Vacation is meant to be a relaxing time. You’re getting away from the hustle and bustle of real life. Taking a break from your job and exploring new towns and activities. You want to enjoy vacation. That’s why you’re on it, right? Why then do you sometimes feel discombobulated? Have you ever stayed in a hotel and swore you forgot something? Have you ever rented from Airbnb and felt like something was off?
This feeling occurs because when you go on vacation, you’re breaking from your normal routine. This is good to do once in a while. But you'll experience a better vacation by recreating your at-home set up. Or as close as you can make it.
How do you do this? Check out these 5 tips that will show you how. This way you can enjoy vacation all the more.
#1 — Stick to your routine as much as possible
Did you ever hear the phrase, “I need a vacation after my vacation?” I’m sure you’ve had. People say this because they completely break from their usual routine on vacation. Instead of waking up at 7:00 am, they wake up at 9:00 or later. They eat more and move less.
This doesn’t apply to everyone. But for the most part, an average person on vacation will do the exact opposite of what they normally do. Yes, breaking up your routine is a nice change of pace. But if you want to enjoy vacation and not feel like you need another week to catch up when you get back, you want to stick to your usual routine as much as possible.
This means waking up within an hour of when you normally do. Don’t wake up at 7:00 am. Instead, shoot for 7:30 or 8:00. If you have lunch at 12:30 pm every day, do your best to eat lunch at that same time. Try and go to bed at the same time you normally do.
By sticking to your routine as much as possible, you’re going to find it easier to transition back to the work week.
#2 — Don’t live out of your suitcase
Are you a light packer or an over-packer? It doesn't matter which one you are. When you arrive at your destination, the first thing you do — besides getting familiar with the place — is unpack.
I know people swear by living out of their suitcase, but when you’re at home, do you live out of a suitcase? No. Your clothes are hanging up in your closet or folded in your dresser. Do the same when you’re on vacation.
Since closet space is often limited in hotel rooms, use every drawer. Separate your clothes as you do at home. Undergarments in one drawer, tops in another, bottoms in another. Hang up any delicate fabrics. If you need more hangers, you can ask the front desk. If you’re staying in an Airbnb chances are you have limitless closet space so use it!
Doing this will make getting ready in the morning easier since you know where everything is.
#3 — Line up your bathroom products
After you’ve put your clothes away, do the same thing with your toiletries. There are some great toiletry bags that hang from hooks, but it’s too much of a hassle to take something out every time you need it.
In order to enjoy vacation, you want to get ready and get out the door. If you have to dig through a bag for your makeup each morning, you’re wasting precious time. Try and mimic your bathroom setup at home in your vacation bathroom. Do you line up your skincare products? Do that. Do you keep your shampoo and condition in your shower at all times? Do that.
Depending on the size of the bathroom you’re going to, it may be bigger or smaller than your one at home. Adjust accordingly, but more than likely, you’ll be able to set things up as close as possible.
This way when you’re getting ready for bed or to go out for the day, all your products are at the ready. No more digging through bags to find things. If you’re sharing one sink with a few people, use any drawers or shelves. Dedicate one for each person to keep their things to avoid using the wrong products.
#4 — Utilize all the furniture
Yes, you want to relax on vacation, but sitting in bed the whole time will only make you over-relaxed. If you’re staying in a hotel room, do your best to use all the furniture in the room. What do I mean? Instead of watching TV from bed, watch it from a chair. Most hotel rooms come with a desk chair or armchair. Adjust it so you can see the television and watch it from that.
Use the desk when looking through activity books or dining guides. Are you a reader? Do you read on the couch or in bed? If you read more on the former, read from the available chairs in the room, not the bed.
This rule is more for people staying in hotels than an Airbnb. Since most Airbnbs are actual homes, they have the usual rooms: dining room, living room, and bedroom.
For those staying in hotels, it’s important to not do everything from the bed. Why? Because doing too much on the bed will trick your mind into thinking it’s ok to do this at home. And most often when we do things on our beds at home, it ends with us taking a nap. So do yourself a favor and try and use the hotel bed for sleeping only.
#5 — Bring your packing list with you
Most of us bring the essentials on vacation. Things we use every day. Clothes we’re most comfortable in. Our favorite pieces for nice dinners. The last thing you want to do is forget anything when you head back home. That’s why bringing your packing list with you is a great way to avoid that.
Don’t print out a fresh sheet. Bring the one you marked up and crossed off. Simply fold it up and toss it in your suitcase or personal bag. Start packing the afternoon before departure. Get as much packed during the day and add the final items the morning of.
Using the same packing list will ensure you pack everything you brought with you. Don’t rely on memory. Save yourself the hassle and use a packing list. If you ran out of anything during the trip make a note on the sheet so you don’t spend hours looking for it. If you’re flying, make sure you have your liquids separated from your solids. If you’re driving make sure you pack your laundry bag of dirty clothes.
Having your packing list will make preparing for departure quick and painless. It'll decrease the chances of you leaving anything important behind. This way you can enjoy vacation without the fear of forgetting something important.
Vacation should be enjoyed. It should be relaxing and you should go back home feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. You’ll transition better by recreating your at-home set up in your hotel room or Airbnb.
And don’t forget that while you enjoy vacation, there’s still plenty of things to do to keep you busy this summer. Check out my blog post about avoiding summer procrastination while still having fun. Don’t let the season go to waste. Relax, have fun, and kick off the fall feeling the best you’ve ever had.
How do you adjust to vacation living while away from home? Do you live out of a suitcase or do you put everything away? Have you ever left anything behind? What do you do to make sure you enjoy vacation to the fullest? Comment below.