When dreaming of our vacation plans, that doesn’t normally involve planning vacation recovery. My family recently took a trip to the beach and we got back home a week before school started back up. To say returning home was a disappointing affair is to put it very lightly. You spend months and even years planning for the perfect family trip, saving up money, and getting excited about all of the things that you will see and do.
Then as the vacation gets closer, everyone is excited and cannot wait to take a break from reality and go have some much-needed fun and relaxation. You spend days or weeks not worrying about daily chores, errands, work, etcetera. Life is good. You make memories. Time flies by much too quickly as vacations do, and before you know it, you’re packing to head on the road and go back home.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and my pets, and my own bed. But there is just something about the end of a vacation that just seems so sudden and abrupt, and it can be hard to bounce back quickly. I’m a few weeks post-vacation and was just complaining to my husband about how I just can’t deal right now and want to go back. Adulting is hard! School started back this week and life has resumed, hello hectic!
I never think to plan how to deal with reality after a trip as I am too excited about the trip itself, but I always feel these emotions when I get back home. It’s good to have a plan to deal with life after the vacation is over.
Planning Vacation Recovery
Before You Leave for the Trip
The recovery planning for a vacation starts well before you leave for the trip. It’s a no-brainer that you have to pack for the trip. However, many important tasks may be overlooked. There are several things that you should do before you leave to make coming back home easier and less stressful.
- Clean the House– Coming home tired and worn out is enough, don’t add a messy house to the situation. Spend a few days before the trip cleaning the house, you’ll appreciate it when you get back home.
- Arrange for Pet Care, Plant Care, and Home Care– Don’t forget to set up these important tasks well in advance so that someone you trust will take care of things while you are away. This saves you unnecessary stress and worry.
- Have All Important Documents on Hand– Make sure that you have your IDs and insurance cards, just in case.
- Stock the Kitchen With Your Family’s Favorite Pantry Items– It will feel great to sit down and enjoy a snack that you love when you start to unpack and unwind. Kids will appreciate this too.
- Hold the Mail– Submit online with the postal service and other delivery services to hold your mail while you’re away. Or have a friend, neighbor, or family member gather your mail for you.
- Packing Checklist– You have your packing checklist for what you need on your trip, make one for what you need to do after you get back home.
What to Do After Vacation
You had an amazing and memorable vacation with your family and now you’re headed back home. Here are some ways to make the vacation recovery process more relaxing.
- Unload the Car– I find it best to unload the car right away. Or chances are it will get put off. Go ahead and unpack and put away a few things, but you don’t have to do it all at once.
- Checklist– Use your checklist to see what you need to do first.
- Thank you– Call or send a thank-you to those who helped out around your home while you were gone.
- Ease Into It– Let the kids stay up later and sleep in a couple of days before going straight to a strict routine. This gives everyone a little extra time to ease back into reality.
- Mindset– Focus on the great memories that you made. Start thinking about your next trip and write down things that you have to be thankful for in your life.
- Plan A Weekend Trip– It can help you get over the post-vacation blues to start planning a short weekend or day trip a few months out. It gives you something fun to do and look forward to, rather than just being sad that all of the fun is over.
- Rest Up– If time and money will allow it, try taking it easy for a day or two. Mentally prepare yourself for getting back into the daily grind. Maybe even see if the grandparents will watch the kids since they’ve been away. Have a night just relaxing and doing something that you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath, or watching a show. Go ahead and chill out, you deserve it.
Home Sweet Home
Hopefully with these tips, returning home after vacation will be a lot less stressful. If your kids are going to be headed back to school soon after, arrange as much of that as possible before you leave. You can even knock out some school shopping while on the trip. Or have the shopping something to look forward to after you get home. Make sure the kiddos know how long after vacation they have before school so they can prepare.
I will definitely be using these tips when my next family vacation rolls around. And I absolutely cannot wait!
Planning vacation recovery is such an important yet overlooked part of the vacation planning process. Don’t get a slap in the face when vacation is over and you are rushing to go back to real-life. Use the tips above to have a more seamless welcome back home after your trip. Maybe throw in a glass of wine or champagne to help with the unpacking. Celebrate the fun times that you had and will have again.
What is your favorite way to get back to reality after a vacation?