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From Work or School to Vaca… & Back Again

- Caroline

Between school, work, holiday shopping and vacation planning I find myself running around from one event to the next. I get super excited whenever I have a trip or vacation coming up, but also over worked as I prepare for the relaxing (and fun) days ahead. It’s important to slow down once in awhile, since that’s what vacationing is about.

On the back end of your trip, it’s also important not to let the transition from the vacation back to ‘real life’ stress you out too much or to lose that free ‘n easy vacation feeling too fast once you’re home. Sometimes, after being home just two days after a trip, I can’t believe that the relaxed vacation feeling is already gone!

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:

Be conscience of the time change: Traveling through different time zones is nice when you gain a few hours one way, but a headache when you lose time in the opposite direction. As a child the concept of “time zones” confused me (science was never my strong subject) and now I have to take the “time” to plan out how exactly it will affect me. When I traveled to London, England (which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time) we lost an entire day. We had to sleep on the 12-hour flight because when we landed in London it was the next morning, even though it felt like the previous evening. I got a decent night’s rest on the plane and didn’t pull an all-nighter before starting the trip in London, which got me off to a good start.

Plan for a big load of laundry: Packing is always challenging for me but unpacking is a breeze: I dump my suitcase into a laundry hamper and call it a day. This of course results in a couple extra loads of laundry for me. To help take away the stress of coming back from a trip, I like to clean before I leave for vacation. That way, I come home to a clean home and can throw my suitcase around any which way. Plus, if your laundry hamper is empty, the extra loads you bring home with you shouldn’t stress you out too much.

Facing the Credit Card Bill (or $0 Debit Card Balance): Spending money on a vacation comes very easily, but checking my balance after I return home sometimes makes my mouth drop! I can recall a number of less-than-smart ways I’ve spent my money while traveling, but somehow I seem to justify it when I’m out in the sun all day. In order to avoid the panic of seeing a $0 balance on your debit card, plan a budget ahead of the trip. Look up prices for entertainment and activities beforehand so you have an idea of how much things cost in the city/country you’re traveling to. I like to pay with cash so I have a budget to spend per day and I use my credit card only ‘if absolutely necessary.’ (And yes, the oversized Frisbee is an absolutely necessary purchase!)




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