Vacation, staycation, all I ever wanted was a little holiday…
It never fails the second I arrive home from a trip that reality smacks me hard in the face and the vacation glow is gone. 🤦🏼
After our recent two-week long trek through Jackson Hole, Wyoming (read about it here) I wanted to do everything I could to keep the relaxed state and mountain mindset after our plane touched down. I came up with a few things to do to achieve such balance. Balance is what we want right?
While I understand it may not be possible to complete all these steps but even one or two will help maintain the vacation mentality.
1. Write a travel journal while on your trip.
Oh, no, this is NOT work (I can almost see you making this face 😒 at the screen), this is fun journaling!
Buy a new and fresh (smallish sized, think trip duration) journal for your specific trip. You may even want to get one that reminds you of where you’re going (like a leather bound one for Wyoming) or if you’re psychotically obsessed with organization like me you can get a series of similar journals so they look awesome on your shelf #Shelfie!
Get a fun pen to bring too or pack your favorite one. This is to personalize your trip and thus help you preserve your experience.
You can start your travel journal before you leave but not too soon. If starting prior to jet-setting you’d likely be writing something about what you’d like to do or how excited you are or where you’re going even. Maybe even write down a list of food places you want to try.
At the end of each day (with a glass of wine or cocktail in hand, remember vacay!) write out about your day, the place, and just jot down your thoughts. Make sure to date the beginning of each entry too.
Remember though, this doesn’t have to be a piece of literary perfection! This is for your own personal benefit and joy.
When you get home you’ll have your very own book on your vacation, which you can place on a shelf and read anytime you want to go back.
2. Bring something local back you can enjoy later such as a wine or coffee.
We loved starting each morning with Cowboy Coffee lattes while on our recent trip and fortunately, they roasted their own beans. Obviously, our next logical step was to stuff our suitcases with as many bags as we could fit before going over the weight limit.
As I’m typing this I’m mentally half here half in Jackson as I enjoy a frothy blend of local joe. Often, you can find these items in gift shops and specialty stores or even the grocery store. We’ve been known to bring home wine, honey, coffee, and alcohol. Here the possibilities can be endless because each destination is unique.
3. Immediately, as in right after you finish unpacking, download, upload, and edit (if you go there) all your photos from the trip.
Did you catch where I suggested doing this right after you unpacked?!? Yep, do that immediately because it will help you unwind (read: stay in your relaxed state). I KNOW, it’s sooooo that last thing you want to do when you walk in the door, but DO IT because the benefits are worth the 10 minutes it will take.
Then, once you’re unpacked settle in with a nice glass of wine, maybe even a vino from the vacation spot you just left, and start to download all your pics from your phone and camera. If you’re the editing type then edit away and upload them to whatever photo sharing site you prefer.
Then share away or just keep clicking through your pics repeatedly. Maybe even both…
4. Make some of the meals or drinks you had while on vacation.
[Probably my most favorite exercise for vacation bliss extension]. You know that cocktail you had maybe a few too many times or that delicious chocolate cake dessert you probably ate your weight in at your favorite dining spots while on vacation? Yes, those!
Make them at home! ALL-THE-TIME! Well, okay maybe not all the time, because let’s be honest if I drank S’mores Lattes at home like I did on my past vacation, I’d have bigger problems then re-entry into reality. However, an occasional cocktail or slice of cake isn’t so bad and it’s usually enough to transport you back to that beach, or cabin, or insert vacation spot.
With Pinterest and that crazy space, we call the internet you can almost always find either a copycat recipe or a similar one. In my case, there was a local magazine in Jackson called “Dishing,” which actually included dishes from some of the local restaurants. #Score!
I never, ever, make it through my food destination list while on vacation, but finding this magazine allowed me to make some of the meals I would have otherwise not been able to try like this Tomato Bacon Bisque! Be sure to check the visitors center and local newsstands (often right in the front of stores) for this type of material.
5. (If possible) Add a day to your vacation for after you get home.
I know, I know, why would you waste your vacation at home when you could be on [insert tropical island]? Well, this is to help with what I refer to as “re-entry,” and it became even more necessary after our family began to expand.
This extra day allows you to enjoy and continue relaxing your first evening home (with that glass of wine as you download/edit all those pics). Then on the day you’ve built in you can hit up the grocery store, drug store, make your plans for the week or do whatever necessary tasks you need to before truly heading back into reality.
You’ll start your week, or re-enter, into reality refreshed, organized and ready as opposed to frazzled and frantic because it’s Monday, you just got home from work and have NOTHING for dinner due to your flight that was delayed a bit the day before.
This may not be possible, especially if you’re jetting away for a long weekend, and if this is the case then set yourself up for success before you leave. Plan out your grocery list (bonus points if you can schedule them to be delivered), order your drug store items online and have them arrive right after you return or even meal plan for the week after vacay. Do whatever it takes to get yourself organized so there’s no stress when you get home.
These are small steps, but each one should help you keep the vacation mindset alive! What have you done in the to keep the vacay afterglow? Leave a comment below to tell me about it, and really where did you go (this is really what I want to know!).