Coming back from a vacation is hard. There’s unpacking and dirty laundry and no food in the fridge. Not to mention you’re exhausted (thanks, time change). In my utopia, we would all have a built-in Vacation Recovery Day to handle this re-entry exhaustion and stress, but we don’t. I recognize I could come home a day early and give myself my Vacation Recovery Day, but then I feel like I’m cutting my vacation short.
Trapped in this catch-22, I generally end up returning home from vacation on one evening, and then having to be at work bright and early the next morning. Am I alone? I suspect not.
In an effort to save myself some re-entry stress, here are my must-dos before I leave for a trip:
1. Food: leave at least one days’ worth of meals in the freezer/cupboard. These meals should be simple. Think oatmeal, smoothie ingredients, canned or frozen soup, pasta and sauce, frozen chicken breasts, etc.
2. Work clothes: have an outfit picked out for your first day back to work. You may not take these clothes with you on vacation, and are thus guaranteed to return home to at least one clean, coordinating outfit.
3. Toiletries: make sure this trip isn’t using up your last bit of shampoo or soap or toothpaste or…. There’s nothing worse than coming home exhausted, only to find you’re out of toilet paper or shampoo.
4. Think ahead: What are you going to need to take with you your first morning back at school or work? Put it all in one place, packed and ready to go.
5. Leave the house relatively clean: Emphasis on the “relatively.” For me, this means the kitchen has to be clean (anything gross in the fridge needs to be tossed and the dishes need to be done) and my bedroom has to be somewhat orderly.
Follow these five tips, and your jet-lagged, travel-weary self will thank your thoughtful, pre-vacation self!
I wanna know: How do YOU make returning from vacation less stressful?