Ever wondered how you reduce the stress and chaos that ensues your family’s return from vacation?
The trick lies in assessing what you and your family will need and preparing ahead of time.
- Plan nothing for the first day after you return and keep your appointment schedule light for the following week to help you catch up on much-needed sleep.
- Try to book Friday evening returns from vacation so your family will be able to enjoy two leisure days before heading back to school and work.When faced with multiple connecting flights or long airport layovers, consider staying in an airport hotel for the night so you can return home less tired.
- Go shopping before leaving on your trip and stock up on first week supplies for your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
- If you know you need specific items that you can’t buy ahead – ask a neighbor for help or contact an area grocery store that will deliver the items the day after you return.
- Some people cook and freeze a few dinners ahead of time to avoid the need to cook for the first couple of days.
- If that’s not an option plan, keep a few menus from area restaurants that deliver handy.
- If you are stuck with an empty pantry and fridge? You should head on to the nearest fast-food joint on your way home from the airport and stock up on multiple servings of meals that can be reheated later.
Luggage and unpacking
- Unpack anything that is damp or wet like bathing suits and towels within the first 24 hours of arrival to prevent mold. You can wait a day or two for the rest.
- Carry your kid’s souvenirs and favorite toy in your hand luggage so you can retrieve them immediately without having to rummage through all your suitcases for them.
- Always put your medicines in your carry-on luggage as well as store an extra week’s supply at home, so you have immediate access to one or both upon your return home.
- Wash the contents of everyone’s hampers before leaving and make sure all family members have a week’s supply of clean clothes in their closets to avoid any unnecessary ‘laundry emergencies.’
- Change everyone’s sheets the day before you leave so it won’t have to be done in the first week of returning home.
- During your trip place your dry clean items in a separate Ziploc bag to make it easier to grab out of your suitcase and take it to the local cleaners.
Mail, Bills and phone calls
- Go paperless with companies and institutions so you can keep up with your e-mails and notifications when you are on the road.
- If you are still using old fashioned paper notifications, then make sure you pay ahead of time or place the stamped envelope with stub and cheque by the entrance to mail immediately upon returning.
- Acclimating your children to your time zone is easier if you return on afternoon or evening flights as they can head on to sleep and wake up fresh the next morning.
- If you arrive during the morning hours, try to keep everyone awake at least until the mid afternoon despite feeling exhausted to help combat jet lag or changes in routine.
- Stock up on DVDs, iPad games and books to keep your kids busy and quiet while you try to catch some much-needed sleep.
- When traveling during the school year, contact your kid’s teachers ahead of time and ask for any homework as well as school work that your child will be missing so it can be completed promptly.
Adjusting medicine schedules.
- Administering medications at particular times gets tricky especially when traveling across time zones so if you are taking a short trip (under a week), it is better to adhere to your original schedule since it is more of a hassle to switch back and forth within a short period.
- For longer travel you might need to adjust the medicine schedule to local time even if it entails missing a dose or giving it 6-12 hours later.
- Remember always to consult your doctor before making any changes!
- It pays to clean and tidy your home before you leave as you bound to be too tired to do so when you come back.Turning the water off from the main valve to your home before leaving on vacation to prevent water leak surprises as well as empty out the dishwasher and washer to avoid moldy dishes or clothes is always a good idea.
- If you have a temperature-sensitive child and live in a hot climate, setting your home air-conditioning or heating system at a constant temperature to run even when you are absent might be the way to go as it could take days for the rooms to cool off or heat back on.
Have any tips on how to bounce back?
We’d love to hear from you!