Coming Home: Post-Trip Tips
Your business or vacation trip is over and now you’re on your way back home again.
To make your real-world re-entry a little easier, we enlisted the help of the country’s busiest travelers – business and frequent flyers:
Before You Return Home
Having a friend or relative picking you up at the airport? Verify arrangements and provide them with the airline name and flight number so they can track the flight and see if it’s delayed or on time.
Driving home? Check the weather conditions so you know what to expect. Provide a family or friend with your itinerary and ETA—just in case.
Returning from overseas? Consider changing your remaining currency back to U.S. dollars at the airport. The rates may not be best but it’s better than rushing to a bank on Monday morning.
If you’re traveling on select American Airlines overseas flights, you can participate in UNICEF’s Change for Good program.
Have a few unused travelers checks left? You can save these for the next trip or visit your bank or place of previous purchase to exchange them for cash.
Once at Home
Let family and friends know you’ve arrived home safely.
WHN Expert TIP – Keep a Low Profile: “Maintain a low profile. Jumping back into a full social calendar can be just as jarring to your system as a full work schedule.” Kristi Jutras, Expedia.com
Readjust your HVAC and water tank settings if needed.
Check in with your house sitter or neighbor who kept an eye on your house. Ask if there were any problems or anything you should be aware of so you can make adjustments before your next trip.
Did you use a pet-sitter or board your pet? Ask how the pet behaved, and if there were any unusual behaviors or signs of stress or illness.
Give your home or apartment a quick run-through. Check your plants, your security system and your windows and doors. Verify that no items are missing or damaged.
Inspect your garage and any outbuildings to make sure everything is safe, secure and in good shape. Also, check your property for any damage to your landscaping or trees.
Unpack your luggage and verify that everything you took has returned with you. Refer to your Travel-Packing Checklist as you unpack. Missing items? Contact your hotel, /rental car or airline to try to find it.
Gather all your receipts, vouchers and other important documents from your trip. If you used more than one credit card, sort your receipts now to make it easier to match with your statements. You may want to keep an eye on your credit card accounts online to make sure no unexpected charges appear.
If you used your passport, file it away now so you know where it is when you need it again.
Business expenses? Turn them as soon as you go back to work to start the reimbursement process.
Did you split expenses with a friend or relative? Pay back your share or provide a copy of shared expenses for reimbursement.
Review your mail to make sure any outstanding bills are paid and checks deposited.
If needed, restart your newspaper delivery and any other services. Go to USPS Hold Mail Service to cancel your Hold Mail request.
Make a grocery store run to pick up essential items. The first week back home will be stressful enough. Having the necessities in your refrigerator and pantry will make life easier.
WHN Reader TIP – Keep the Vacation-Spirit Alive: “Plan a few fun activities to look forward to throughout the week, get your photos developed and bring a few to look at while you’re working. Keep the vacation-spirit alive!” Lainie, NY, NY, who just returned from her Grand Cayman trip
Heading Back to Work
Before you go into the office, check in with a coworker to catch up on all the office gossip and project progress. That way you won’t be blindsided with a major catastrophe.
WHN Staff TIP – In the Know: Work in an information-heavy workplace? Tune in to the news or breeze through the major news sites online. This’ll get you caught up on all the pop culture, sports news, politics and international news.
If possible, deal with all your email and voicemail before you head into the office. Then you can spend that extra time getting caught up on the work and the big pile that’s suddenly appeared in your inbox on your desk. If you have to do it at work, prioritize the email, messages, mail and paperwork into two categories: urgent and not urgent.
WHN Reader TIP – Clear Schedule Space: “One thing I usually try to do is keep my schedule empty for a day after returning-which gives me a chance to catch up on mail and messages, as well as the ability to say yes if there’s an offer to bump. It also makes things so much calmer.” Shel H., Hadley, MA
Photo Credit: PhotoMIX-Company