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12 things you have to do when you get back from a trip

The worst thing about coming back from a trip is being back in England, am I right? I jest (kind of). That ‘back home’ feeling can turn you into a right misery: not being able to pop to the beach, all that delicious food, the sunshine. But who says being back home means not having fun? I like to make my holidays last as long as possible, and if that means making them run into real life, so be it. Here are my top 12 things you have to do as soon as you get back from a trip.

1 / Cook the local food

I always like to try the local food wherever I go and usually end up craving it when I get back. After a trip to Barcelona I wanted to eat patatas bravas for every meal, soon after Sri Lanka I craved hoppers for weeks, and post-Lisbon it was all about the Pastéis de Nata. The first thing you can do to feel like you’re back on holiday is find or make your favourite food from the trip.

2 / Back up your photos and edit them

I’m always worried I’ll get home and realise I didn’t lock my memory card or managed to delete all the photos off my camera, so as soon as I get back I make sure to back everything up on my hard drive. If you make it a task as soon as you’re back, you won’t pick up your camera a few months later and have to check if you’ve saved all your photos. It helps avoid mistakenly deleting everything too.

3 / Take time to get back into a work routine

The worst thing to do is rush yourself to get straight back into the swing of things. It’ll just make you feel worse. Take your time and you’ll feel better for it. The more work stuff you can get sorted before you go away, the better. But sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way. So if you come back to a heap of emails and tasks, pace yourself and remember that if it was super important, it would have been fixed while you were sunning your buns on the beach.

duvet day | this city life

4 / Practice self-care – have a duvet day

It sounds really lazy, but I like having a couple of days to chill after a break. It’s probably because I like to keep busy on holiday, which seems really backwards! It’s well worth your time having a duvet day to recover from the stress (ha!) of coming back down to earth. Keep your jammies on, snuggle under the duvet with a cuppa and watch some of your favourite films. Perfect recovery plan.

5 / Cull your wardrobe

Here’s a little secret – I love doing the washing when we get back from a trip. Like, absolutely love it. A freshly washed and ironed holiday wardrobe is just the best thing! Ok, I’m just weird, but a really great tip for spring cleaning your wardrobe is to do it when you’re putting away your summer holiday clothes. All the bikinis and sun dresses that you didn’t take away with you – do you really need them? And anything that you took with you but didn’t wear, chuck that in the charity bag too.

6 / Banish negativity

You’ve had your few weeks of happiness in the sunshine and now you’re back to the daily grind. But that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable too. The first few days back in the real world can be a great time to continue the good feeling of your holiday with a positive mental attitude. Being back isn’t the worst thing in the world; it’s truly what you make of it. If you start your first week back telling yourself it’ll be fine, that could just be true.

7 / Keep moisturising and top up your tan

We pale girls would give anything to make our holiday tans last a bit longer. Without damaging our skin, keeping it moisturised is the next best thing. The top layer of your skin sheds around every two weeks, so if you moisturise twice a day it should help keep that healthy glow going. Don’t forget to hydrate inside either – upping your water intake helps keep cells hydrated and so less flaky.

8 / Learn the language

Just because you’ve come back from a destination doesn’t mean it’s too late to learn the language. If you really loved your time in Barcelona, you could take up Spanish lessons and immerse yourself back in to the culture. It might help keep that holiday spirit up!

9 / Book in for a manicure

You don’t have to ban the treats once you’re back from a trip either. It’s a good idea to pamper yourself and have something to look forward to, so booking in for a mani pedi could just help perk your weeks up. If you’ve still got cash to splash, a spa day could be just the thing you need to ease yourself back into real life – take it gently now!

currency | this city life

10 / Change back that currency (or keep it for later)

A few times I’ve come back from holiday and really needed some change to buy milk or snacks, but all I’ve got are Euros or Dollars! Changing your currency back for 0% commission at the airport could be a clever move after a late night flight. It was money you’d be spending on holiday anyway, so if you happen to waste it on Pringles and Capri Sun then so be it. On a trip to Italy I also found €30 in my suitcase, left over from a Paris city break – lucky or what!

11 / Do your favourite thing from the trip

If you liked lying on a sun lounger reading a book, check yourself into a spa for the day and do just that by the pool. Or if you liked tasting the local delicacy, find a restaurant that serves that food or try making it yourself. You could even find documentaries based in the place you’ve just returned from, or listen to the music you heard while over there.

12 / Plan your next holiday

There’s nothing better to get over the last holiday than booking the next one! So, where to next?

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Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).