People are traveling more and more and I couldn’t be happier. I, too, will be taking my next trip on June 16. Always planning (thus the name “Brenda Plans”), I am already planning ways to make my return easier on me. Since I will undoubtedly have PDSD (Post-Disney Stress Disorder) when I return, planning ahead is key for my post-trip groove. I have checklists for before, during and after the trip to help my return go smoothly.
I approach my trips just like I approach any problem or situation that involves making decisions. In line with the Lazy Genius principles, I prioritize, essentialize, organize, personalize, and systemize. Of course, my altruistic side demanded I share my strategy with you today. I know a lot of you love to travel, so I hope this system might help set you up for success when returning to life after vacation too. I hope you will find these steps helpful.
Step 1: Prioritize (name what matters)
What matters to me is getting back into the routine of life after vacation with as little stress as possible.
Step 2: Essentialize (name and get rid of what’s in the way)
A messy house, unwashed laundry, appointments/work on my calendar on the first day back, pressing tasks that must be done right away (like paying bills).
So I will plan to clean the house and do all laundry right before we leave. I will pay all the bills that will come due before I return. And, I will plan a buffer day for my first day back.
Step 3: Organize (put everything in its place and use good time management)
Leave the house clean and have all laundry done and put away. Plan my calendar for the week after I return but mark out the first day back for reset/recovery. Have all bills paid and filed away.
Step 4: Personalize (to feel like myself, I need…)
A plan, a clean home, time to do only the essential things on my first day back.
Step 5: Systemize (keep things in a flow)
For this purpose, I will use 3 of LG principles: decide once, batch it and schedule rest
Decide once: we will order take out on our first night back
Batch it: wash all laundry from the trip until finished on the first day back
Schedule rest: I don’t have little kids at home so I can take some breaks for quiet time and a coffee break mid-afternoon. If my kids were still home this would be a movie marathon day or allowable screen time day for them.
In addition to planning for a smooth return, there are things I can do during my trip to help with that. These are shown below:
- When packing up before check out, pack with unpacking in mind. Put like things together for ease of putting them away.
- Wash clothes while on vacation if I have spare time. Sometimes the peace and quiet, and a good book, are a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of vacation days.
- If I don’t have time to wash while on vacation, I will at least separate the dirty clothes (colors and whites) and put in trash bags. Then I’ll pack those trashbags into one suitcase. When I get home, that one suitcase goes straight into the laundry room. I can even start the first load immediately.
|That’s it for my smooth re-entry plan. Did I forget anything?|
I have already started my to-do list for the week after my trip. The first item is to make some notes about my next trip (20% of travellers actually schedule their next vacation during this time — I am part of that percentage).
Planning ahead makes things much easier on me. I hope you will try it for your next trip.