Going on vacation with your family can be exciting, but it can also involve a lot of planning, depending on where you’re going. While vacations can be busy, they usually offer much needed rest and relaxation.
When preparing for a vacation, the last thing you want to think about is coming back home to your everyday routine. To help extend your rest and relaxation a bit further, here are some things to consider before you go and after you come back.
1. Create a checklist. Create a checklist that identifies what you want to accomplish before, during, and after the vacation. This can help reduce feeling overwhelmed and can serve as a sense of accomplishment when you cross things off your list.
2. Have your family immediately unpack. We’ve been fortunate to take numerous vacations as a family, so we all know the drill. When we arrive home, the first thing my wife wants us to do is unpack our suitcases. Each one of us is responsible for putting our travel items away and taking our dirty clothes to the laundry room. While we complain about this, it helps avoid a cluttered house, which can be overwhelming.
3. Extra R&R days. My wife does a great job planning our family vacations. Part of her plan always includes returning home a day or two early. This allows us to catch up on sleep and other tasks before returning to work or school. Also, you never know when travel delays may occur. This helps alleviate some of the stress accompanied with returning home.
4. Return to a clean house. Before we leave on vacation, my wife insists on cleaning our house from top to bottom. Again, more grumbling from the peanut gallery. However, I must admit returning to a clean house does feel great after spending time in other accommodations. You know the old saying, “There’s no place like home.”
5. Stock the kitchen cupboards. Travel days can be long and tiring. For me, there’s nothing worse than coming home to empty cupboards. Consider buying non-perishable food items before you go so that when you return, you don’t have to go to the grocery store immediately. Another option is to ask family or friends to grocery shop for you so that when you get back your refrigerator and cupboards are full.
6. Talk about the positives of returning home. Returning home after a memorable vacation is always difficult. Let’s face it; it’s hard to beat not having to follow schedules or daily routines. After our most recent European vacation, I was happy to return home. Talk to your family about the positives of returning home. Positives may include:
A quiet neighborhood;
Sleeping in your own bed;
Spending time with your pet(s);
Visiting with family and friends; and
Not having to use public transportation.
7. Don’t forget a souvenir. Souvenirs are a great way to help remember your trip. Depending on what it is, you may be able to integrate it into your daily life. Sweatshirts, a statue of the Eiffel Tower, and chocolate have helped my family enjoy our trips a bit longer!
8. Talk about next year’s trip. Before your vacation ends, talk about where you want to go next year. Thinking about your future trip helps ease the thought of going back to your daily life. While all good things must end, it’s nice to think about what the future may hold.
9. Reminisce with your family. Set aside some time to look at your photos or videos from your vacation. Everybody in my family has a smartphone, so it’s nice to see all the different pictures that my kids take while we’re on vacation. It’s also a great way to see things you’ve missed!
10. Exercise. Returning home after vacation can you leave you feeling sluggish. Delicious food, increased alcohol consumption, late-night dinners, and busy days can catch up with you. While exercising may not be high on your priority list, it’s a great way to get the endorphins flowing, improving your mood.
11. Catch up on your sleep. Depending on your vacation, sightseeing and other adventures can lead to hectic schedules and late nights. Make sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep when you return home. Proper sleep helps your body recover and boosts your energy and productivity levels.