As someone who loves to travel, I think planning and anticipating a holiday is one of the best feelings in the world. The actual vacation is amazing too – if there’s one complaint I have, it’s that the days just fly by way too fast. And then comes the post-holiday blues! When you’re stuck in traffic on your way to work the next day, those golden beaches and cute cafes seem like they happened a lifetime ago.
Much as we’d like to, most of us do not have the budget or the vacation days to take off on another adventure right away. So here are a few ways to make that vacay mood last much longer than it usually does, and make it a little easier for you to settle back into your daily routine. And let’s face it – planning the perfect holiday takes time, money and effort. It would be a shame to let all that become irrelevant the minute your flight takes off.
Keep a journal so you remember the fun little things
When you think back on a vacation, you remember the more significant events and activities – but you forget the tiny little details that made your trip so charming. For instance, you probably clearly remember looking up and seeing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time but may have forgotten how great that gelato felt afterward, in the heat of the day. Likewise, you may think often about that great restaurant you ate at, but not remember the street musician who was playing such beautiful tunes right outside.
Maintaining a travel diary or a journal will help you remember these little details. When on a holiday, take a few minutes at the end of each day, and jot down everything you remember – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the insignificant but interesting things that you noticed. Not only will they make you smile when you read them later, but they’ll also make your holiday memories that much richer.
Learn a local recipe that you can make at home
Experiencing local cuisine is one of the most enjoyable things about visiting a new place. A lot of foodies I know actually plan their trips around local eateries and delicious seasonal fare. After a delightful few days of enjoying exciting new delicacies, it can feel quite underwhelming to go back to your usual routine of meal prep, packed lunches and greasy takeout. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Pick a recipe that you would love to recreate at home and master it while there. Sign up for cooking classes where they show you the authentic way to prepare the dish, or if you know any local foodies there, ask them to give you some pointers. It is best to avoid anything that’s super complicated and requires years of practice to perfect or something that calls for rare ingredients that you don’t easily get back at home. Simple but delicious is the way to go. When you’re going through the worst of the post-holiday blues, a spicy bowl of Gado-Gado or a delicious serving of mango sticky rice can make the world of a difference!
Go for unusual souvenirs
When we are shopping for souvenirs, most of us pick up fridge magnets, random trinkets or maybe a cheesy t-shirt. But what if our souvenirs could be a little more meaningful?
One great way to do this is to go by your interests and hobbies. So if you love reading, make it a point to head to at least one bookshop when on vacation. Buy a book (preferably one set in that city) and inscribe the date and place on the first page. It’ll be a souvenir you know you’ll cherish forever, and each time you pick up that book, you’ll be instantly transported to the place you so loved visiting.
You can do this with anything that holds a special place in your life. Pick up a piece of art from each new place you visit, or a collectible record of local tunes. An embroidered stole or a traditional piece of jewelry is a fantastic upgrade on those touristy tees. Scents are powerful memory triggers too – a bottle of perfume or a scented candle can help you revisit your holiday more effectively than you realize.
Hope these tips see you through until your next vacation!