Last week, B and I vacationed for 7 nights in beautiful Runaway Bay, Jamaica to celebrate our second year wedding anniversary…check out our pics…“yah mon – respect!” Tuesday, November 8th marked 9 years together, which seems absolutely bizarre at our “young” ages of 27 and 29. Although long trips are relaxing and often-times much needed, they tend to drift you further and further from the daily routines we all work so hard to establish.
As a result, returning home from a long vacation can be a process. It tends to take a few days to adjust back to every-day life…especially not having mimosas every morning at breakfast. True stuff! To expand on my previous post Globetrotting Prep Guide, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to help lessen the impact of returning back to reality.
One. Plan for an extra “free” day after your vacation.
For us, this means having a full day of recovery time, not including your travel day. This past trip, we returned late Saturday evening and barely got in the door before crawling into bed (after giving the animals some extreme love, of course). As B and I both work Monday through Friday, this timeline left a full Sunday for us to sleep-in, unpack, do laundry, etc. It really is amazing how much one day can help set your body clock back to normal, especially if you are traveling to another time zone.
Two. Prep the house before you leave.
Clean the house, wash laundry/sheets, take out the trash, and pay bills before leaving. There is nothing worse than returning home to a smelly house because you forgot to take the trash out before leaving.
…See a detail list of things to do before you leave here…also, my “beach house” packing list here and my “all inclusive” version here….
Three. Prep work before you leave.
Tie up all loose ends and last minute emails, clear off your computer desktop, and file all unsecured paperwork. Take a few minutes to set your out-of-office email and voicemail with details of your return and who to contact in case of any emergencies. Remind your colleagues and manager or supervisor, making sure all meetings or items due while you are away are set to be taken care of. All of these steps help manage everyone’s expectations.
Another helpful tip is to make a to-do list to use upon your return to the office. Make sure to have a clear head, keeping in mind any upcoming events or due dates on your calendar. I often begin this list a few days before departure so I can add items as they come to mind.
Attempt to log in to your email via remote access the day before your return. This keeps any surprises at bay. I also like to use this time for weeding out any junk or unnecessary emails, leaving only relevant items in my inbox for the next day. This way, you can hit the ground running rather than having to tediously organize first thing in the morning.
Lastly, be sure to arrive early on your first day back to the office. This will help you get back in the mindset and give you time to have a cup of coffee (or 5) before anyone else arrives. And…if at all possible, do not read emails while on vacation…they will only distract you from what you are supposed to be doing…relaxing and truly hanging out with your family/significant other/friends without your head stuck in your phone…the emails will be there when you get back, I promise!
Now…chill mon, be in the moment, and soak up that sunshine without the anxiety of returning home!