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Back From Vacation: How to Hit the Ground Running

Updated on March 4, 2013

Everyone knows that vacations are essential for relaxing and recharging. But, returning from vacation doesn't have to be stressful. By making a few preparations beforehand, when you get back from vacation, you can hit the ground running.

Tidy Up!

Cleaning up your home and office prior to leaving for vacation will put you at ease before you leave and help you readjust once you get home. Straightening up and sorting through your work papers will force you get tasks done prior to your vacation and anticipate items that may come up in your absence. Coming home to a messy office or home will cause stress. You’ll probably return from vacation with a number of items on your mind before heading back to work; cleaning your house certainly shouldn’t be one of them.


This can be included with tidying up, but make sure to give your kitchen some attention before your vacation. Freeze or dispose of any items in your refrigerator that may go bad in your absence. A fuzzy and smelly surprise in your fridge is the last thing you need when you return home. At the same time, make preparations for your arrival home by making a meal and freezing it. It will save you the time of grocery shopping and cooking a dinner when you return home.

Fido is probably better off at the kennel or staying with friends or family while you're on vacation.
Fido is probably better off at the kennel or staying with friends or family while you're on vacation. | Source

Make Arrangements for Pets

Don’t forget to arrange for care for your pet while you’re gone. If you’re boarding your pet at a kennel, think about arranging to pick him up the day after you arrive home. It will save you the stress of getting to the kennel before it closes if you’re running late.

If you have a friend or neighbor coming in to look after your pets in your home, this adds the benefit of having someone come by to check on the general well-being of your home. This is a good idea to give your house the appearance that someone is home and may prevent break-ins in your absence.

Make Arrangements for Your Mail

Have the post office hold your mail while you’re away from home. You can visit or stop in to your local post office to fill out a form to have your mail delivery stopped for the duration of your vacation. You can opt to pick up your mail from the post office or opt to have it delivered to your home.

Arrangements for Your Home

Don’t let your home be an easy target for thieves while you’re away. Put lights on timers for the evening to make your home look occupied. Employ a neighbor to clear any handbills that might accumulate on your porch while you’re gone; this can clue thieves in that the home is unoccupied. Also, arrange to have your yard mowed or snow cleared while you’re away. Again, this will mean another task off your list when you arrive home. Pay a neighbor to water your yard and outdoor plants while you’re gone, or offer to return the favor for them when they’re on vacation.

Setting up auto pay for your bills can diminish stress while you're away.
Setting up auto pay for your bills can diminish stress while you're away. | Source

Bill Pay

Take advantage of automatic bill pay while you’re on vacation. Sign up through your utility, phone, and credit card companies to have payments deducted from your bank account while you’re away on vacation. This is one less item to worry about when you’re gone. The companies will notify you of the transaction via email.

Take an Extra Day

Take an extra day off after you’re due to arrive home. This will give you some cushion in your transition back to “normal” life. It will also give you some time to adjust if you’ve experienced jet lag from your travels, and some time to ease back into your routine.

Transitioning back from a vacation is never easy. But, with some planning and preparation, you can make your return a lot less stressful.


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