Post Vacation Syndrome: Tips for Transitioning Back to Reality


Have you ever returned from a trip and experienced Post Vacation Syndrome?

Summer Days in Rubicon Bay, Lake Tahoe CA

Symptoms of Post Vacation Syndrome (PVS) may include; lack of motivation, sleeping in, procrastination, wishing for a cocktail before 5pm and an overall resistance to getting back to a routine or schedule.

Last weekend I returned from a week of pure leisure in Lake Tahoe, CA. At one point, it almost felt like too much free time, which sounds silly but was actually consuming my mind half way through the week. No alarm clock to wake up to, no emails to check, no clients to call, no obligations what-so-ever.  Stripped of responsibilities, what do you do?

Answer: absolutely anything you want.

I eventually relaxed into the non-doing and it felt really spectacular.  But just as am getting used to the lack of obligations, I'm thrown back into the world of tasks and traffic. Have you been there? I'm pretty sure anyone who has traveled has found themselves in a similar situation. The question becomes, how can you keep some of that vacation bliss with you? How can you bottle up that peace of mind and easy breezy ambience to experience in your every day once you return?

Below are a few tips that help me bounce back from vacation and transition to my routine.

Print out your captured moments: Before my plane has even landed (or drive is over), I've usually downloaded all photos to my laptop and created an album. It's easy to share your trip with everyone via social media and blogs, but printing out your images and placing them around your home or desk is an everyday reminder of your vacation time. Companies like Artifact Uprising and Printstagram allow you to create not just prints, but photo books, wall art, magnets and cards!

Expand On a Vacation Experience: Take inspiration from your vacation and incorporate it into daily life to make the  experience permanent. Maybe you took a class, conquered a fear, went mountain bike riding for the first time or read a few great novels. Make an effort to bring more excitement and new experiences into your life (you don't have to wait till you have time off.)

Strategize Your Return: If possible, try to drive or fly home at least a day before you need to go back to work. Nothing is worse than flying in late and having to turn around in less than 12 hours to get back to work. Not to mention the unpacking, laundry and grocery shopping that needs to get done post- work. Having a weekend to decompress and mentally prepare yourself to begin "real life" again will make all the difference.

Research Your Next Travel: When all else fails, begin researching the next place you want to go. Planning is an exciting part of travel and will give you a goal to work towards + something to look forward to.

What are some techniques you use to help get you out of your post-vacation funk? Share your tips!