The Smartest Thing I Do to Make Coming Back from Vacation Easier

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Erin Little)

Coming back from vacation is the worst. Let’s just put that out there. Not only do you have to deal with getting back home, but you also have to change your mental status from Drinking Pina Coladas by the Pool to Available for Inane Questions and Last-Minute Requests. There’s the inevitable deluge of emails, a week of dinners to consider, and all that laundry. No fun!

And it’s never going to be fun. But it can be just a little bit easier.

The Best Way to Make Coming Back from Vacation Easier

Always plan a buffer day. And if you can allow for two days before you have to get back to real life, even better.

When you’re lounging on the beach, frosty beverage in hand, or eating your way through New Orleans, it can be difficult to consider cutting your vacation short. I get it. But here’s the thing I always find: Come Friday or Saturday, I’m already anticipating the onslaught of demands waiting for me back home. I might be eating beignets, but my head is back in Brooklyn. I might even be checking my work email in an attempt to ease the pain.

And isn’t it better to be checking emails (or thinking about what’s in your freezer or whether you remembered to throw the milk out) back home? For one, it’s less expensive to do this at home. It’s also, in my opinion, considerably less stressful. (You can just open the fridge and see that yes, you did throw that milk out.)

Allowing a day or two to get back to real life means you can enjoy your vacation while you’re on vacation and worry about everything else when you’re not on vacation.

The Best Gift to Give Yourself Before Vacation (Image credit: duet postscriptum/Stocksy)

How to Plan a Vacation Buffer

There are a couple ways to plan a vacation buffer. First, and simplest, you just come back on a Friday or Saturday instead of a Sunday. I like to leave early enough so that I have a pretty full day, but not so early that I have to pack the night before.

Another option is to shift your vacation — so, leave on a Thursday night or Friday morning and come back on Thursday night. Go into work on Friday and use that day to go through your emails and make a list of all the things you need to do come Monday. That way, you can go into your weekend knowing what to expect for the following week.

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What’s the smartest thing you do to make coming back from vacation easier?