Five Easy Steps to Beating the Post-Vacation Blues

In those first few days after a cruise or a long vacation, I tend to fill my mind with wonderful memories from my journey. Flash forward a week, however, and I just want to get away from work, home and everything else — and get back to traveling.

I call that mood the post-vacation blues. And after years of travel, I’ve developed a four-step plan that helps me readjust when I return from a trip. From recreating meals to reaching out to my vacation buddies, here’s how I keep the happy vacation memories alive.

Step 1: Create a Memories Journal

Sometimes, I like to fill a notebook with my favorite memories after I return from an amazing vacation. Even if it’s few simple lines about each experience — like “that day at the elephant park was wonderful” — I love to have reminders of my adventures. Preserving the stories in print guarantees that I’ll never forget them. I’ll always be able to pick up my notebook and read about my travels when I want to go back and relive it all.

Step 2: Cook Meals from Your Trip

Shopping at the international grocery store near my house has become a favorite pastime for me. I enjoy finding unique ingredients and creating a meal following traditional recipes that take me back to my travels. When I immerse myself in preparing a meal first experienced on vacation, I feel at peace. I’m not thinking about the fact that I’m at home; instead am back, enjoying my trip to a far-away restaurant or local market. That’s the power of revisiting a destination through its cuisine.

Step 3: Keep in Touch with Vacation Friends

I love maintaining friendships with the people I’ve met during my travels, and I still talk with quite a few of them. Whether it’s through Facebook or FaceTime, I enjoy chatting about life with a friend I met while relaxing on a beach, a boat or in a cozy pub. We usually talk about the latest news in our lives and occasionally reminisce about the crazy times we had together. This is a great way to put a smile on my face and share my positive vacation memories.

Quick Tip:

When you make friends while you’re traveling, exchange business cards or contact information. It’s amazing how long a friendship can last from one chance meeting.

Step 4: Plan Your Next Trip

Who am I kidding? I can only shake the post-vacation blues for so long. When all other methods fail, I just plan a new trip. Dear far-flung destination, I’m coming for you!

I love pulling out a map, closing my eyes and pointing to a random spot on the map. Then I buy travel guides, read blogs and collect information about my next vacation. What food would I love to try? What are the most interesting sights to see?

There are innumerable destinations worth visiting, and I’ll never get to see them all — but I’ll never stop trying. Planning and scouting my next journey reminds me that I have more adventures in my future, which eases my post-vacation blues. Mission accomplished!


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Carl H. is a travel writer living in Durham, North Carolina.