I love going on vacation – it’s one of my favorite things in the world to go on a family trip or visit a new city with Bart or take a weekend roadtrip to somewhere gorgeous.
And I also like to make the transition back to real life when vacation is over as smooth as possible.
Over the years, I’ve developed some end-of-vacation rituals that help make returning to real life a little more pleasant and easy.
Here are three things I always try to do when I come back from vacation to make re-entry as smooth as possible!
3 Things I Do When I Come Back From Vacation
- Place an order for grocery delivery. There’s nothing I like less than coming home from a trip full of eating out and non-regular food to an empty fridge. I don’t want to eat out AGAIN when I get home! If we’re driving home or while we’re on a layover, I like to use that time to plan meals for the week ahead and then place a grocery order to arrive the morning after we get home (or later in the day if we’re getting home early in the day). It makes a huge difference to have the groceries I need show up at the door so that there are eggs and milk and bread and fresh produce ready to go! (I’ve used Walmart’s grocery delivery for about four years and it’s one of the best things I spend money on AND through tonight, an annual Walmart+ membership is 50% off!).
- Unpack immediately. To be honest, my natural inclination is probably to just let the suitcase sit unpacked for a week or two (or three). But early in our marriage, Bart taught me the beauty of unpacking immediately. When we got home from our San Diego trip, it was after 9 p.m., but we completely emptied out the car, everyone unpacked their suitcases, Bart and I put away the food and the emptied suitcases, and everyone was in bed by about 10:00 p.m. It was SO GREAT to wake up on Saturday morning and get ready with my toothbrush and makeup and shoes all back where they belonged and that we didn’t wake up to a mess or a bunch of work to be done. The girls complained a bit, but you better believe they were glad they didn’t have to do it Saturday morning. It didn’t take any longer right away than it would have later and it meant we weren’t living out of suitcases or struggling to find things for an extra few days.
- Wash and vacuum the car. I LOVE a clean car and when you’ve roadtripped with six people, there is zero chance that your car is looking great at the end of it. My very favorite ritual when vacation is over is going through the carwash and vacuuming out all the sand, dirt, and wrappers that are hiding in the backseat. For me, that clean car is a lovely signal that vacation is over and I’m back to normal life. I’ve said a million times that I don’t care about being a minivan mom, but that minivan better be clean! And that’s never more true than after a trip – I want to remember my vacation with photos and videos and memories, not with a bunch of vacation litter left in my car.
What are your favorite ways to ease in coming back from vacation? I’d love to hear!