The 8 Best Things You Can Do For Yourself Before a Trip (And Actually Look Forward to Coming Home)

See you later, post-vacation blues.
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The end of a vacation can feel incredibly anticlimactic—between diving back into your routine, addressing mountains of laundry, and opening the inbox floodgates—there's often little downtime between OOO and real life. We were recently talking about this abrupt shift in the office, when we realized we each have different tips for making the transition back home enjoyable. Here are a few of our favorite ways to combat the post-trip blues, before they hit: 

1. Stock your fridge with the essentials.  

The week before I left for my holiday vacation, I purchased oat milk, a fresh bag of coffee, and my favorite frozen meatballs without even thinking about it. When I returned home, I actually took a moment to appreciate my past self for setting up my current self for such a successful week. I had my coffee essentials (key to a productive morning) and a delicious, easy lunch for my first day back at work. From now on, I'll be making it a habit. - Jess

2. Have something you can look forward to. 

To avoid post-trip blues, I often schedule a fun experience for our first weekend back, like a concert, flea market outing, or simply brunch at a restaurant I've been excited to go to. It's a simple way to keep the vacation momentum going. - Emily

3. Fill up your car with gas.

The first morning back from vacation, I'm generally running a few steps behind, so the last thing I want to do is stop to fill my car up with gas on the way into work. Fears of running on empty aside, getting into a car with a full tank is so satisfying, since it means I won't have to run that errand (or use my trip-fatigued credit card) for a few weeks at least. - Leslie

4. Tidy your house from top to bottom.

Our family recently spent the night at a friend's house, so that Sloan could have a slumber party with their daughter, and G and I didn't have to drive home after a dinner party. Before leaving that Saturday evening, G entertained Sloan while I dedicated several hours to cleaning every corner of our house. While it wasn't fun to scrub floors while my family hung out, the feeling of returning to a sparkling home Sunday morning was well worth the trade-off. - Emily

5. Wash your bedding.

I've made a habit of postponing my laundry until the night before a trip (generally while I'm packing) and I always throw in my sheets as the second load. It's a pain until I remember just how dreamy it is to slip into a clean bed the night you return home. - Jess

6. Get your inbox as close to zero as possible.

As I'm writing this, I have about a thousand emails I need to address... but in an ideal world, I always try to get my inbox to zero before I leave on a trip longer than three days. This ensures that I've done most of the problem-solving I need to, no one is waiting on me for anything, and I can start with a fresh slate when I'm back! - Leslie

7. Open a fresh diffuser the day before you leave.

Taking out the trash before a trip is a no brainer (I'm slightly traumatized from a previous experience and will never forget again), but I sometimes go a step further and open up a diffuser before heading out of town for a few days. That way, when you get home the house smells amazing without having to burn a dozen candles immediately upon arrival. - Jess

8. Unpack the second you arrive home. 

This is technically a post-trip tip, but whether I get back at two in the morning, or the middle of a lazy Sunday, I unpack the moment I walk in the door, and start a load of laundry. The feeling of waking up and realizing I've already unpacked is akin to waking up after a dinner party and realizing you've already done the dishes—pure bliss. - Leslie

P.S., How to pack a carry-on for five days abroad, and that time a pilot answered all our questions about flying