How do you manage the transition home after travel? For the past three years, I have averaged 50% of my time away from a home base – on the road, working from hotels, secondary bases, family and friend’s homes’ or on trains, buses, or planes.
There’s something curious that happens after a particularly hectic time – the over/under for me is about 3 months – I start to yearn for the stability of a home base. Over the years, I have come up with some ways to get back into the groove after time away. These are just as applicable for a weekend away as they are for a long stretch of nomadic travel!
- Schedule time with friends the first week back. It reminds you of what your home location has to offer and gets you feeling reconnected.
- Coming home to a clean house. Put new sheets on the bed the day you leave, change out bath towels in the bathrooms, and hand towels in the kitchen. If you didn’t have time, pay a housekeeper to come and clean the house the week you get back, including changing bed linen.
- A Plan for dinner the first night. This could be some freezer meals you have ready to go, or a plan for takeout you can call in the day before, so you can pick it up on the way back from the airport. Level up by having a friend put this in the fridge the day before you get back so it is thawed and ready to be heated when you arrive home.
- Send yourself mail along the way. One great way to ease your load during travel is to send yourself packages – artwork or memorabilia you have picked up along the way. It can be a great way to ease into home to open up these packages.
- Schedule a grocery delivery or pickup for the day after you return. Make use of grocery pickup and delivery services, you can put together a grocery list from a distance and schedule these electronically! Such a relief. If a family member is keen to help, having them do the pick up the day before you arrive and putting these away in fridge and pantry is practical and lovely to come home to.
- Schedule a Recouperation or down day for the day after you come home. Jetlag has been brutal for me the last couple of trips. A recouperation day has become an essential, as has not overloading my work schedule immediately. Sleep is so crucial so getting into a good routine is essential!
- Arrive home with clean clothes or take the luggage straight to the laundry room! If i am in a place where I can do laundry immediately before returning I do, so good to be able to put clean clothes away. But, if i’m not, I have developed a habit of taking my luggage to the laundry and immediately throwing on a load of laundry within 5 minutes of walking in the door. If i have the energy, I unpack other items. If not, i leave the luggage there and approach it the next morning. If jetlag affects your short term memory, like it seems to mine, try setting a reminder or timer so you remember to change the laundry to the dryer or hang it out!
- Schedule a massage or other self-care appointment for the week I get back from a long work trip. It is amazing how this helps buoy my mood and help my body adjust. My body sometimes struggles with long periods of sitting – including long plane journeys, so this is essential to getting me back to feeling my best!
Maybe you have a tip to share! The comments are open – I want to hear them.