How to Overcome Your Post Vacation Blues

I recently came back from a 7 day all-inclusive vacation. It was +30 and sunny everyday and I got my tan on. I don’t mean to brag but it was a great vacation. It was great until we arrived back home to a gloomy -12. Not cool.

Saona Island, Punta Cana

Needless to say I was not impressed and quite unhappy to be back. Sure, I was happy to be in my own bed and the comfort of my own home but my post vacation blues started immediately as I got onto the shuttle to take me to the airport that was going to take me home. Yup, I experienced the moment that almost everyone that everyone dreads: the end of an amazing vacation.

Maybe you’ve experienced post vacation blues. It’s when you feel a little depressed at the end of a trip. Other symptoms include lack of motivation, lethargy and feelings of nostalgia. If you felt any of these, then you know what I’m talking about. Post travel blues can seriously affect your mental well being. Why? How? Probably because,

  1. You dread going back to your life back home because you’re probably miserable at your job or have lots of crap to deal with
  2. Travel has transformed you. The strange feeling you feel coming home a different person and the people you come home to are the same is just…painful
  3. You have to wake up early and start your dreadful routine
  4. winter

The worst is when the memories start to fade and you soon forget all the awesome experiences you had. It’s no wonder travellers feel sadness after coming home from an well needed vacation. Have no fear though. You don’t have to feel this way. There are ways to help remedy and minimize the effects of post travel blues while your on vacation and when you get back.

Starfish Lagoon, Punta Cana

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Ahead of Time

When I’m on vacation, I tend to wake up early to get the day started and see as much as I can before it gets dark. When I get home, I like to sleep in.

But, for those who enjoy sleeping in while on vacation (which most people probably do) then I suggest adjusting your sleep schedule a couple days before you head home. If jetlag is an issue, make sure to sleep on the plane and – put an eyemask on and some soft easy listening music!

Exercise While on Vacation and Start Taking Care of Yourself

Getting in a little bit of exercise on vacation will help you keep to a routine. All the pasta and street food will is probably weighing you down a little so when you get back home, so when you get home, perhaps join a gym, go to the spa or eat healthy for a while! Get back on track and try to start some healthy habits. At many resorts, there are planned aquasizing classes, scuba lessons, dance lessons, yoga classes, etc. If you ever tried any of them while away, what’s stopping you from taking up similar classes at home?

Hiking the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail

Attempt to Maintain the Mindset of a Traveller

Often when travelling, you’ll find yourself with a different mindset. You may be all about trying new things, experimenting new foods, signing up for new experiences. When you’re home, you tend to go back to your old routine: you eat at home, stuck on your couch watching Netflix, rarely signing up for anything new – probably not the best way to keep happy. So, to help keep the mindset of a traveller, treat yourself to new food once a week, or sign up for dance lessons. Explore.

Treat Your Hometown Like a New Destination

Many of us have a car to get around town. Our eyes are focused on the road and we rarely get a chance to really look outside to see the gems our own city has to offer. Take the bus to a new community or start walking around downtown and see what it has to offer. You may surprise yourself.

When my car died several years back, I started walking a ton. I went into stores that never crossed my mind and ate food at restaurants I never knew were there. I was also helping the local economy while helping save the planet by not driving! Try it out. It’s not really that scary. If anything, it should be less scary than walking downtown in a city you’ve never been before surrounded by people who don’t speak the same language.

Keep Newfound Passions Alive

Similar to keeping the mindset of a traveller is keeping newfound passions alive. You’ve realized that you really enjoyed learning scuba in the pool or love the Spanish language. Don’t let the post vacation blues get to you by stopping everything you’ve been learning or trying out! Go beyond the basics and introduce those elements of your trip into your life! Sign up for language lessons or get your scuba certificate.

Personally, some of my newfound passions are new foods. When I get home, I try to look for recipes and replicate the dishes. Never usually turns out the same but it definitely is fun trying. For instance, I ate Musubi in Hawaii every morning for breakfast. Making it at home just isn’t the same but every time I do, I am reminded of the the great memories I had there!

Musubi in Oahu

Give Yourself a Couple of Days to Readjust to Being Back Home

If possible, don’t return to work/school immediately. Give yourself a couple of days to acclimate when you get back. Nothing is worse than being thrown back into your old routine. If you’re one of the lucky ones and are able to take the extra day off, I recommend it. Slumber in your own bed, unpack and do laundry, catch up with friends and family, and go through your travel journal and photos. Take your time to decompress and appreciate home so that the post travel blues don’t hit you so hard!

Another great reason to give yourself an extra day or two home is that there is the slight chance of delayed or missed flight. You don’t want to stress yourself out about work before you step foot into your home territory. I don’t know if you noticed but lately flights are being cancelled or moved a couple hours or so which may make you miss your connection. On our way to the Dominican, we had to leave a day early and stay overnight in the connecting city. And on our way back, our whole party missed their connecting flight back home. Lucky for everyone, no one had to work the next day.

We were extra lucky because we only had carry on and we had the nexus card. We got through security and customs with 10 min to spare.

Reassess Your Life

You might have had an ‘aha’ moment or a feeling of realization about your life back home. Whether you’ve gotten to from new habits or gotten rid of bad ones while away, reassess what’s going on with your life at home. Perhaps you’ve realized that you can definitely live off of less after visiting a third world country, or you’ve come across a really dirty city that you want to start doing your part in saving the environment. Either way, see what is no longer working for you at home and eliminate it or make a change!

After staying at so many Airbnbs and living out of a backpack for weeks at a time, I have definitely realized that I can declutter my home even more! You probably didn’t think possible, but oh yes!

Use my link HERE to sign up and recieve $45 off your first booking and $17 to use towards an experience.

Plan Your Next Trip

Take a couple of days ease out of vacation mode and appreciate the experiences you had the vacation you were just on before planning your next trip! Also, appreciating the comforts of home and the things you missed while you were away instead of being sad about what makes you miserable at home will help overcome some post vacation blues.

Read my Iceland Itinerary Post that I spent hours on…I had so much fun planning it: ICELAND WINTER ITINERARY

Decrease the Amount of Time on Social Media

Aside from posting your amazing photos on Instagram, try to avoid social media while on vacation. Instead, immerse yourself in your new surroundings and be thankful of where you are. Be present. When you’re constantly looking down, not only are you hurting your neck, you are missing everything that’s going by you.

When you get home, there’s nothing wrong with catching up with friends on media, but try to not let it consume you. Don’t get trapped into looking at other photos and wishing you were elsewhere doing other things. Live your life, not dream about others.

Tripophobia – the fear of not having any travel trips currently booked


If you have any more ideas of how to overcome the post vacation blues, please share. I’d love to hear the ways you readjust to coming back to the ‘real world’!

Check out these related posts:

Benefits of Travelling
Common Travel Fears
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Hey there, I'm Cristine (aka Nomadgirlfriend). I want to quit my job so I can travel more. I just need to figure out the digital world so I can start making money to feed my wanderlust with my digital nomad partner. I welcome you to join my on this journey of self discovery and new adventures!

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