How To Resume Trading After A Vacation Or Time Away

I just returned from an eight day vacation in sunny Mexico and I want to start trading again. Before I resume trading there are a few thing I must do in order to get myself ready to trade. You may think you have lost it after a break but that’s probably because you have not prepared enough to resume trading.

I decided to share how I prepare to trade after time away, and I believe there is a process every trader should follow to make sure you are prepared to trade. This process many vary slightly from trader to trader but overall it will be similar.

The first thing I do is go over every single day and approach the day as if I were actually trading it. This allows me to get a feel for the market, and switch my brain from vacation mode to trading mode. I draw my key reference areas on the chart and I mentally trade the market one day at a time, one bar at a time. This is where you will find out how rusty you are. If you still do not feel confident then go through historical charts and trade until you do feel confident.

This works well when you have only been away from the screens for a short period of time, but what if you have taken a month or longer off? In this case you may want to use market replay and actually trade on SIM to practice placing orders. It will help you pick up on the nuances that are only visible during live trading.  It is important that you write a trade plan for each day just like you would in live trading to get closest to the “real thing” as possible. If you are a newer trader you might want to trade on SIM for a few days before putting any real money at stake, or at the very least reduce your size.

After trading all the days I missed I now start to feel confident enough to go live, but I’m not quite there yet. I do an in depth market recap of all the markets I trade and come up with scenario’s for the next trading session. This helps the current market activity stay fresh in my mind. Change can occur overnight, so it is important that I write a written trade plan the next morning to guide my trading for the day. You should be writing a written trade plan every morning anyways.


It is important to take time off from trading to refresh you mind and body, but remember that you must prepare for a successful return.

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