Awesome Tips Traveler's Toolbox
Nothing’s worse than leaving a white-sand beach in the Caribbean to return home to a stack of work, a messy house and a monotonous calendar filled with meetings, errands and appointments. And if you’re like me, you start dreading that stressful return home even with a few days of vacation left.
But the end of your vacation doesn’t need to be filled with dread, and that transition back to “real life” doesn’t need to be as painful as it may seem from the comfort of your beach chair. By following a few simple steps before, during and after your travels, you may just kick those post-vacation blues for good.
I always take time to plan a mini-vacation or buy tickets to an event that will happening just a week or two after my return. Knowing that I’d be feeling discouraged about not being able to get away for several months after a long trip to Panama this year, I bought tickets to an upcoming weekend music festival near my hometown. The quick transition from life on the beach in Panama to attending an exciting music festival helped me forget entirely about my post-vacation blues.
The final days before a much-needed vacation can be so exciting that you want to push some tasks aside until your return. But this is the time when you need to buckle up and get those chores finished. Not only will you feel more relaxed while you’re away, you’ll return home with a much shorter to-do list.
This is the most difficult step for me. If I’m not checking my email or compiling to-do lists for when I return home, I’m posting a photo to Facebook and checking back to see if any of my friends and family are jealous. Smartphones, computers and tablets are the first to distract us from our new and exciting vacation surroundings. These time-consuming devices can also cut into our resting and relaxing time, so put your phone in the hotel room, head down to the pool and forget about work and Instagram for a while.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve booked my return flight for the exact same day I have to get back to work. While this certainly maxed out my vacation time by giving me one extra day away, it always added to my post-vacation blues as well. I’ve since learned that having a day or two to regroup and get some things done around the house before returning to work can relieve a ton of the stress associated with returning to life’s usual routine.
Sometimes returning from vacation makes you feel like you’d rather not have a job than go back to work, but we all know that’s not exactly the case. As important as it is to return home feeling grateful for all of the wonderful adventures, relaxing days and delicious daiquiris you had while away, it’s just as important to be thankful for the life that’s greeting you at home. Take some time on the day you return to flip through your photos and admire what an amazing vacation you just had, then be sure to focus on all of the wonderful people, places and things that waited while you were gone.