One of the best things about travel, surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), is coming back home. While traveling the world is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, extremely fun and an important learning experience; it can also be exhausting. So, when your trip is coming to a close, most of us do get that fuzzy feeling of “I can’t wait to get back home.”
But, what if you come home and the house is in disarray, and you can’t tackle everything (the laundry alone for a family after vacation is a mountain). Suddenly the fuzzy feeling is gone and turns to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Here’s a list of things you can do to make sure you return to a peaceful home that’s ready to be relaxing until you’re ready to unpack those bags in the next day or two.
Grocery shopping sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it? Obviously, you’re not going to be filling up on produce and perishables, but unless you’re traveling for a month or longer, your dairy and bread purchases will be fine. It’s also a good idea to stock up on any frozen veggies or fruits you and your family enjoy so you can whip something up quickly when you get home, undoubtedly tired. Make things even more accessible and set up subscription services, so you never run out. Suppose you are the type that always needs fresh produce with your meals (which is admirable and how we all should be eating), schedule a grocery delivery to arrive that day. If you know you’re going to want your favorite cup of coffee to fight the next day’s jetlag, a coffee subscription is invaluable. Having these things thought out ahead of time eases your responsibilities and keeps you from making unhealthy choices like fast food on the way from the airport.
SO FRESH & SO CLEAN
Make sure you get your house in tight running order before you head out for your trip. If you can, even make sure bed linens are changed and all laundry is caught up before you go. After a week or more of sleeping in comfortable hotel beds with ironed sheets, coming home to a messy bedroom isn’t very relaxing, is it? If it’s within your budget, set up a housekeeping service to arrive the week before you leave and possibly again after you get back to help you sort through the havoc of all the unpacking.
NO PET PROBLEMS
Boarding services for animals are excellent because you know that certified people will be watching over your beloved fur babies while you’re away. But, having to pick them up and deal with their anxiety in your car on the way home may make a dog or cat sitter worth it for you. Sometimes, it serves you better to pay someone to stay in your home and watch your pet, even more so if you have multiple pets. Typically you don’t even pay as much as you would for boarding services because a pet sitter is taking a mini-vacation of their own staying in a house that isn’t theirs. Offer to stock your fridge and pantry with their favorite foods and mention your wifi is super fast and you’re looking at or around $40 a day for someone to do this favor for you. Not to mention, you’ve got the bonus of knowing your home is safe and secure with another human being watching it.
SECURE & DOUBLE CHECK
When you’re rushing to make sure everything on your checklists has been packed for you and the rest of your family, it’s easy to forget about things like smoke detectors and fire hazards. Ensure that all of your systems are functioning correctly and don’t leave anything plugged in that could become a fire hazard. Unplug any electronics that won’t be in use while you’re gone – televisions, routers, computers, etc. If you won’t be having someone check in on your home, it’s a great idea to set timers on some of your lights and ask a friend to pick up your mail. Doing these two things can go a long way in deterring potential theft, especially since so many of us document our vacations in real-time on social media. And lastly, make sure all windows and doors to your home are secure and locked.
Hopefully, this list brought to light one or two things you may not have thought of but will contribute to your peace of mind while you’re away, allowing you to enjoy your vacation that much more.
I’m not saying these tips are going to make you want to come home but it sure might make the transition a little smoother.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids.