There are a lot of tips out there about how to plan a vacation and how to make your vacation great, yet most people tend to forget to plan to come home from a vacation. Since we live in Puerto Rico, and our family is all in Florida, we travel home as much as possible to see everyone. With that in mind there is a lot that I have learned in the past 2 years of living down here that makes the homecoming so much more pleasant. These are the things that I have found make all the difference when we are stumbling in from a red-eye flight at 6am with a toddler (who slept the whole flight) and is ready for breakfast.
- Don’t leave a dirty house. The only thing I hate more than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes from the night before is coming home from a vacation to a sink full of “stuff” that has turned into a science experiment and growing all kinds of things. If you have a dish washer (I don’t) then at least load it and run it with the breakfast dishes as you are walking out the door. Even if the dishwasher is only half full, you will thank yourself when you get home that there is not a cottage cheese like substance in your sons sippy cup that you left half full of milk, just sayin…
- Make sure that you have enough food that won’t spoil in your fridge for the fist day or two that you are back home. For me this is probably a bigger deal than for most people since grocery shopping is a big event here on the island. I try to make sure I have a crockpot freezer meal or two on reserve, as well as breakfast food and stuff for lunch that won’t go bad while we are gone. If you live in a big city or somewhere that it is available, you could order groceries to show up at your house soon after you get home. Worst case scenario have a take out place or two on speed dial. Personally, after traveling, I alway prefer a “normal home cooked meal” over take out since I have usually been eating out a good portion of the trip. (#3 should be Make sure to leave a bottle or two of wine for your self as a coming home present but I felt irresponsible giving it it’s own number so we will just call it 2.5)
- Put clean sheets on your beds before leaving. I LOVE clean sheets, they are even that much sweeter after sleeping on random beds for a given number of nights. The last ting I want when I get home is to crawl into a bed that has week old sheets that have sat for a week or two. I have started making this a habit and even though it can be a pain to do as you are trying to get out the door, it has always been worth it. Worst case scenario, change them the day before you leave so you only have slept on them once. We frequently fly out on a 4am flight so there is no chance that I am changing them at 2am when we are heading out the door.
- Take out the Trash. This kinda fits into #1 “don’t leave a dirty house” but it is important enough to get it’s own number. Coming home to a house that smells of rotting food is not the welcome home that I want to anticipate.
- Along the lines of having food, make sure you have laundry detergent for all the dirty clothes that you are bringing home with you. I got home from a 15 day trip 3 days ago and I am still digging myself out of the piles of clothes… and I ran out of detergent. I am adding this to the list to hopefully remind myself to not make this mistake again. Include in that list of things to have on hand: diapers, formula, pet food and anything else that you do not want to be running to the store when you are dead tired.
As relaxing as vacations are supposed to be I find that I always need a 2-3 day recovery period from my trip and these little tips make the recovery so much easier. Do you have any tips or tricks to help with the homecoming? Please share them in the comments!
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