8 Ways to Beat the Post-Vacation Blues

Jessica Peterson

8 ways to beat the post-vacation blues

I had it bad last week. I had just experienced the world’s fastest weekend in Cairns, Australia, white water rafting, climbing, zip lining, and sailing to the Great Barrier Reef. When I got home I felt, well, a little deflated. All that adrenaline-pumping adventure… then nothing. I realized I had the post-travel blues. I probably suffer from this more than I’d like to admit, even when I am relieved to be back home, sleeping in my own bed, waking up to my schnuggly bunny (yes, I am 6). I felt so irritable (my poor husband), I had to do something. Here’s what worked:

Sleep

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If you’re like me, jetlag is your constant companion. As hard as I try, I have a hard time recovering from red-eye flights (and living on Guam, I’m always flying at night). The day I return from traveling is the day I allow myself to do nothing but sleep, eat, and lounge around. No unpacking, no laundry, no dishes, no work — just relaxation and sleep. If you can’t catch up in one day (and who can?), give yourself an extra hour of sleep for the next week until you feel normal. Read: How to Stay Healthy When You Travel.

Throw a Party

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Why should the party end just because you’re back at home? I needed a reminder that I can have fun even when I’m not traveling (it’s called addiction, I know). I decided to have a small house party with some of my closest friends. No agenda other than to just hang out and catch up, which brings me to my next cure…

Be Social

I don’t mean social media, but like real human interaction. It does wonders for mild mood disorders like post-travel blues. Have lunch with a friend, visit someone you haven’t seen for a while, or join a community group to do something you love. Enroll in an art class, walk your dog with a neighbor, anything that involves interacting with real live humans.

Exercise

I resumed running when I returned from Australia and it helped release a lot of tension. The weather in Guam is perfect right now, but if you’re in snowy climes, try Daily Burn or go to the gym. When my body was a bit weary from all that running, I gave myself a stretch day. Works wonders for tension! The key is to be regular with any exercise, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. The March edition of Vogue reports that exercise can even make your skin age less rapidly! I’m all for that.

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Get Creative

Creativity is next to godliness. So, you took a thousand pictures on your travels, now do something with them! Start a travel blog, create a slideshow with iMovie, then invite your friends over to see where you’ve been. Travel memorabilia is the gift that keeps on giving! Watch my travel videos.

Take a Staycation

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Play tourist in your own hometown by booking a hotel, getting a spa treatment, and swimming in the hotel pool. Order room service, eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried, take pictures of iconic monuments — all like a tourist. It’s fun. I’ve done it many times on Guam. Staying home can still feel like traveling!

Go on a Road Trip

Man and woman in campervan, New Zealand. Tim and Jessica Peterson.

This is for all you people who don’t live on a 32-mile long island in the middle of the Pacific… Hop in the car and drive to the next town over or take a long weekend somewhere new. Think small. Not every vacation has to be larger than life. Make a new music playlist, gather your most entertaining friends, and book a B&B. Wake up late, have brunch, and wander your destination by foot. This road trip should be as low pressure as possible.

Plan Your Next Trip

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It’s never too early to do research for your next vacay, even if you’re still saving for it. I’ve been researching Iceland for a year now! Download a Lonely Planet guidebook, browse your favorite travel blogs (ahem, please start with mine!), gather some friends to compare bucket lists, whatever it takes to get inspiration for your next big (or small) adventure.

How do you beat the post-vacation blues?

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • I love this list…and I am anticipating having my own post-vacation doldrums when I finish next month’s trips, so I know it will come in handy – thank you! I also love to make some favorite home-cooked meals once I’m back – it’s always a welcome treat after exotic food or restaurant eats while on the road.
    Jessica
    http://www.thebellevoyage.com

    • Jessica, that’s a good tip — I long for home-cooked meals when I’ve been traveling for a while. Where’s your next trip?

  • Frontier

    Great, funny post! Everybody needs these tips sometimes it’s so easy to get post vacation blues!! | http://www.frontiergap.com