Coming home after traveling

Coming home after traveling

Coming home after traveling can be so tough — especially internationally! I guess you could call it the post-vacation blues…. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one that struggles with this??? It can be so tough to leave the beautiful views of Lake Como, the delicious food of Greece, or the tranquil days on the Adriatic sea in Croatia….

There are a few things I typically do when I get back from traveling that make my transition less… aggressive. I’m still learning what works best for me. Maybe you’ll find these tips helpful, maybe you can relate, or maybe you will have some other great ideas.

I hope you find these tips for coming home after traveling helpful!

Tips for coming home after traveling

Give yourself an extra day

Unfortunately, I didn’t do this on my recent trip to Greece (more posts to come soon!). Right now, I typically book flights based on maximizing work-days off while also seeing the most affordable days to travel. It just happened that on our Greece trip, I flew back on a Monday and was supposed to go back to work on Tuesday (but got sick!).

It was a crazy week.

On the flip side, we flew back from Croatia on a Friday and it was soooooo nice. We had the whole weekend to settle back into normalcy.

If you can manage to give yourself one day of buffer after an international trip before returning to work/life this can make your life more relaxing. I find that it also helps me feel more relaxed on the journey back.

You don’t have to immediately jump into thinking about work projects or chores that need to get done. You can look forward to having a day to figure this all out after you get a long night sleep.

It’s such an amazing privilege if you can swing it!

Unpack

Especially if you can take that additional day off after a long flight, it’s nice to spend 30 minutes unpacking. I don’t like to do chores on the day I come back from a flight, but this is the one thing that makes me feel more settled in after a long journey.

Also it’s the worst to wake up early the next morning for work and then have to dig in your luggage for your makeup or your face cream, ugh!

Process

If you’re a processer like me — I always like to set aside some time to process my amazing trip. This might be journaling or finishing taking notes on our last few days of travel. It might be talking to my family and sharing the special moments.

Maybe you want to do a quick phone call with a good friend to tell them everything.

Everyone has their own way they want to process, but I find that it can help me linger in the “enjoying my trip” phase while I slowly transition to normalcy.

Go through pictures

Related to processing, I also like to go through pictures from my trip. I like to take some time to delete duplicates, create a new album, share pictures with travel companions if needed, and just smile at the memories!

Now they’re memories… 🙁

Have someone else in charge of dinner (and/or order out)

If you don’t live alone, could you make sure someone else is in charge of dinner. If you live alone (or not), maybe you just want to order in. Even if you try not to do this much, it can save you a bunch of time and energy.

One of the other worst things is to come home at 5pm after a long journey and have to figure out dinner!

Create a relaxing evening routine that you look forward to

I love evening rituals that help me relax.

It might be a long bath, reading your favorite book, going on a walk in nature as the sun sets, lighting some candles and doing yoga: whatever you find relaxing!

This last trip I got back into town around 5pm. I really looked forward to getting home to my husband, taking a long hot shower, putting my pajamas on, and watching one of our favorite shows at the time (Bachelor or Couples Therapy — could you get more polar opposite?? lol).

Go to bed at a reasonable time

Once you have your relaxing evening routine, make sure you get to bed at a good time.

This can be a really important one if you’re getting back from a different time zone (especially those international trips). I always try to make it to at least 8pm before falling into bed.

And finding ways to relax before going to bed can be really helpful if you were going to bed later.

Dream of your next trip!

And finally, rather than stressing about your work project the next morning, dream about your next trip!

I am not the best about being mindful and living in the moment. I tend to think ahead too much (New Years resolution??!). But after a long trip, I do try really hard to not let my mind jump too far into the work week. I like to savor in the special trip and dream about the next adventure.

I hope you find some of these helpful!

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