Transition Time: From Travel to the Daily Grind

The hardest part about traveling is saying goodbye to your fun, relaxing trip. The second hardest part? Getting back into work, school, your daily routines, and plain life.

I remember before I left for Spain in college, so many people told me about culture shock and hard transitions into my new environment. But, I actually found I had a harder time transitioning back to “normal” life, and the same applies to a lot of traveling experiences.

There are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that really help me get back into my daily routine. These are small, but very mighty behaviors that make a huge difference in how you bounce back!

  1. Do laundry BEFORE you leave: There is nothing more homey and relaxing than sinking into a fresh set of clean sheets and pajamas after a long trip. Of course you’ll have laundry to do once you’re back, but save that for later! Settling in at home and relaxing is a great way to rejuvenate your mind to prep what’s to come on your schedule. For extra feelings of zen, spray some lavender chamomile aromatherapy on your sheets or wash everything with lavender fabric softener!
  2. Order your groceries: I’ve pretty recently adopted this as my new way of shopping all the time, but it’s especially valuable when you come home from a trip. After eating at divine restaurants, it’s time to get back into a routine of making your food and eating healthy. It’s hard to do that if you have no food in the house to begin with, so scheduling a grocery delivery when you get home is perfect! I personally love FoodKick but there are so many of these services now, so browse around for the best provider near you. I like loading up my basket before I leave (so I can still check what’s left in my pantry) then I can order with one click!
  3. Set an early alarm: It’s so easy to sleep in after a long trip, especially if you’re feeling jet-lagged. This is one of the worst ways to throw off your schedule because your body gets stuck on vacation-mode which doesn’t translate into your daily goals/needs. As much as it pains me, I always set an early alarm to get myself up and moving. I go through my day as long as possible, and if I need a nap, I take it. Just getting back into the habit of an early alarm will help reset your internal clock so waking up for work won’t be as daunting. Definitely listen to your body. Waking up early might mean multiple naps in the day or more water intake!
  4. Attend a group fitness class with a friend: Getting back to the gym or your regular workout routine is such a struggle after vacationing. While you may have hiked your way through the winding streets of Prague to earn those dumplings and sauerkraut, you probably aren’t doing the same when you’re back home. Making plans to attend a class with someone holds you accountable, and the group environment makes for a fun, immersive experience similar to the immersive, new environment you were just in so it’s a bit of familiar territory you’re craving!
  5. Start planning: Sometimes you’re having a hard time transitioning back home just because you’ve been bit by the travel bug and are still itching for adventure. I like keeping my Skyscanner alerts on to various destinations as my back-burner trips so if I’m ever in the mood to plan, I can get going really easily. It also keeps me excited to leave these notifications on for upcoming trips I’m planning on making.

Everyone is different, though. What works for me, may not work for someone else. It’s all dependent on what your typical day boils down to and how you return from a trip.

My biggest tip of all is to listen to your body! If going to a grueling spin class or lugging laundry downstairs just feels overwhelming, don’t push yourself. Easing back into your routines is all part of the vacation experience!

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