Often when planning a trip the sole focus is on where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat, and what you’ll be doing. Of course, I agree that should be most of the trip planning focus however another important but forgotten element is what will be waiting for you at home when you return!
This is something we’ve perfected over the years; learning what things we love having off our minds so we can focus on traveling. I’ve compiled a list based on things we do/have done, and also a few ideas I’ve learned of recently that we will definitely be implementing.
1. Take Care of Bills – Depending on how long your trip is, you may have some expenses that hit while you’re away. When we were in Europe for two weeks last year this happened to us. I decided to wait on one bill that I told myself I’d pay for while waiting in an airport. Of course, the time came in the said airport and I had completely forgotten. Now, we make sure all responsibilities and loose ends are tied up before we travel.
2. Put An Out Of Office Message On – If you’re able, make it abundantly clear that you are not going to be accessible during the dates your traveling – even if it’s for a 3 day weekend! During our trip to Montauk, we were only using one PTO day, so Phil didn’t put an out of office message up at work. Well, you guessed it. His phone was ringing and people kept touching base on work-related things. Put the message up, turn your phone off, and enjoy your time away.
3. Clean The House – To me, there are few worse feelings then returning to a dirty/messy home. Before leaving we clean out the fridge of anything that might go bad while we’re gone, put things away in their correct place, and run a vacuum through the house.
4. Order A Meal Delivery Kit – When returning from a trip your fridge is likely empty. After eating foreign food (and likely many fried, heavy meals) we often return craving a home-cooked meal however the last thing we want to do is grocery shop for ingredients. After our cruise earlier this year we ordered a Hello Fresh box to be delivered the day of our return. Having fresh ingredients to make delicious meals was a win.
5. Freshly Made Bed – There’s nothing more simple and satisfying than crawling into your own bed with freshly washed sheets. It’s worth the extra trouble of throwing them into the washer and making the bed before you leave. The feeling of getting into your bed after being exhausted from traveling will be heavenly.
6. Work Outfit Prep – This idea was one I recently heard of in my Real Simple magazine and I loved it. Layout a work outfit to wear for when you return to work. This helps take the frustration out of picking an outfit that first Monday returning to work.
7. Calendar Organization – Before we leave to go on a trip I’ll update my personal calendar with anything that will be hitting that upcoming week. Even small reminders like returning my library book will help keep me on track from forgetting. I also will block off chunks of time on my work calendar. That way, rather than stepping into a Monday morning meeting and feeling overwhelmed, I can instead sit at my desk and catch up on emails.
8. Pick A Vacation Scent – Also from the August issue of Real Simple, I loved the idea of bringing a candle with you on your trip and burning it while in your hotel. You then will associate that scent with your trip! When you return and light the candle, it feels as if you’re still on vacation.
9. Fresh Flowers – Upon returning, buy some fresh flowers! This will brighten up your home and will brighten up your mood. Especially if you’re like me and always mourn the end of a trip a bit.
10. Back-up Photos And Video – If you’re anything like me, while traveling you likely took photos and/ videos to remember the trip. Since those precious photos are important memories, prioritize backing-up them up and keeping them safe. I have an entire drive that is used as a back-up for my photos. I have all of my photos there and also rely on Apple iCloud. That way, I know if something happens in one of the two places, they’re always saved elsewhere which gives me peace of mind.
I’d love to know your tips and tricks for making the return from vacation more bearable. Leave me a comment below!