Last week’s trip back to San Francisco was my first time traveling since the move to New York – after several months of back-to-back-to-back trips, it felt a little strange to be in one place for a solid two week stretch! As I was prepping and packing to get ready for the trip I realized there are a few things you can do at home before traveling that make coming home so much easier. We’re all too often focused on packing, final planning and getting to the airport that we forget to spend a little time prepping our homes, which can make coming home such a bummer. A few of the things I always do before traveling:
- Tidy up the apartment: There’s basically nothing worse than coming home to a messy apartment and I’ve found that even spending 15 minutes on a quick tidy up can go a really long way. Set a timer and focus on a few key things: catching up on laundry, taking out the trash + recycling, running and emptying the dishwasher, and sweeping/vacuuming your space. It doesn’t have to be perfectly sparkling clean, but you should tackle any small messes and excess clutter so you can return to a tidy home after your trip and have one less thing to stress about.
- Wash bedding and make bed: For some reason I can never quite get into the groove of making my bed every day but I’ve been making more of an effort to wash my bedding and make my bed before leaving for a trip so I can settle right in when I get home, especially if I have a really long flight or I’m flying on a redeye, when I’m likely to be missing my bed big time.
- Prep your pet’s go bag: I have a few options for Callie when I travel, whether she’s staying with a Rover petsitter, going back to New Jersey with my family, or I have a friend staying at my apartment with her, so I’ve created a simple checklist to cover off on every time I’m prepping for a trip to make sure she’s got everything she needs while she’s away. Pulling together a basic ‘go bag’ for your pet can be super helpful to make sure nothing is forgotten – food + water bowls, an extra leash, a few favorite toys and at least 2 days of extra food in case your trip is unexpectedly extended.
- Do a fridge purge: After once coming home from a long trip to a fridge full of stinky, expired food, I’ve made it a habit to do a quick scan of my fridge before leaving for any trip so I can throw away anything that’s on the verge of expiring or won’t be fresh by the time I return. On the flip side of this, I also swear by placing an Instacart order with a few go to favorites (milk, snacks, easy to prepare meal options) when I’m flying home so I don’t have to worry about a grocery run right when I get home.
Do you have any pre-travel rituals?