Our family just came back from another fun summer trip and I have a few more tips to share on easing your way back home after a vacation. I took my own tips and cleaned the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, changed the bed sheets and bought provisions for a healthy snack before leaving. But there are a few more things you can do to make your homecoming less hectic.
- Keep your suitcase neat. The longer we're gone, it seems the messier our suitcase gets. To keep things organized, I pack the kids' clothes in bags by outfit. This works particularly well with kids' clothes; their small size makes them hard to find in a large suitcase. If we've rented a house with a washer and dryer, I do the laundry before I leave, and repack the clothes into the plastic bags. This minimizes the laundry I have to do when I get home and makes unpacking that much easier. Even if you don't do the laundry, the clean, unworn clothes stay fresh in the bag and can be quickly put away once you're home.
- Make a meal to freeze beforehand. Plan ahead and make a one-dish meal that freezes well. This way when you come home you can have a hot homemade meal in not too long. My family had several days of bad food while on the road. Luckily, I made a simple vegetable soup before we left and froze it. After a fresh fruit snack, I was able to give them hot homemade soup to counter the countless hot dogs they'd ingested.
- Check the mail. If you followed our advice and had the kids send themselves postcards, let them rummage through the stack of mail to find them. This will entertain them and afford you a moment to unpack and check the house.
- Buy a book while on vacation. One fun thing we've started doing while on trips, long or short, is to visit a book store and buy a book for the kids. It can be vacation destination-related or not. Then we save it for when we get home. The kids are so excited to see the book at bedtime and we talk about highlights of the trip.
Image: Small Notebook