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February 20, 2024 6 mins

Coming back from vacation shouldn't be stressful

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to prepare for a smooth reentry before you

(00:21):
head out of town. Planning for re entry will help
make sure that the relaxed vibe you bring back from
vacation lasts a little longer instead of being eclipsed by
a harried return to normal life. So from time to time,
I hear from people who say it isn't worth it

(00:41):
to take time off because returning to their various obligations
after time away feels so exhausting. And I get that
nobody likes to come back to a ridiculous inbox and
no clean laundry, particularly if a flight delay means you're
home later that you planned. But coming back to chaos

(01:04):
and never going on vacation are not your only two options.
A third option is to take vacation time and before
you go, prepare for a smooth return. There are a
few potential sources of post vacation chaos that a little
advanced planning can help you with. On the household front,

(01:26):
I know that some people actually come back a day
earlier than they need to, in order to do all
the laundry and grocery shop. That is one solution, but
if you don't get that much vacation time, I don't
want you to feel like you have to cut things short.
Another option is that when you are packing, you pull
out one to two outfits for everyone to lay out

(01:49):
for your first day or two back. Now, you may
discover that someone doesn't actually own enough socks to make
that possible, but hey, if you are doing this before
your trip, you could order some socks. Amazon will have
them there for you when you return. If everyone has
two outfits ready to go, then no one needs to

(02:11):
do laundry until a day or two after you get back.
That buys you time. Now, if you are the one
who does all the laundry and you are headed out
of town without your family, will first congratulations enjoy the
break from doing laundry. It might be worth having a
special conversation with whoever will be with your family, whether

(02:32):
that's your partner, a grandparent, or a sitter, about doing
everyone's wash at least once in your absence. Don't assume
be straightforward, as in, please do everyone's laundry on Thursday.
Thank you. If you don't think that will happen. Well,
go ahead and pull out two outfits for your kids

(02:53):
and yourself for the two days after your return. Squirrel
them away somewhere so no one wears them. Are ready.
Groceries can be another sore point. Think through the food
you might need for the day or two after your return.
One easy option is to order groceries for pickup or
delivery right after you get home. You might also have

(03:14):
plans for things that don't actually require new groceries. Pasta
and a jar of sauce from your pantry plus a
frozen veggie that you can heat up can easily be
dinner even if you've been gone for a week or more.
Keep pizza dough in your freezer and canned soups in
your pantry, and now you can have soup and fresh
bread for a meal when you bake that dough. Add

(03:37):
in some frozen veggies to the soup to make them
healthier and wow, sounding fairly nice. If your kids normally
bring packed lunches to school, well, the first two days
after a vacation are a great opportunity to try out
the school lunch offerings and take this off your to
do list. Both work and family activities can also be

(03:59):
a big source of stress, So before you go, look
at the week after your return. What do you have
coming up? If you've got a big meeting at work
two days after your return, you will feel less rushed
if you do some of the preparation before your vacation,
including sending anything you need to your colleagues so they

(04:20):
can prepare in your absence. Your family calendar should also
have anything impending on it too, so look ahead to
the week post vacation and deal with anything that could
be a crisis. Order that present for your kids friend's party.
Make sure you have located the racket and shoes for
someone's first tennis lesson, ask if your sitter can stay late,

(04:45):
because you can see that you have a work dinner
on Tuesday and your spouse is normally scheduled to work
that night. As I have recommended in previous Before Breakfast episodes,
it's also a good idea to be in touch with
your closest colleagues and clients well in advance of your
time away so you can coordinate timelines. That way, you

(05:05):
are less likely to come back to a big urgent
project unexpectedly. While a smooth reentry isn't quite as nice
as a day at the beach, It is worth spending
a little time making this happen. Having a plan for
re entry will mean the days after vacation go more smoothly,
and your feelings of refreshment may last longer. In the meantime,

(05:30):
this is Laura. Thanks for listening, and here's to making
the most of our time. Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast.
If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach
me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast

(05:59):
is a product of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia,
please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you
listen to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

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