Cheat Sheet on Overcoming Travel Stress and Post-Vacation Blues

by Julie on October 16, 2017

The primary motives for planning a vacation are mainly relaxation, refreshment and rest. But sometimes those intentions end up being defeated by a whole lot of factors you might not have seen coming.

A journey that you began with pure enthusiasm and excitement could quickly turn out to become a disappointing ho-hum adventure. You’d somehow find out that your hotel bed is owning you more than the prospect of exploring that new city and engaging in all that you had laid out to do: holidaying would suddenly become a chore.

On the other hand, at the tail end of your trip, successfully relaxing or not, there’s likely another challenge waiting to greet you when you get home – Post-vacation Blues.

Because you’re back to what you ‘escaped’ from, right? It could be daunting and disorienting trying to re-adjust into the normal routine of daily life. This post-vacation hangover can lead to a damaging dip in work-rate and productivity.

So, how do you successfully nail that plan to relax and unwind while soaking in the pleasures of that new city without burning out with fatigue? And most importantly, how do you transition back to normal life without being beat down by after-travel headaches?

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your vacation and revive your normal life when you get back home:

4 Ways To Fully Enjoy Your Vacation Without Stress

Laying out various plans before you take off is very important. According to Project Time Off’s State of the American Vacation 2017, 40% of respondents that didn’t plan their vacations did not take all their time off compared to the 52% that planned.

Another study in the Journal of Applied Research of Quality Life showed happiness levels are increased by just planning a trip.

Now the hacks:

1. Reduce Your Pace

Jumping straight on a flight after just two days of work could be a bad idea. Take some to relax your body – about 5-10% of your whole vacation duration – before taking on another hardwork – flying. It is a good way to arrive at your destination with very little post-flight stress.

2. Engage in Exercise and Reduce Alcohol Intake

Studies have shown that exercising helps to balance out our Circadian rhythms after changing timezones.

Believe it or not, exercising prepares your body for what it’s about to face. So engage in an appropriate amount of exercise routine before hitting the road – or the air. Even if you don’t want to hit the gym in such short notice, you can get a resourceful exercise kit from Fitness Expo Stores or a personal trainer to help you.

Also, reduce the intake of alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages in order to avoid complications after your flight.

3. Take Measures to Reduce the Effects of Jet Lag

Jet lag is a common problem witnessed after flights and an intense case can cause serious harm to your vacation plans. According to the World Health Organisation, jet lag causes malaise, sleeping during daytime, reduction in mental and physical performance,  and other things. The health body further states that while jet lag cannot be avoided entirely, there are methods to mitigate its effects. Those ways include:

  • Alcohol intake reduction and consumption of light meals.

  • Take short naps (less than 40 minutes) especially when you’re taking medium to long-haul flights.

  • You may use short-acting sleeping pills but in accordance to medical advice and they must not be taken during flights as they may likely cause DVT.

  • Be very rested before your departure.

4. Get Adapted to the New Timezone

When you get to your new destination you should try to get a block of 4 hours sleep at least during the night, it’s called an anchor sleep. It is helpful to re-adjusting the body’s clock to the new timezone.

You should also try to expose yourself to daylight in your new location, sunlight is preferable, as light cycle has proven to be an important factor in adjusting the internal clock of the body.

How to Conquer Post-Vacation Blues and Transition Back to Work

To beat post-vacation troubles, you need to plan out your trip back home afresh and meticulously. Put most of what you have learned above into consideration, like pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight precautions.

Here are other tips that will help you gel back into your old life:

Maintain a Connection Back Home

During your vacation, it’ll be extremely helpful to maintain a level of connection back home and some activities can help you do that. Exercising at the same time you exercise at home will remind your body of homely activities. Other hobbies shouldn’t be entirely dropped as well.

Sleep Anchor

When you’re home, re-acclimitize by returning to your normal sleep routine. Going to bed earlier than normal for the first few days can help.

Also, reduce alcohol and caffeine intake hours before you sleep as hangovers and caffeine can cause havoc to your settling strategies.

Reminisce Your Vacation Pleasures

You had just returned from a pleasurable journey: try as much as possible to remind yourself about that. You can frame your vacation pictures and hang them on places that are most likely to catch your attention in your home.

This move will help reduce bad moods and draw the occasional chuckle when you suddenly see yourself surfing, hiking or bathing in the sun again.


Don’t let the horrors of travels and timezones come in the way of your relaxations. You can get the best out of any trip. Vacations are good for your health; studies have shown that vacations can increase your general health status and boost your productivity.

So apply these cheat sheets, travel in style, enjoy yourself, and live a happier life.

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