5 Tips for Returning From Vacation Stress-Free

Welcome home! You’ve just returned from a great, relaxing vacation away. Ahh…isn’t it amazing how stress-free you feel post-vacay? That is, until you walk into your home and realize your fridge is empty, your space is a complete mess, you’re behind on work and you pre-scheduled one too many commitments the week of your return. Yeah…welcome home, my a$$.

how to return from vacation stress free

If that sounds all too familiar, then here’s what to do before a vacation so you can keep the relaxing vibes flowing even after you’ve returned home.

#1 Catch up on laundry

After vacation you will most likely come home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and what’s worse than coming home with dirty laundry is coming home to even more dirty laundry. Do yourself a favor and catch up on all of your laundry before your next vacation so you come home to an empty laundry basket.

#2 Change your bedding

There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home from vacation and crawling into your own bed with your own pillows and blankets. But what makes this feeling even more gratifying is if your bedding has recently been washed. (let’s be real, crawling into a bed with clean sheets is by far one of the most scrumptious feelings ever).

While you’re catching up on laundry, be sure to wash your bedding and change your pillowcases and sheets – your future self will thank you.

#3 Check your calendar

Before leaving for vacation, check your calendar and see what you have scheduled the week of your return. Do you have a baby shower, a birthday brunch or another commitment? If so, make sure you are well prepared with a card and gift ready to wrap upon your return so you aren’t scrambling when you come home from vacation. Didn’t you just use vacation to get rid of stress? Don’t make more of it by failing to plan ahead.

In fact, you might even practice some self-care before your trip in the form of protecting your time. Be honest with yourself when deciding what you can commit to the week of your return. I mean let’s be real, will you really want to go out for a Monday night happy hour the week of your return, or would your time be better spent at home recharging? 

If possible, schedule a buffer day between returning home and going back to work so you have a full day to rest, catch up on laundry, grocery shop and tackle all of that other “life admin work.” Oh the joys of adulting…

#4 Clean

Cleaning may not be your favorite thing to do, but just like it’s so satisfying returning home to clean sheets, imagine stepping into your home after being away for a week and everything is sparkling clean. Can’t you feel the sense of zen settling in already?

Whether you have the time to invest in a deep clean or a light dusting, do what you can so you can return to a clean home. At the very least vacuum!

#5 Grocery shop

Grocery shopping before vacation may sound contradictory, but when you return home from a day of travel, the last thing you may want to do is grocery shop. Although you can buy healthy groceries without leaving your home through favorites like Amazon Prime or Instacart, with a little planning ahead, you can stock up a few essentials that keep well so you have some meal options when you return home.

For example, I always make sure I have eggs, vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and a protein source like frozen chicken or wild caught salmon. If you are hesitant to purchase fresh veggies for fear of them going bad while you are away, opt for their frozen counterparts instead. It’s also good to access your arsenal of go-to meals that can easily be thrown together. Greek salad and farro, anyone?


Going on vacation is meant to be a relaxing experience, so do your future self a favor by incorporating these five tips before your next vacation so you return home just as relaxed as when you were on vacation.


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About Ashley Martens

Ashley Martens is a Wellness Writer based in Chicago, Illinois. With a background in a digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.