4 tips to recover from vacation

Woman unpacking suitcase

Seems like vacations come and go faster than you can say, "relax." Heading back to the real world after a great vacay can be hard, but it doesn't have to be impossible.

Back to life!

Follow a few tips to help ensure your return from paradise isn't too painful.

Welcome home?

When vacation ends, the return to your "regular life" can be difficult. You'll probably head home to things like an empty refrigerator, loads of unpacking and laundry and the return to work and bunches of emails. Coming back from time away doesn't have to put you in a tailspin. Follow these tips for a smooth trip from paradise back to the real world.

Check out the benefits of hiring a travel agent >>

Don't pack it in: Build in some time at home

There's nothing worse than feeling rushed before work, but especially after time off. Plan to build in a day or two, depending on the length of your time away, to be at home before heading into the office. If you want to take a leisurely peek at work emails to help fend off overload on your return, go for it. If you need time to hit the dry cleaner or shop for food for work lunches, you'll have it.

Review these tips to prevent jet lag >>

Deal with jet lag

When you're traveling long distances across time zones by plane, you might suffer from jet lag. Jet lag disturbs your internal biological rhythm, causing you to be out of sync with the time at your destination. Some say to allow for one day of recovery for every time zone you pass through.

To help alleviate jet lag, stay hydrated; avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine and tobacco; avoid naps for longer than two hours when you reach your destination; and try to make some time for the sunshine — spend a few hours outside in the afternoon or an hour outside in the morning to help you adjust.

With help from the U.K.'s leading sleep expert, Dr. Chris Idzikowski, British Airways has developed a Jet Lag Calculator to help you with tips on how to deal with jet lag.

Consider these hotel fitness programs for healthy travel >>

Get back into your exercise (and healthy eating) routine

Maybe you made a few too many trips to the buffet line on your cruise, indulged in the local beer a bit much or ate out more than you intended. No use fussing over those things now that you're home. Of course the best plan would be to fit in time for regular exercise and eating right while you're away, but that's not always possible.

Learn how to be a smart traveler >>

Now that you're home, get back into your normal, healthy routines. If you typically hit the gym for a certain amount of time, go for it. If you find it's more than you can take on right away, don't despair: Work your way up to your regular time at they gym, if needed. If you're used to going for 60 minutes, start out by going for 30 minutes for a few days, then 45, until you're back at 60. Gradually working your way back to your normal workouts is better than simply giving up and not going at all. If your normal classes seem boring now that you're back, this is a great time to try something new!

Prioritize, have patience and plan an escape

Recognize that, no matter what you have to get back to, you can't have it all running like clockwork again, in one day. Prepare yourself by planning to have patience with projects and with others in order to keep yourself on the right track. Make a list to prioritize your to-dos, and check them off as you complete them.

According to Road and Travel, the hustle and bustle of being back after being away might get overwhelming at some point. That's when you need a vacation… reminder. Peek at some of your vacation photos, take a break and go for a walk in the park or let yourself drift away for a few minutes to the peacefulness and fun that was vacation.

More travel tips for your next trip

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Stress-free vacation packing
Tips for healthy travel

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Comments

Comments on "4 tips to recover from vacation"

Kenia September 06, 2012 | 9:50 AM

These tips are great! Getting back into the healthy diet and exercise routine really helps recover from a vacation.

Katrina August 06, 2012 | 12:36 PM

I also like the idea of giving yourself an extra day between returning from vacation and going back to work. I am often beaming with energy and excitement immediately following a trip, and this can make it hard to focus in the workplace. It is good to allow time for the post-vacation buzz to wear off before getting back into your normal routine, and the best way to do this is by doing light things like laundry and chores. I think Amy has the right idea of returning from your vacation on a Saturday to allow for that extra day off. Most of us can only afford to miss so many days of work and we want to save our precious paid vacation days for when we’re actually on vacation.

Amy August 04, 2012 | 4:05 PM

As a frequent traveler, I agree that it's best not to go back to work right away. Give yourself at least one day to get all the cleaning and laundry done. If you can't take extra time off work, consider coming home on a Saturday instead of Sunday to give yourself some time. You'll be glad you did.

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