Traveling often seems like a long list of to-dos even before you leave, from the pre-trip planning process (book flight and hotel, call credit card company, stop the mail, cancel paper, make arrangements for your pets, pack) to selecting the activities you want to experience once you arrive in your destination. But what about after you get home?
Some of us do nothing but become couch potatoes for a day or two after a trip, while others leap immediately back into their daily life as though they never went on a trip. This list of 7 things to do when you get home from a trip that will help you save money, stay healthy and savor the afterglow of your trip for just a little bit longer.
1. Check your Bank and Credit Card Statements
Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. Within a day of getting home, go online and check your credit card and bank statements for things like double charges, missing refund credits or spending that you didn’t authorize. Report any issues to your bank or credit card company immediately.
2. Turn off the International Plan on your Cell Phone
Many travelers add an international calling, texting and/or data package to their usual plan so that they can use their cell phones affordably during a trip overseas. But once your trip is over, make sure to remove the international package from your plan so you’re not continuing to pay for it going forward.
3. Sort through accumulated Mail and Email
If you haven’t been checking your email during your trip, you’ll likely arrive home to an overwhelming inbox. The longer you wait, the more it will pile up, so take a few minutes to zip through it, responding to anything urgent and deleting any newsletters or alerts that you’ll never have time to read. Restart any newspaper subscriptions you may have canceled.
4. Do Laundry
It doesn’t matter if you travel for a weekend or a month, when you get home from a vacation the first thing most of us do is open our suitcases and start making laundry piles. Go straight into the laundry room and start a load of laundry and fold and put away clothes that we didn’t use.
5. Get Your Body Back on Track
Traveling and flying can leave you feeling weary once your return. Crossing time zones, stressing out over flight delays, over-indulging at restaurants and bar. All of these these are just a few of the ways that travel can be hard on your body. Focus on getting a good night’s sleep. It’s not uncommon to get sick right after a trip, but you can help prevent this by taking care of yourself when you arrive home. Help minimize jet lag by immediately resetting your watch to local time and falling back into the usual routine for bedtime and waking up. Drink lots of water to rehydrate yourself after a long, dry plane ride, and counter all those heavy restaurant meals with fresh fruits, vegetables and salads.
If your body’s craving sleep, take a nap rather than forcing yourself to adapt immediately to your new time zone. Many travelers take an extra day after their vacation — to sleep and catch up with other post-vacation tasks.
Oherwise, you might find yourself at work looking like this!
After you come back from a vacation with a major time difference from your home, it’s tempting to listen to your body instead of sleeping and waking up at normal times. In the case of returning from Europe, your body might be telling you to tuck in at 7 or 8 PM. Try your best to fight the urge to zonk out and aim for 9 or 10, depending on your regular schedule. It will make it easier to adjust back to what is normal.
6. Organize your Photos
Try to go through your vacation pictures before you’ve forget the name of what you saw. Sort and caption your pictures while your memories are still fresh in your mind. If you fall behind by a trip or two, you may never catch up again.
7. Start planning your next Trip
It’s never too early to start dreaming about that next destination. What’s next on your bucket list?