Coming back from vacation has got to be one of the biggest let downs in life. I mean nothing like a smack in the face from a 6am alarm clock to make you realize you're no longer floating in the Mediterranean, sipping on champs at 10am or stuffing your face with Nutella, am I right OR am I right? Luckily, when it's a let down that you know is coming, you can prepare yourself for a gentler landing. Here are a few of the things I do to help cure the post-vacation blues:
- Have Meals Ready To Go || Coming home to an empty fridge always makes me sad (probably because I'm always thinking of my next meal).While fresh food won't last, there are plenty of dried/jarred/canned/freezer foods/meals that you can stock up on pre-trip to ensure a tasty meal after your return. A few of my favorites include: pasta + a jar of pesto, gnocchi + brown butter, or frozen veggies + brown rice + stir fry sauce. For freezer meals, I love making comfort foods (because let's be honest, that's what we all want after a long day of travel) such as manicotti, lasagna or shepherd's pie, then portioning out individual sizes (so they'll reheat faster) and, obviously, freezing them. I also love the freezer meal options available at Trader Joe's (we're huge fans of the orange chicken, chicken potstickers + edamame) or the Gardein frozen meal options. And don't forget about breakfast, snacks and sweet treats. I like to keep a loaf of bread in the freezer (for toast) or make and freeze a batch of muffins (which are easily defrosted with a quick pop in the oven) for breakfast. For snacks, I'll have trail mix or granola bars handy, and for dessert, I'll like to have some cookie dough in the freezer that can be baked into a sweet treat in 10 minutes or less.
- Leave Your Home Squeaky Clean || Ok, I confess, I don't always get to do a top-to-bottom clean before I leave. But I do like to at least have things picked up and tidy. My bare minimum cleaning check list includes: emptying out the fridge, cleaning and putting away all dishes, taking out the trash, putting fresh sheets on the bed, tidying up and placing items back where they belong (i.e. clothes on hangers), cleaning the bathroom sink, floor + toilet (dirty bathrooms are one of my biggest pet peeves), giving the kitchen floor a quick swiffer + leaving scented items throughout the home (i.e. candles, incense, scented pinecones, etc).
- Bring Back a Taste of Your Trip || Easily one of the best ways to keep the vacation vibes going is to bring a little taste of your trip back with you. Some things I like to look for might be a luxurious handmade lotion or soap, a comfy knit sweater/blanket/scarf, a special piece of jewelry, a soft hand towel for your bathroom or kitchen, or, my favorite, a food unique to the area (I just love how biting into a tasty souvenir can instantly bring you back to wherever you got it from!). You can see all the treats we brought home from Italy here.
- Leave Yourself a "Welcome Home!" Note || I know this sounds silly, but trust me, your post-vacation self will find it anything but. And chances are, in the midst of making all your vacation memories, you'll probably have forgotten you even left yourself a note, making it that much more fun to come home to. I suggest leaving it either on your kitchen table, hanging it on your fridge or placing it on your bed. Bonus points if you leave some chocolates and a bottle of bubbly!
- Have Something to Look Forward To || I may not always have time to fully clean or make a freezer meal before I leave, but if there's one thing I never skip out on, it's making sure I have something to look forward to once I return. Of course, in my dream world I'd always have another trip to look forward to, but unfortunately that isn't reality. So instead, before I leave, I schedule a date night, make plans with a friend, figure out a day trip, reserve a time at a new restaurant or get tickets to a movie/play/concert for a date shortly after I return. It works like a charm in getting rid of those post-vacay blues!
How do you ease back into post-vacation life? Any tips or tricks you've found that make it easier?