail.

Hi there,

Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office from <date> to <date> with little or no access to my emails. I’ll respond to you as soon as I can once I’m back at my desk.

If there’s something urgent you’d like to discuss, please reach out to [email protected], and they’ll be able to guide you.


Your Name

You’ve covered the essentials—acknowledgement, vacation period, emergency contact—and haven’t left anyone waiting around for a response. But if you’d like something a little more creative, perhaps in keeping with your personality or brand guidelines, read on!

Vacation email sample #2: Spill some details

In this PTO email sample, the tone is light and friendly and gives the recipient some insight into what you’ll be up to over the next few days. It’s a fun way to engage with senders even when you’re not at your desk, and might even spark a connection that might blossom into something more!

Hey there 👋

Thanks for your email! As you read this, I’m probably surfing some waves, reclining by a pool with a good book, or trekking through a forest with a swarm of bugs for company. This’ll go on until <date>, when I’ll be back at work, recharged, and ready to reply to your email.

Until then, if you need immediate assistance, please reach out to my colleague [email protected] who wishes he was where I am right now. Go on, make his day!


Your Name

Vacation email sample #3: A little promotion never goes amiss

This PTO email sample gives the recipient the important details and also pitches your latest work to them.

Hi there,

Thank you for your email. I’m out of office from <date> to <date>. I recently discovered that I was approaching burnout so I decided to take a break before it wreaked havoc and left you in the lurch. I’ll respond to your email as soon as I’m back at work after <date>.

In the meantime, there’s a great article on disconnecting from work during time off that I think you’d enjoy reading. Hopefully, it inspires you to take a break and come back recharged, too!


Your Name

You might be away, but this email is still a chance to keep connections warm and business in motion. You have nothing to lose!

The alternative to manual vacation emails: Automation

As organisations grow in size and people grow busier, it’s important to automate basic tasks to keep productivity up and reduce busywork, don’t you think?

When you switch to Pause, you can go on vacation without being disturbed because teammates will know you’re OOO. Pause automatically declines meetings scheduled during your vacation period and notifies your teammates.

If your organisation uses Slack, you can integrate Pause to automatically set your Slack status to “Away 🌴” when you’re on leave. This way, even if you forget to tell anyone, they know!

For organisations, this means better time-off communication and transparency within and between teams. For employees, it means being able to leave for a vacation without worrying about telling nine people and forgetting one.

Any vacation reminder—a vacation email or Slack status—serves to give colleagues, clients or prospects the information and clarity they’ll be thankful for. So no matter how you achieve that, you’ll be in the clear!

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