Making a Case for Taking an Extra Day Off at The End of a Vacation

published Apr 13, 2017
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Taking a vacation is a surefire way to get in some serious relaxation time, but what about when you come back from your trip? If your return consists of meandering home from the airport, lugging in your suitcases and trying to get yourself together to go into the office the next day—and just the thought of it is already stressing you out—you might want to consider tacking an extra day off onto the end of your vacation, when you can.

It may seem like a waste of your precious time off, and vacation time is scarce to begin with, but taking that extra day can be totally worth it to your overall well-being. Think about it: wouldn’t it be much more pleasant to come home from your travels knowing that you have a full 24 hours to settle in and relax before you have to reenter the real world? Don’t think of it as a wasteful or lazy day—think of it as an investment in both your mental health and your productivity.

You’ll Have Time to Get Organized

If you’ve ever come home from vacation at night knowing you have to go into work the next morning, you know the struggle that is unpacking—or rather, putting off unpacking until you have the free time to do it. Then there’s the state of your home to worry about—did you have time to clean before you left, or did you have to hurry out to catch your flight? Taking an extra day off means you have plenty of time to unpack and tidy up and still have time to relax and enjoy one more day off before you go back to work.

You Can Readjust to Your Sleep Schedule

This is especially important if you traveled to a different time zone than you’re used to, but even if you didn’t, your sleep schedule can still be an issue when you return from a trip—you were most likely going to bed at a different time than you typically would and waking up at a different time, regardless of where you ventured off to. Giving yourself an extra day gives you more time to try to get back into your typical sleep schedule so you won’t be completely exhausted and jetlagged when you go back to work. Of course, it takes more than a day to fully readjust, especially if you traveled particularly far, but that one day will definitely help you get back on track before you have to be productive.

You’ll Go Back to Work Less Stressed

With your things unpacked, your luggage put away, your home tidied up and your sleep schedule on its way back to normal—and with the extra time you’ll have to, you know, just sit back and watch Netflix—you’ll be in a much better place to go back to work after your travels. Rushing back into the office right away will likely leave you feeling tired and unable to focus on the tasks you need to get done, and no one likes feeling that familiar sluggish feeling at their desk. That extra day will help you go back to the office well-rested and ready to take on your responsibilities, and it’ll make your vacation time feel like it actually served a purpose in helping you unwind.

Do you try to tack on a catch-up day to the end of your vacation when you can?