Imagine…you’ve just come home from a great vacation and suddenly you’re in the midst of what one of my student’s called “the after vacation hurricane” of trying to get back to real life. Oh wait…you don’t have to imagine. It’s vacation season again, so this is fresh in your mind. But, the first week back to real life doesn’t have to be a hurricane anymore!
You made your vacation plans. You even have a list of what needs to be packed and a plan for what you are doing each day. Now the bags are packed and it’s time to go. You know where everything is and what your schedule will be for your travel day. You are rocking your vacation plans! Success is around the corner, right???
Vacation Planning Only Goes So Far…
You didn’t forget to pack anything (dream a little with me), and the vacation itself has had very few bumps. High five! It’s time to prepare to come back home and that’s when it hits…the dread and the overwhelm start to kick in. You’ve been in vacation mode and now it’s time to get back to reality, and let’s be honest, most of the time it feels like a train wreck the first few days.
You and your family walk through the door of your home with all your bags. Then, the questions begin: “What’s for dinner?”, “Can I have a play date with Sara this week?”, “Honey, I just got a notice that I have a work trip this week. Can you have my business suit ready for me by tomorrow?” Well, there goes the vacation! Real life hits us like a ton of bricks, and we’re not even sure anymore if we actually got to take a vacation.
Vacation plans can’t prepare you for the return home but an after vacation plan can! We get so caught up in the before and during of vacation planning that we forget that we can make the after vacation hurricane much more manageable by preparing ahead of time. So, let’s start doing that. Let’s start creating a plan that reduces the amount of questions we have to ask ourselves as soon as we walk through the door.
4 Key Areas for Your After Vacation Plan
First look at the appointments and commitments that already exist on your calendar for the week after your vacation. Write those down on a calendar you can easily see when you return. Make note of anything you need to remember to bring to those events as well. Try to simplify your first week back so you aren’t stretched in too many directions while readjusting to normal life.
2) Meal Plan
Next, create a meal plan for the week with simple meals that you and the family will enjoy and may even remind you of your vacation time a bit. Remember, meal planning is more than just dinner! Having easy-to-choose breakfast and lunch ideas helps simplify your life.
3) Grocery List
After you’ve done your meal plan, create your grocery list. Don’t forget to add staples like milk, bread, and fresh fruits that you may have finished off before your vacation.
4) To Do List
Lastly, create an easy To Do List for the week that gets you back on track and in your normal rhythm. You might even assign days to your tasks so you have a goal of when you will get things accomplished.
This plan will guide you during the week as you go from vacation mode to real life, even if it involves jet lag, disturbed sleep, and the always fun “I don’t want to”s.
As a mom and a Chief Household Officer, it can feel like we are on call all day, every day because we are. Taking time to simplify our lives by creating an easy plan makes being home less of a dread after a vacation. Remember – vacation plans are important, but they need to involve an after vacation plan too!
Want to grab the After Vacation Plan worksheet I created to make your life simpler? Signup below to get it and take the guess work out of “What’s next?” when you get home from your vacation. The after vacation hurricane will no longer be hitting the shores of your home anymore!