How The Prince of Travel Team Adjusts To “Life” After a Big Trip


Having the opportunity to travel around the world is an amazing and exciting privilege, and here at Prince of Travel, we consider ourselves lucky that we get to explore so many incredible places.

Over the course of our travels, something that we’ve noticed (and we’re sure most every traveller would agree) is that we become a different version of ourselves when travelling compared to when we’re at home.

When travelling, we generally choose to eat what we want, sleep when we want, and do what we want to do when we want to do it.

Comparatively, when at home, most of us have schedules that are dictated (at least in part) by other people and by our many responsibilities, and we also tend to live a life with more routine and less spontaneity and curiosity.

This dissonance between the travel-self and the home-self can make returning from a trip difficult.

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Getting back to our home-self takes some adjusting

Coming home can make you feel low energy and sad, and leave your body sluggish and stiff. You might also feel the need to push through this and hustle to get “caught up.”

Obviously, these sorts of negative and hectic feelings are not what you want to bring into your first few days home, so it’s important to be thoughtful and purposeful about what you do as you adjust back into your life after a trip.

In this article, we share personal tips from Prince of Travel team members as well as some general advice to help smooth the transition from your travel life to your home life.

How to Adjust After a Trip

Through our travels, the Prince of Travel team has learned several ways to help ease the transition period between a big trip and our regular life back home.

In our experience, these tips fall into four categories that all benefit from attention: body, mind, soul, and logistics.

Take Care of Your Body

As we mentioned above, one of the joys of travelling is the opportunity to make our own schedule and to do what we want when we want.

For many of us, this includes relaxing, sleeping in and staying out late, taking a break from our gym routines, and indulging in delicious food and drinks.

However, as fun as these travel behaviours are, they’re not necessarily things that serve us well in our everyday lives once we’re back home.

And while it can be a struggle to say goodbye to the more indulgent lifestyle that travel often affords, getting back into a healthy routine is a great way to adjust after a trip.

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Regaining a healthy routine helps with post-trip adjustment

The details of each person’s healthy routine is different, but they might include things like getting back to the gym, eating healthier, and trying to stick to a consistent sleep schedule.

One example of something useful that many of our team members do when returning from a trip is to order a meal kit or grocery delivery service to arrive on their first day back.

The grocery delivery service Voilà by Sobeys is a popular choice with team members because it’s convenient, easy to use, and offers a huge array of products. With the service, you’re essentially able to shop your local Sobeys, Safeway, or Farm Boy from your phone or computer and have healthy ingredients and household items delivered to your door.

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Also, as an added bonus, since Voilà is part of the Scene+ loyalty program, you earn 2x Scene+ points for every $1 you spend. By scheduling a meal kit or grocery delivery service, you’re ensuring good food options are available upon your return, making it easier to choose a healthy meal as you decompress from the journey home.

Consider using a grocery delivery service to get a meal delivery and some fresh essentials (milk for your morning coffee) delivered when you arrive at home. You won’t remember or won’t have the energy to purchase groceries on your way home. – Steve

I take care of my health during and after my trip by taking health supplements/vitamins for myself and my family. – Honey

Jetlag and the associated disrupted sleep schedule are other big post-trip issues that can have a negative effect on your body.

Depending on where you’re coming back from, how long you were away, and how sensitive you are to time adjustments, the effects of this can be significant.

To help avoid the worst of these effects, consider getting a head start by adjusting your sleep schedule to match your home time zone as you journey back.

You may also want to plan some activities to help you stay engaged during the daytime hours so that you’re less tempted to fall asleep at two in the afternoon.

Additionally, try not to stress too much about adjusting immediately when you get home. Jetlag can be brutal, and sometimes it takes a while for your sleep schedule to normalize.

To combat jetlag, get a head start on sleeping on your destination time zone ASAP and have a plan to keep yourself busy with activities that will keep you awake and engaged the first couple of days. – Josh

What I do to cope with jetlag is to try and have an obligation or task when I return from the holiday that’s physical as well as social but not overburdening. This allows me to get back in the flow with an activity that keeps me alert but doesn’t completely obliterate me or make me crash to sleep on the old time zone’s schedule, thus having an even harder time getting back to the local one. – Kirin

USE SCIENCE. Readjusting your sleep schedule once you get back from a polar opposite time zone can be really hard and can wreak havoc on your efficiency.

Plan your sleep with the REM cycles in mind. Oversleeping and undersleeping are both pitfalls that people tend to fall into after travelling. – Leo

Finally, when you land back home, it’s important to also give yourself some grace and recognize that it will take time to settle back into your regular life.

Be gentle with yourself and make the space to take care of your body.

Consider booking a massage. – Rohin

Roll with jetlag instead of fighting against it. – TJ

Take Care of Your Mind

Travel is, of course, not just physically moving your body from one place to another but also something that requires a lot of mental work, both in its planning and execution.

To help you limit your stress and anxiety during your travels and prepare you for your arrival back home, let’s look at a few things you can do to keep your mind from becoming cluttered.

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Always consider your mental well-being when readjusting to your “regular” life

One of the best things you can do is to write a list and make a plan so you feel confident that all your travel and at-home details are taken care of, both while you’re away and when you come back.

On my flight home, I’ll take the time to make my to-do list so I’m ready to go when I get home.

If you can, try to return on a Friday to have the weekend to re-adjust time zones and run errands, pay bills, etc. If that’s not possible, I’ll build in an extra 1–2 days off work after the vacation to do the same. – Amy

It’s also important to not feel like you need to jump right back into “real life” the minute you get home. It’s ideal if you can schedule at least one day after the trip to give yourself time to decompress and then rebuild your home routines slowly.

In fact, our team agrees that depending on how long your trip was, you may need a few days (or longer) to truly settle into being home.

Take time off after your trip before starting work/life responsibilities. Depending on the length of the big trip, you might only need one day, or maybe you’ll need a full week.

My wife and I have done two BIG trips. Six months through South America and Africa in 2019–2020, and nine months in 2022 primarily in Asia. Both trips were amazing experiences, but they were also exhausting. Scheduling adequate time to recover at home was immensely valuable as it gave us much-needed time to both reflect on our travels and deal with “reverse culture shock.” – Tyler

That said, just because it’s a good idea to take things slow when you get back from a trip doesn’t mean you should just lie around like a potato.

To make adjusting after a trip less painful, ease into your at-home habits and routines during your first week back, as this will help ground you – just as it does for Rashaad.

Unpack everything, do laundry, and put things away the same day you get back or the very next day. This makes it way easier to get back into your routine and avoid feeling unorganized.

I always do this, and it brings a sense of relief knowing I don’t have a suitcase full of dirty clothes and other items in my space. – Rashaad

Additionally, as we mentioned above, getting back to a fitness routine, eating healthy, and making social plans are all great for helping you adjust after a trip.

Rebuilding these habits is not only good for your body, but they are also foundational actions that support a healthy mind.

Set up a routine that makes you feel refreshed, healthy, and energized.

Spending a whole day on self-care and nourishment gets you ready and re-energized for the days ahead. For example, waking up, seeing the sun (not your phone), enjoying a big healthy breakfast, taking a cold and hot shower, doing some skincare, unpacking your bags, cleaning up the house (listening to your favourite music or podcast), going for a hike, and having a nice dinner can make for an ideal self-care day.

After a day like this, you’ll feel more than ready to take on life at home again. You have to prove to yourself that life at home can be relaxing and revitalizing as well. – Max

Take Care of Your Soul

Coming back from a trip can often be mentally and emotionally jarring; we move so quickly from one thing to something so different that it can make our time away feel like a distant dream almost before we’ve walked through our front door.

To counter this feeling, it’s important to take time to reflect after a trip.

Consider how you felt during your travels. What were your favourite parts? Is there an aspect of your time away that you’d like to try to integrate into your life at home?

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A journal could surely help you with your post-trip reflection

Maybe there’s a favourite dish you’d like to try making, or perhaps you fell in love with the language and would like to take lessons.

Part of this reflection can also include looking through your photos.

Since photos are a powerful memory tool and help bring us back to the times and places we’ve previously occupied, perusing our photo albums lets us enjoy the moment again, even if only briefly.

Another way to keep the post-vacation depression at bay is to purposely focus on what you like about being home and plan activities that remind you of these things (e.g., a walk in the park, your favourite coffee shop, visit friends, being able to cook in your own kitchen again).

Engage with the parts of your at-home lifestyle that ground and nourish your soul to help draw a boundary around the trip. – Josh

I like to take some time after a trip to ensure I reflect on what I did, how I felt, and how I feel now that I’m back home. From looking at pictures to simply recalling some of my fondest memories from the trip, it helps ground me and prevents me from worrying about all the work I have to do now that I’m back in the “real world.” – Matt

Finally, with so many compelling places to see in this world, there’s no harm in shaking off some post-travel sadness by starting to daydream and make plans for your next adventure.

Take Care of the Details

When coming home from a trip, all our day-to-day responsibilities come flooding back, and these details can quickly become overwhelming.

To make your travels and return smoother, the Prince of Travel team agrees that making a plan to handle “must-do” details of life helps to limit stress and anxiety both during and after a trip.

In support of a smooth transition post travels, we recommend that you take stock of your day-to-day responsibilities and chores and make arrangements to have them looked after while you’re away and for a couple of days after your return.

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Make a to-do list of responsibilities that you need to fulfill as you return home

It’s always good to review your budgets and make sure your bills are paid up through the end of your trip so that you’re not worried about money. You may also want to double-check your calendar so you’re not caught off guard by meetings and appointments the first week back.

When I get home, I open my calendar and change the time zone so I don’t miss appointments, and I switch over the eSim in my phone. – Rohin

I pre-pay bills before leaving for my trip. – Honey

Depending on your living situation, you might also need to arrange for someone to take care of your pets and do some household chores (like checking the mail and watering plants) while you’re away.

While away, a Nest doorbell is great for keeping an eye out for any unexpected deliveries. – Steve

Finally, one of the best things you can do to smooth your transition back home actually happens before you even leave in the first place.

Tidying your living space, making your bed, and going through the refrigerator are all tasks that you can do pre-departure to set yourself up for a calm return.

Clean house before leaving for a trip. You’ll thank yourself when you get home. – TJ

Pack luggage in the same order the laundry loads will go in (i.e., by colour) to save sorting time once back home. – Nancy

As TJ and Nancy suggest, by preparing before the trip and ensuring all important details are handled while you’re away, you set yourself up for the best possible return home.

Conclusion

Travelling around the world is an incredible privilege and opportunity and brings with it many wonderful experiences. That said, the transition between travel-life and home-life can be disarming when returning home.

We hope you find that the tips we’ve included above help to limit the friction between your travels and your “regular” life, and that they help you to adjust comfortably when coming home from a trip.





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