After Travel: 15 Tips for When Your Vacation is Over

What can you do after travel when the adventure concludes and your vacation is over? Coming home after traveling, especially from abroad, can leave you feeling disoriented. The sites you’ve seen, the people you’ve met, and the self-discoveries you’ve made can be hard to integrate as you re-enter the rhythm of daily life post vacation.

As a seasoned traveler and travel coach, I’ve supported others and also encountered firsthand the challenges of returning from a trip. The tips I’m about to share are important travel skills and will help you make the most of this transition.

They will allow you to reduce the post trip stress and slump while finding inspiring ways to preserve the memories of your trip. You will also find many tips to integrate the growth you experienced, thereby using your journey as a catalyst for further personal development. Read on for strategies to enhance your return from vacation.

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1. Reflect and Journal When Your Vacation is Over

Dedicate time to reflect on your travels. Journaling is an effective way to process the emotions and thoughts you’re experiencing, aiding in understanding how your trip has contributed to your personal development. Document the places you visited, the individuals you encountered, and the challenges you overcame. 

If journaling isn’t your thing, consider meditation or conversations with loved ones. Reflecting on your journey in a travel memories book or journal can help crystallize the lessons learned and integrate them into your life. This practice can be pivotal in mitigating common feelings of anxiety after vacation and helping you adapt to life post-travel.

2. Care for Yourself After Travel

If you are able, try to give yourself a day after vacation (or more!) to rest before you return to your regular responsibilities. Make a plan to care for yourself upon return. This could mean ordering healthy groceries on your last day of vacation to be delivered upon your arrival back home. It can also include ensuring you catch up on rest to combat any jet lag, and keeping up with all of the walking you’ve been doing on your trip. If you get sick, especially with a fever, check in with your doctor and mention your travel destinations. 

3. Be Aware of the Post Travel Slump 

Many people experience sadness and fatigue after travel. This article is filled with suggestions that can help lessen mild post vacation blues.

If you are experiencing symptoms of post travel depression, seek help from professionals or call the SAMHSA hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for support getting connected. Depression manifests differently in everyone, you can learn more about it here.

4. Set Intentions for Your First Week Home

Craft a plan for your first week back, tackling any responsibilities that have accumulated in your absence. Read your emails from most recent backwards and delete as you go. Check in with your housemates (or your co-workers when you are going back to work after vacation) to see what you missed.

Create a to-do list, then delegate and pay for help if you are able to.  Many people prefer to clean the house, pay bills, and deal with anticipated responsibilities, before departure so that they travel back home to fewer stressors. This proactive approach can alleviate the stress of returning to work after vacation and help smooth out your transition.

5. Organize and Display Your Photos

In today’s digital world, we often return from vacations with hundreds of photos. Take the time to organize these memories of travel. Sift through them and create an album or a digital photo book. Such activities not only help in retaining the essence of your travels but also serve as a remedy for post-travel depression.

Consider sharing them on social media or creating a shared folder with your travel companions. Digital photo frames are an excellent choice for easily displaying them in your home and being reminded of your memories every day. Alternatively, frame and hang some of your favorites.

6. Embrace Your Souvenirs When You are Back From Vacation

Integrating souvenirs into your daily life can serve as a constant reminder of your travel memories. These beautiful memories can serve as daily reminders of your experiences and the insights gained. Whether it’s through wearing a piece of jewelry you bought or displaying artwork you fell in love with, these items keep the spirit of your adventure alive in your home.

7. Host a Post Trip Cultural Evening

Hosting an event to share tales and lessons from your travels can rekindle the joy of your journey and spread the insights you’ve gained. Organize a cultural evening for friends and family where you share stories from your trip, show your photos, and maybe even cook a dish and play music from one of the places you visited. This not only allows you to relive your journey but also spreads the joy and knowledge you’ve gained, bridging gaps between cultures and fostering understanding.

8. Connect with Fellow Travelers

Engaging with like-minded individuals who share your passion for exploration can provide a sense of community and support as you navigate post-vacation feelings. Sharing your experiences with others who have similar interests can be incredibly fulfilling.

Look for travel forums, social media groups, or local meetups where you can share stories, photos, and tips with fellow travelers. You might even find language learning, cooking, or dance classes that you can attend locally. These connections can offer new perspectives on your experiences and provide inspiration for future adventures.

9. Incorporate New Routines After Travel

Travel often exposes us to new lifestyles and routines. Upon returning, consider incorporating aspects of these into your daily life. Whether it’s adopting a more relaxed approach to your schedule, integrating a new food habit, spending more time in nature, or committing to more environmentally sustainable practices, these small changes can make a big impact after you’ve returned.

10. Reevaluate Your Goals and Aspirations Post Travel

A transformative trip can shift your perspective on what’s important. Post-trip, take this opportunity to reevaluate your personal and professional goals. Are you where you want to be? Do your current aspirations reflect your transformed outlook? Adjusting your goals to align with your new insights can set you on a path that is more authentic and fulfilling.

11. Keep the Curiosity Alive After a Trip

​​Maintain your connection to the places you’ve visited by engaging with related cultural activities or continuing to learn about them. This can be a source of ongoing inspiration and learning.After your visit you will never think of the destination in the same way. 

Keep your curiosity growing about it by going to local cultural festivals near your hometown, read about it, watch films and documentaries, listen to local music, play games inspired by it, and more. You will find many ideas throughout the Trip Scholars website and a step-by-step fun and easy to use guide here: The Curious Traveler’s 5 Step Guide to More Meaningful Trips.

12. Discover Your Local Area

You don’t need to travel far to explore. Become a traveler in your own city or region. Visit museums, parks, or new restaurants you’ve never been to before. Exploring locally can satisfy the yearning to travel and remind you that adventure doesn’t always require a passport.

13. Align Your Values with Action

If your travels inspired a shift in your values or desire to act on them more intentionally, be open to change. If you are motivated to help others or work on behalf of the environment, look for ways to contribute. Volunteering for organizations or causes that resonate with your travel experiences can be a way to keep the spirit of discovery and connection alive.

14. Plan Your Next Adventure

Finally, allow yourself to dream about your next destination. Many people find that having another trip planned before one ends can help with the well recognized experience post-trip blues. If you use the ideas throughout the Trip Scholars website, you will find interesting and enriching opportunities to learn about your next destination for months or years before you depart, building up your excitement and anticipation of your next trip.

After Trip Resources

Navigating the Return from Travel

Returning from an enriching trip marks not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter. By taking steps to reflect, share, and integrate your experiences, you can extend the impact of your travels far beyond the time spent away. Embrace the changes inspired by your adventures, and let them guide you toward a more fulfilled, adventurous, and connected life. What are your favorite things to do after a trip? Let us know in the comments, we would love to learn from you!

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6 thoughts on “After Travel: 15 Tips for When Your Vacation is Over”

  1. Many people don’t realize there is stress when you come home from travel. We often are away for longer periods and arrive home exhausted with a long to do list. We like to stream our photos to our TV and spend some minutes each day reflecting back on our trip. We do love to bring back new food ideas and try to find them at home. And sadly reflect that they taste much better abroad so many times! A good post!

    • Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts! I love the idea of going through your photos on the TV over multiple days after a trip. I imagine that is a nicer way to reminisce than all at once!

  2. These are great tips to help avoid the post-trip slump. Displaying pictures is great; for me, starting to think about my next travel also helps.


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