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There are so many wonderful things about a family vacation like being able to experience a new place, getting to make memories with family and taking off a few days from work, just to name a few. However there is one part of vacations that aren’t always enjoyable and that is coming home. Easing back into life after travel can be difficult, but there are some ways to make returning home from vacation much easier!

Your bags are packed but with dirty clothes and used, miniature bottles of shampoo and conditioner.  Your wonderful travel location is all you can think about but the thoughts come in the form of memories rather than expectations.  You have returned from your journey away from it all unable to believe how fast the time passed.  You have traveled there and back again and have memories, photographs, souvenirs and dirty laundry to show for it.

Getting Back into Routine

laundry is the worst part of returning home from a vacation

Photo credit: Pixabay

There are bags to unpack, laundry to do, groceries to buy, emails to respond to, photos to download and edit, stories to share and in many cases, jet-lag to recover from.  On top of it all, your kids are off of their normal routines and less agreeable than usual.  If the vacation hadn’t been so great, you may even have a brief moment where you wonder if it was all worth it.  

This scenario is exactly what my family is experiencing this week after ten wonderful days in Europe.  The little ones are jet-lagged which makes us parents even more exhausted.  Our kids who have been sleeping through the night for months are suddenly waking for feedings at 2 am or at 3:45 because “I no want to sleep anymore.”


Digging yourself out of the vacation backlog on top of a lack of sleep makes the week after vacation particularly daunting. This time around we have discovered a few tricks to make returning home from vacation easier.

Tips for Returning Home from Vacation

what is your least favorite part about returning home from vacation

Photo credit: Pixabay

First, have your house cleaned while you are gone.  In our case, our cleaners were already scheduled to come while we were going to be on vacation and we didn’t cancel the appointment.  That way, when we returned, our house was already sparkly clean and we had one less item on our gargantuan to do list.

Second, help your kids get over the jet-lag more quickly by spending a lot of time outside and allowing them to adhere to their normal nap schedule as much as possible.

Finally, if you can afford the extra weight, bring your laptop computer with you on your trip and download photos and begin your photo editing while still on your trip.  Since your kids go to bed early, you will likely have some downtime in the evenings.  What better way to pass the time than reviewing the photos from the day with your partner?

Regardless of what you do, returning back to the real world after a nice, long vacation is going to be challenging.  These three tips have the potential to make it just a tiny bit easier, which may be all you need to make it through that first, painful week back.