After a colleague returns from a vacation, you should try to express genuine interest in their experience.
However, saying “hope you had a great vacation” too much can get old fast. So, you’re here to learn some alternatives for it, aren’t you?
Well, this article has gathered the best ones to help you here.
- I trust you had a wonderful vacation
- Did you have a good vacation?
- How was your vacation?
- I’m sure your vacation was enjoyable
- I hope you had an amazing vacation
- Please tell me you had the best time
- I hope you had a memorable vacation
- What did you get up to on your vacation?
- Would you like to discuss your vacation?
Keep reading to learn what to say instead of “hope you had a great vacation.”
1. I Trust You Had a Wonderful Vacation
Formal emails are always made better when you keep things friendly and sincere. It’s a good way to let recipients know you care about them and what they get up to.
So, phrases like “I trust you had a wonderful vacation” tend to work well. It’s a good inclusion in a welcome-back email that shows you expect someone to have enjoyed themselves.
Using “trust” here is a very confident term. It’s also incredibly formal, so it works well when welcoming employees back to the office after they’ve had a few weeks off.
You can also review this email sample:
I trust you had a wonderful vacation. I look forward to your returning to the office to learn all about it.
2. Did You Have a Good Vacation?
We also recommend including a question in your original welcoming message. When someone has been off from work, they may be more excited to talk about their vacation.
There’s nothing wrong with opening your email with “did you have a good vacation?” It’s a formal and polite question that shows a genuine interest in someone’s time away.
For instance, this could be a great way to improve your relationship with your employer. This question is a great way to break the ice if they’ve recently returned from vacation.
You can also immediately talk about work after asking the question in an email. It’s up to the recipient to decide whether they’d like to answer your question or resume work-related discussion as normal.
Here’s a great example to help you with it:
Dear Ms. Proctor,
Did you have a good vacation? I have attached the file you asked for just before you left. I hope it’s up to scratch.
3. How Was Your Vacation?
Another great formal question to use is “how was your vacation?” It’s a highly effective one that shows you’re interested in hearing more.
You can use it when emailing clients who you know have gone away for a while. It shows you’re paying attention to their schedule and value them.
It’s always wise to show clients how valued they are. It’s the best way to ensure they’ll keep coming back and providing business for your company, after all.
Perhaps this example will also help you:
Dear Miss Clark,
How was your vacation? I look forward to meeting with you on Thursday, and I hope we can discuss it briefly before we conduct business.
All the best,
4. I’m Sure Your Vacation Was Enjoyable
For a more confident phrase for how to say “hope you had a great vacation” in an email, try this one.
It’s direct and formal, making it a great option when you’re emailing your boss.
“I’m sure your vacation was enjoyable” works well in a welcome-back email. It’s slightly dismissive, but it shows you’re more interested in talking about business than about someone’s personal life.
So, we recommend including it when you don’t have a friendly relationship with the recipient. That’s why it tends to work best when emailing your boss rather than a colleague.
Check out this email example as well:
Dear Miss Austin,
I’m sure your vacation was enjoyable. However, I have a few ideas that I’d like to present to you now you’re back.
5. I Hope You Had an Amazing Vacation
Try writing “I hope you had an amazing vacation” as another way to say “hope you had a great vacation.” It’s highly effective as a more friendly synonym.
Generally, “I hope you had an amazing vacation” works best when emailing coworkers.
It’s also a great choice if you’d like to discuss their vacation more, even though you might need to discuss business first. You can always talk about the vacation once you’ve met with them.
Here’s a useful example to explain how it works:
I hope you had an amazing vacation. I’d certainly love to learn about it and all the things you got up to.
6. Please Tell Me You Had the Best Time
It might seem a little more conversational, but “please tell me you had the best time” works really well in emails. It’s friendly and shows you care about someone’s vacation time.
We recommend using it when emailing a close coworker. It shows you genuinely care about them and hope they made the most of the time they had away.
It’s especially effective if you know this coworker has wanted to go away for the longest time. It lets them know you’ve paid attention, and they’ve finally got away to enjoy themselves.
Check out this email example as well:
Please tell me you had the best time away. I know you’ve wanted to go on a vacation for the longest time.
7. I Hope You Had a Memorable Vacation
Vacations are there to make memories. We often go on vacations to relax, but we also go to experience new sights, sounds, and experiences.
So, you can use “I hope you had a memorable vacation” in a welcome-back email. It’s a great way to show empathy and caring towards the recipient.
Generally, this works when emailing a client. It’s a great way to show that you care about them and want to continue doing business with them.
Even if your main focus is to arrange a meeting now your client is back, it’s still good to be as friendly as possible. That way, you’ll make them happier and more willing to work with you.
We also recommend this sample email:
Dear Mrs. Willis,
I hope you had a memorable vacation. Please reply to my previous email when you’re ready to talk about business again.
Thank you so much,
8. What Did You Get Up to on Your Vacation?
Feel free to use “what did you get up to on your vacation?” It’s another way to say “hope you had a great vacation” that again allows you to ask a friendly question.
Generally, this is a very open-ended question. It asks for an itinerary or list of things someone got up to while they were on vacation.
We only recommend using this if you’re interested in hearing more. When someone replies to an email that starts with this, be prepared to learn everything they did on their vacation!
Of course, that’s why we prefer using it when emailing coworkers. It welcomes them back, but it also shows you care enough about them to learn more.
Don’t forget to review the following email sample:
What did you get up to on your vacation? If you have a few spare minutes, I’d love to learn more about it.
9. Would You Like to Discuss Your Vacation?
Finally, you can ask “would you like to discuss your vacation?” This is a great way to open a formal email.
It shows you’re willing to discuss someone’s time away, but you also understand that they don’t have to share it with you. It’s very respectful for that reason.
Generally, a phrase like this works when emailing employees. It shows you care about them, but you also respect their privacy if they don’t trust you enough to discuss what they did.
Here’s a great example if you’re still unsure how it works:
Would you like to discuss your vacation? I can arrange a meeting with you to talk about it before we return to more professional discussions.
All the best,
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.