Have you ever been on an amazing trip that is coming to an end and find yourself wishing you could stay a few more days? Well, we have to. The bright side? There are plenty of ways to make your vacation feel like it lasts a little longer, from literally extending your trip to adopting some lifestyle habits to bring some sunshine to your everyday routine.
Wondering how you can make that happen? Stay with us. We promise you’ll find it helpful.
No, Literally. Stay a Little Longer.
We’ve been there. It’s the last day of your vacation; you’re sipping the last margarita, thinking about packing away all your favourite summer clothes to head back home. You’re bummed and start thinking about if you should go up to the front desk to discuss staying another night or two. Would the flight change be expensive? Can you take another day off of work?
The questions are endless. However, we always live by the motto you only live once. If you feel like there’s so much more exploring you need to do, friendships to make, and cuisine to try, why not!
If you’ve used up your vacation time, you can always pull the “I drank the water, and I feel like I shouldn’t have” card and use up a few sick days. If that isn’t an option, there are plenty of little white lies you can tell your boss to avoid a write-up or termination (although we wouldn’t recommend it. Honesty is always the best policy.).
Some airlines allow you to change your flight without any change fees. Depending on your destination, consider talking to a representative from your airline to see if you can swing it. If the place you’re staying is booked up, you can check out some popular booking sites for last-minute hotel deals. You might luck out!
Keep the Positives While You Get Back to Work
You begrudgingly get on that plane destined for home-base, and you can already feel the vacation high beginning to fade. Even though (we hope) you’re feeling rested and refreshed, you start to think about all the stresses you vacationed to get away from in the first place.
Researchers call this “vacation fade out,” and a 2011 study showed that vacationing’s positive effects fade out within a month. Further, the American Psychological Association reports that the benefits of time off dissipate in as little as a few days for over 60% of working adults.
Our brains are wired to adapt to change and move on to the next chapter, so once we’ve effectively “shut the door” on our vacation, reality can really set in. However, there are ways to help your vacation feel meaningful and keep the good feels around longer.
Give Yourself Time to Chillax
We get it; you have limited vacation days and want to see as much as possible with them. But, if you cram in as many activities as humanly possible during your trip and don’t give yourself any time to recharge, you’re going to feel like you need a vacation from your vacation.
While sight-seeing and tours are exciting, too many of them can leave your trip feeling chaotic.
Pro-tip: Front-load your tours and leave the last few days of your trip for relaxation or spontaneous plans. Also, make reservations and buy tickets ahead. Thank us later.
Double pro-tip: Hire a tour company to do the work for you! Not only will you be saving some precious free-time to pack or buy a new bikini, but you know you’ll have a perfectly balanced trip to go on.
Tech Hours ONLY
For some careers, ditching the iPhone and laptop at home just isn’t possible. So, if you have to bring your technology along to address work-related matters, make yourself a plan for how you’ll use it. Set out specific “vacation work hours” where you can respond to a few emails or send Toby the latest update on your client. Outside of that time, notifications are off, and the laptop is tucked away so you can be present.
Be Mindful (& We Don’t Just Mean Yoga!)
Beyond being present in your surroundings, mindfulness is a huge way to get the absolute most out of your vacation (or anywhere, really!). Whether you’re on a ski trip in the mountains or a busy all-inclusive on the beach, take some time to really absorb the sights, smells, and sounds around you.
Being mindful and connecting with your destination can look like a lot of different things. For example:
- Go for a long walk outside, preferably alone (only if it’s safe, of course) without headphones or technology.
- Join a local tour on culture, cuisine, or spirituality. Find some time to meditate.
- Go off the resort to explore the local towns or cities.
Give Yourself Post-Vacay Buffer Time
If you’ve ever flown home on a Sunday night just in time to get into bed and get up for work in the morning, you know how drained you can feel. If possible, give yourself an extra day or two between arriving home and going back to work to soak in all the memories you just made and get ready for the upcoming week.
Giving yourself time to readjust, unpack, and get back into the swing of things can help your first day back at work feel much more relaxed. If you can’t afford to take another day off, try scheduling your return date on a Friday or Saturday so you can enjoy a day or two at home before getting back to the daily grind.
Bring a Little Vacation Back With You!
Memories are some of the best ways to enjoy a vacation way past the day you got home. If you can, try to learn something new or pick up a skill during your time away. New cultural recipes, crafting, or dancing are great ways to bring yourself back to your fun vacation memories, even on the busiest “real life” days.
Alternatively, physical mementos are a great continuous reminder of the great time you had. Photographs (from a real camera!), souvenirs, or trinkets you fell in love with along the way displayed around your home will bring you back to the moment you got it in a blink of an eye.
Book Your Next Vacation
There is a plethora of information available on why vacations are so important for our health. Once you arrive home, start thinking about your next vacation! A study has shown that the greatest happiness associated with holidays actually comes during the planning stage due to the anticipation of the trip. So, start thinking about that next destination!
If your last vacation was a little disorganized, consider using a travel company to explore a country you’ve always been wanting to see. A tour company will ensure you’re always fed, watered, comfortable, and above all, entertained. It can definitely be worth the cost to kick back and leave the planning to the experts.
Overall, we think you should book your next vacation regardless. We all work too hard. Give yourself a break; you deserve it!