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Take a buffer day after your next vacation Final-2022

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Take a buffer day after your next vacation

The way I traveled in my 30s was very different from the way I traveled in my 20s.

Having lived in Phoenix right out of college, I was very familiar with the red-eye flight back to Ohio, often sitting down on a Sunday and going straight to work Monday morning without even stopping at my apartment.

Taking these flights accomplished two very important things at the time – getting the cheapest flight possible and making time for the last minute of travel.

This weekend warrior-style trip didn’t survive my 20s. I became exhausted and didn’t have enough time to recover between work and travel. When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and travel stopped, I found myself spending most of my time alone, which made me see my worth. When travel resumes, I vow to treat it differently.

Enter buffer days. Right now, I’m prioritizing an extra day off between when I get home from my vacation in Washington and when I get back to work. Because let’s face it: While traveling is a pleasure (and a luxury), it can be exhausting.

I use the day to unpack, do laundry, run errands and shower. Then, I use the rest of the time to recover. Even on a relaxing vacation, being out of your comfort zone for a few days and being around so many people can be exhausting  at least for me.

I use buffer days to look ahead to next week and enjoy my space again. Think of it like a mini vacation at the end of your vacation.

Sometimes buffer days are crucial: after a brisk bachelor party weekend with lots of new friends and a jaunt on a long-haul flight to the West Coast. Sometimes I regret not taking one: After a tiring visit with the family or a weekend beach trip, it takes a 10-hour drive when it should have taken 5.

Of course, adding a buffer day to your travels may not always be feasible, but you’ll thank yourself for it as you re-enter a busy work week, especially after your travels across multiple time zones.

As I get older, my outlook on getting the most out of travel looks a little different – like shortening a day trip just to have this rest day. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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