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I’ve heard so many people say that they need a post-vacation vacation, and I’ve certainly felt like this a number of times. Traveling is exhausting. Oftentimes, when you’re on vacation, you spend a lot more time than usual out in the sun or walking around. This is especially true if you have an office job. This can make going back to normal life rough, and not just because you’re missing the exotic locale. Here are some great tips for how to bounce back after vacation, most of which were learned the hard way 😉 .

how to bounce back after vacation

Before you leave

Getting ready to leave for your vacation is certainly a feat in and of itself. But if you can do these things before you leave, it’ll make your reentry into normal life SO much more bearable.

Schedule grocery pickup ahead of time

I love using Walmart Grocery on occasions like these. It requires so much less energy to add things to your electronic cart than to a real one. You can add groceries to your cart at the same time you do your meal planning to save the most amount of time. The day after you get back (or day of if you get in early enough), plan on swinging by the grocery store to have your food brought to your trunk by someone else. One of the worst things about returning from vacation is having an empty fridge and nothing to eat.

Have a pizza in your freezer

This is a game changer. You’re probably eager to start eating healthy after all that vacation indulgence, but one night of pizza won’t kill you. The last thing you want to do is cook a meal right after getting back.

Leave the house as clean as possible

I’m not saying this is super easy. As mentioned earlier, it’s plenty difficult just getting packed and getting yourself on a plane or in a car. But the cleaner the house when you leave, the smoother the reentry when you get back. No one wants to scrub crusty dishes in their post-vacation glow.

Change your sheets

This feels a little extra to me, but it’s SO worth it. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling up in clean sheets in your own bed after sleeping in unfamiliar places for a while. Your future self will thank you for this.

When you return

Unpack right away

This sounds like the least fun thing in the world when you get home. After all, you really need to reintroduce yourself to your favorite spot on the couch. But I’ve noticed personally that if I don’t unpack within the first 30 minutes, then I won’t unpack for DAYS. I don’t know how to explain this phenomenon, but I suspect that I’m not the only one that suffers from it. Unpacking won’t take as long as you think and you’ll feel SO much better.

Start your laundry ASAP

If you get back late at night, that’s obviously not an ideal situation. But the sooner you start your laundry, the sooner you’ll be done with it, and that’ll feel great. Besides, you’ve already unpacked your suitcase right? All you need to do is throw it in the wash.

Try not to plan anything for the first few days

It’s tempting to jump right back in to the social life that you’ve been missing out on for your trip, but that just extends the recovery process and you’ll burn yourself out. If you can, give yourself an extra day in-between getting back and going back to work, and plan on using that time to get organized, rest, and have some much-needed alone time.

Eat the healthy foods you preordered

After that pizza you ate the first night, you’ll definitely want to start eating healthy again. Vacation is always full of indulgence and trying out new food, but it definitely takes a toll on your body. If you want to bounce back to normal life as soon as possible, it’s important to eat healthy. It’ll help you recover faster and feel your best.

Drink lots of water

I’m not sure why traveling is so dehydrating, but it definitely is. You probably didn’t drink as much water as you needed. Guzzle up as much water as you possibly can. Trust me, you’ll feel better. This is definitely how to bounce back after vacation.


You don’t want to waste all that walking you did on vacation right? The sooner you get back into (or start from scratch) an exercise routine, the sooner you’ll feel better. This is especially helpful if you’ve switched time zones and it’s messed up your sleep schedule.

Sift through your pictures

It’s easy to immediately jump into normal life without taking a moment to appreciate the amazing vacation you just experienced. Take some time to go through your pictures, maybe organizing them and posting them on social media.  I find that this helps mentally close one chapter before you enter the next one.

Have an exciting book to look forward to

This is for all you fellow bookworms out there. Bonus points if it’s set in the place you just returned from. Sounds like a fun way to relive some of the now-familiar places and be able to picture the scenes in the book that much better.

Write down what you love about home

A lot of us naturally make mental notes of what we love about home when coming home from vacation. There’s nothing quite like home after being away. But if you’re missing the free-spirited, exotic vibes of your vacation, it can be helpful to dwell on what you love about being home too. Maybe it’s your comfy bed or the way the light shines at a particular time of day. Maybe you have great coworkers that you’re super thankful to work with. Whatever it is, write it down and be thankful that you live where you do!

Reacquaint yourself with your goals

Things like professional or personal goals tend to get put on the back burner while away from home, which is a good thing! You need a break every now and then. Take advantage of the fresh perspective by reevaluating some of your goals and reminding yourself why they’re important. This will make jumping back in to that early morning exercise regimen or sitting down to work on your creative goals instead of watch tv a little easier.

Make a List of Important Tasks

I’m sure there’s a pile of things waiting for you when you get home, whether it’s in your personal life or your work life. Take a minute to write down all the things that you need to do and then prioritize them so you know what to start with. Having a plan for how to tackle what you need to do can help you feel much less stressed.

I hope these tips for how to bounce back after vacation were helpful. Leave a comment and let me know some of your favorite (or least favorite) ways to recover from a long trip.

Kelsey Smythe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to