Often we are so busy planning for a trip we don’t even think about our life after vacation. We are so excited and busy preparing our itinerary, packing our bags, and picturing paradise that we don’t think about how the busyness of regular life picks up right where it left off when we return. I don’t know about you but after vacation I have “vacation hangover” and it takes me a bit to get back into the swing of my everyday routine. So the last thing I want to do is anything more than I have to do.
About a month before vacation I look at my calendar for what I have going on the 2 weeks after I return and prepare as much as possible before I go. When I get back I don’t want to add stress or forget anything since I know my state of mind will be clouded a bit afterwards reminiscing about vacation. For example, if I have a birthday party that needs a gift and a card I make sure to get those items and wrap the gift and fill out the card so everything is ready to go or maybe there is a school spirit day that needs some basement searching for the right outfit to put together. It could be a church fundraiser that needs a basket put together or a doctor appointment that needs to be scheduled. I take care of these items before leaving instead of rushing and stressing to do them right when I get back.
The week before leaving on vacation I make sure the following items are taken care of to relieve stress upon returning:
- All bills are paid coming up and all mail opened, gone through, sorted and either tossed or filed.
- All laundry is done and put away. There will be plenty of laundry upon returning so all baskets are empty and nothing is left on the drying rack.
- The house is clean and put together. Daily used household items are stocked or replenished – like toilet paper, soap, tissue, fresh kitchen towels and dish cloths. Do not leave any clutter or messes. You will want a fresh start when you return.
- Use up all perishable food items in your fridge and on your counter before you go or throw them away so there isn’t moldy food sitting on your counter or in your fridge when you return. When you shop the week before you leave buy the bare minimum of perishable foods. For example, don’t get a whole gallon of milk if you only go through ½ gallon a week. Have a list ready for when you return of food/drink that you need to get right away (milk, bread, bananas, etc).
- Plan what meal you will have the first day or two back – something easy with stuff you have in house. Maybe make or use a couple freezer meals those days.
- If you have to go to work the day after you return have your outfit all ready to go, work bag packed and lunch bag as ready as possible. Same for the kids – have their clothes and backpacks ready for school.
- Make sure to fill up your vehicle with gas. Last thing you want on your first day back to work is to have to stop and get gas.
Finally here is a list of things to do the day of leaving
- Take out the garbage
- Turn the heat/air conditioning down/off before you leave
- Make sure your window shades/drapes are how you want them
- All lights are turned off and unplug anything else you might have plugged in like a fan or diffuser
- Make sure all doors are locked
Avoid signing up or committing yourself to anything extra the week you come back. You don’t want to make yourself unnecessarily busy. No one likes to think about life the week after vacation, but believe me you will thank yourself when that time comes!