Post-vacation blues: How I handle the doldrums after a holiday
Ask any traveler: Post-trip blues are a real thing. Also considered (by me) as "post-holiday depression" or "PHD", this condition is one that I have been grappling with since my return from my most recent trip in early June. I typically stay put during the summer to avoid heightened travel costs and crowds that seems to disperse across Europe, particularly the in south where clusters of tourists tend to drown out the magic and charm normally harbored by millennia-old sites.
Aside from saving money and sidestepping horde-induced headaches, relying on staycations during the summer also helps me evade any worry about the heat that comes with summer travel as I opt for the cooler, cheaper, and less-busy shoulder seasons for my voyages to neighboring countries.
But even though I line up my trips come spring and autumn and am pretty satisfied with the frequency of those laid plans, I still fall victim to the occasional PHD, the symptoms of which can include dread about returning to work, sadness that the adventure is over, and a pang of hopelessness and wonder over when the next fanciful flight will take place. But luckily, there is a cure. In fact, there are a few from which to choose once you have diagnosed yourself with this bummed-out state of being. Here are a few ways that I tackle the post-trip blues.
Schedule a staycation.
Pick the next free weekend and research what there is to do and see in your town (or a nearby town) that you have yet to experience. If you've seen and done everything, consider geocaching, a virtual scavenger hunt through the area that you know so well.
Revel in your recent adventure.
Now that you're back home, set aside some time to organize photos, post them to social media, fill in your trip journal stories from the vacation, or take up any other hobby that involves preserving your travel memories. Such collections also serve as inspiration for your next getaway.
Plan your next trip.
What better way to get over ending an amazing vacation than to start planning the next one? I garner inspiration from other travel bloggers, articles, and sometimes just a good old-fashioned gander at the map of Europe that hangs on my wall at eye level. I ask myself, where haven't I been? What looks intriguing? What is a town or city that doesn't see many visitors but has a lot to offer? I am fortunate to be in Europe where a jaunt to a quiet town rife with cathedrals and views doesn't require a lot of planning or travel time. But sometimes all you need is something to look forward to, and a train trip an hour or two out of the city can be enough to pique my cultural curiosity for the time being.
Do you ever get the post-trip blues? How do you deal with them? Leave your suggestions in the comments!