Give plenty of prior notice for vacation time. When I am sick, day of, I call my client and tell them so. As mentioned above, people come to trust their personal trainer and understand that in the rare times when we are sick we must be really feeling aweful. We must also trust the client who is sick last minute. It comes down to mutual respect.
I have a vacation coming up, and it’s always a best practice to let your clients know in advance. Communication is always key, if there is a regimen or workout you’d like them to perform while you’re out that can supplement the need for a “fill-in” This is a very dynamic field and things can happen from time to time. Be upfront and your clients will appreciate that. Remember we all have a life, just dont be the guy that sends a text 5mins before a scheduled workout saying…sorry cant make it. Be good to your clients and they will be good to you.
Because I don’t plan on being sick, i don’t have anyone fill-in. Vacations or trips are the same. Establishing RAPPORT with your clients is one of the best things you can do as a trainer. When you have that, and things come up, because they will on both sides, it won’t bring any hard feelings.
While you are out, you can simply give them an assignment and text or email you that is was done and how it went. And, of course, I don’t charge them for it. 🙂
I have never had a problem taking vacation time or sick days. As for planned time away, I make sure my clients know well in advance that I’ll be away and we plan their homework or workouts while I am away. If I go away for an extended period, like last year when I took 6 weeks off in a row to travel back to the states (we’re active duty military serving in Okinawa, Japan right now), I’ll give my clients workouts they can do on their own while I’m away and then I try to contact them once a week via email to stay in touch and see how things are going. After all, I choose to take the time off, they did not!
As for sick days, my clients tend to be very understanding and know that these things occasionally happen, to me or my kiddos. I don’t make a habit of it and I always try to reschedule them for later in the same week. If not, they get a credit toward their next month’s sessions.