Aww, man! Every time I open Instagram or Facebook, I'm bombarded with everyone's pictures of their toes in the sand or fruity cocktails on a tropical island. I'm jealous and itching to get to a beach this summer! We just got back from a long weekend in NYC, and we are heading to the Canadian Rockies next month and have a few lake trips and long weekends planned. I actually just looked at my calendar, and we only have one weekend we won't be traveling until September. Yikes! Summer is the time for travel and making the most of every weekend!
But... does anyone else get in a funk after a trip? While I’m usually ready to come home after a nice vacation, the relaxation or excitement or whatever magical feeling the trip inspired is usually zapped the minute the trek home begins. I start thinking about laundry, groceries for the week, picking up the dog, the long work meeting on Tuesday, any a slew of other unpleasant or mundane tasks. As a type-A worrier (not to be confused with warrior) who likes to start each week on the right food with a clean house, full pantry, and the right mindset, I've developed a few tricks for making this happen, so I can fully enjoy traveling.
Me while traveling - relaxed, happy, and, frankly, a little nauseating.
Me when arriving home from a trip - scary and lashing out at loved ones.
- Plan your meals for the week after your trip a couple days before you leave, and schedule a grocery pickup. You can check out my meal planning tips here, and this is such a relief after a trip. My sanity is worth the $5 service fee to schedule a grocery pickup either near the airport or on the drive back home. After traveling, the last thing I want to do is go to the grocery or think about our meals for the week. It's also great to add prepared foods to your grocery list for dinner after you arrive home, so you're not overwhelmed with making dinner or forced to order pizza.
- Clean and do laundry a day or two before you leave. It can definitely be a headache to do this before traveling, but it is worth the effort on the front-end of a trip to come home to a clean house and just the dirty laundry from your trip. While I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but for me, having fewer chores around the house seems to makes arriving home from traveling easier.
- If you have the time, plan to come home a day before you have to go back to work. Regardless of how much planning ahead I do, there are always errands or chores that I need to take care of after taking a longer vacation. It is usually worth it to me to allow for extra time at home, so you don't feel rushed before returning to the real world.
- Plan something to look forward to for after the trip. Half of the fun of traveling is the anticipation of the trip, and it can be a bummer to come home and not have anything fun on the horizon. Whether it is another trip or long weekend in a few months or just a happy hour or yoga class with your best girlfriends, it is nice to have something to look forward to.
- If all else fails, brew a strong cup of coffee and start hustling.
How do you ease back into your normal routine after a vacation?