Mindfulness, Minimalism

6 Ways to Bring Your Vacation Home with You

How great do we feel after we’ve spent a few days on vacation? If you’re like me, probably pretty dang good. Vacations allow us to slow down, be intentional, live through our values, relax, and just ENJOY ourselves doing whatever the heck we want to do.


Personally, I’ve come back from vacation with a really clear head. I’ve been able to make big decisions that I was having trouble making before. I feel refreshed, and ready to take on anything!


Sound familiar?


This is what I like to call ‘vacation mode’, or ‘vacation mindset’.


What if I told you that it was possible to bring your vacation mindset with you as you start going back to your normal routine? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?


Read on.



Ok. I realize that being on vacation means not working (hopefully), not having to keep up with the house, maybe no cleaning, etc. It means relaxing, enjoying yourself, and doing whatever you want to do! And obviously, it isn’t realistic to stop doing those things, or, well, live your life or take care of obligations. But I do think there are things you can do to encourage MORE of a vacation mindset at home, and that is what this post is about.


I also realize that not everyone has the means to take lavish vacations. The great thing is that you don’t have to! Whether you’re gone for a night, a weekend, or a week, these tips can apply. Whether you’re camping, staying at a motel, or in a fancy condo, these tips can apply! I promise, Mr. Blographer and I can even get some of these benefits just by taking a day trip.


In order to accomplish this, I’m breaking this down by listing WHY we easily slip into the vacation mindset/mode while on vacation and then list how you can bring it home with you.




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Clutter is at a minimum

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that wherever you are going on vacation probably has limited clutter. Yes? Or at least, not YOUR clutter. There aren’t piles of paper lying around. You aren’t tripping over toys, your partner’s clothes/shoes, etc. You aren’t feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious by all the laundry, dishes, and tidying you have to do.


And let’s talk about your packing situation. Chances are, you brought only your favorite items (clothes, shoes, activities, etc) with. Because why would you bring anything else?


If you think about it, you’re spending your vacation time surrounded by very little clutter, and the things you are being surrounded by (that are yours) are all things that you love, thus reducing a whole bunch of mental clutter.


How to bring that mindset home

  • Get rid of clutter!
  •  Only keep things you love!


Easier said than done, I know; I have experience in this. My family and I decluttered and donated over 100 large boxes of stuff (and at the time I’m writing this post, there are 10-12 additional large boxes waiting to go to a garage sale). Additionally, we sold countless more. It has made such a difference in our mindset, time spent cleaning (hint – it’s a lot less), organizing, and has helped reduce stress and anxiety. That all being said, I’m not going to lie to you, it has been a journey. But one well worth it.


I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about decluttering in this post because I have a ton of other resources where I do. You can find those below:




Spending time with family, friends, and/or yourself!

When you’re on vacation, chances are SUPER good (being sarcastic here) that you’re spending lots of quality time with friends, family and/or yourself. Research has shown that spending time with those we love is a key component to living a happy life.


When we’re at home, commitments, work, school, chores, etc fill our time. We seem to have less time to spend with our loved ones, and often, we have to be really intentional about it.


How to bring that mindset home

  • Declutter the calendar: This will look different for everyone. Start with one or two activities or commitments that don’t bring you joy. Know that this may involve saying ‘no’, which can be really challenging! If you need help saying ‘no’ to something, check out my post on that here. Once that time frees up, don’t be tempted to fill it back up with something else, unless that something else is family/friend time!
  • Schedule family/friend/me time on the calendar: My family and I used to literally schedule family/friend time on our calendar, and we would treat it like any other commitment (you can use this tip for scheduling ‘me time’ as well). Since then, it has become easier for us to say no to what goes on the calendar in the first place, and now we find ourselves with more time for each other and doing the things we love to do together.



Spending time being active/outside/doing things you love and want to do

When you’re on vacation, I’m guessing you are doing a number of things. You are active (either through outdoor activities or just a lot of walking while sightseeing, touring, etc), you are spending a lot of time outside, and you are doing things that make you happy.


We all know that being active is good for our mental and physical health. So is being outside. And doing things that make you happy and that you want to do…well, that’s just a cherry on top of the happiness scale.


Like I said at the beginning of the post, I realize that when you’re at home you have commitments you need to be involved in (looking at you, work). But there are still some things you can do…


How to bring that mindset home

  • Be more intentional about bringing in activity to your life (ex. Going on a walk in the morning or evening, eating dinner outside)
  • Be more intentional about being in nature: go on a walk or sit outside on your work break
  • Be more intentional about doing things you love: say no to things that aren’t necessary and don’t bring you joy, in order to free up time to do the things you love




Limit electronics/screen time

Constant screen time is not good for us. It has shortened our attention spans, causes multiple disruptions throughout our day (did you know it takes on average 25 minutes for us to get back on track after an interruption?), and causes a dopamine addiction in our brains, keeping us coming back for more.  While it is great to limit ourselves on vacation, it is important to do so in our everyday lives as well.


If you’re lucky (did I just say that?) the internet connection at your vacation spot will be spotty and/or non-existent.


Or, maybe you’re just ready for a break from the constant connection, so you set your own time limits or even better, shut everything down altogether. And don’t forget about watching TV and movies!


How to bring that mindset home

  • Detox from social media – check out the link to find out how
  • Limit news
  • Set time limits at home for electronic use.
  • Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning, and don’t keep yourself up scrolling through feeds at night
  • Pick up that book/magazine you’ve been wanting to read



Eat good food

When you’re on vacation, I’m guessing at some point you indulge in good food. Whether you’re eating at restaurants, eating local delicacies, cooking food on a campfire, or at a vacation condo, good food is not far away. You’re also probably being more mindful and enjoying that food more because you have the time to savor your meal. AKA – not shoving food in your face while rushing out the door trying to get somewhere. AND, I’m going to guess you’re enjoying food with others (unless you’re taking a solo trip), which has been shown to increase happiness, amongst many other benefits.


How to bring that mindset home

  • Make sure you are experiencing a slow, delicious meal at least a few times a week. When you’re eating that meal, take some time to really savor each bite. Notice the flavors and textures in the food.
  • If you’re eating a lot of convenience foods (no judgment!), try and set a goal to make 1-2 additional meals than you are now a week to mimic the good, whole food you eat on vacation.
  •  Eat foods that your area is known for like someone visiting would do
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season (if possible)
  • Eat a handful of meals each week with family and friends: so many other cultures have worked this into their routines, and they are living longer for it (if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the book: The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People



Being present

When you’re on vacation, you’re often (or at least this is the case for me) living in the present moment more often than when you are at home. I find myself so captivated by my surroundings, things I’m learning about, and not having so many commitments to worry about, that it’s a lot easier to focus on what is right in front of me. Back at home (even with normal routine commitments), you still can practice living in the moment which will greatly contribute to reduced mental clutter.


How to bring this mindset home

  • Practice mindfulness (and to learn how to do that you’re in the right place! The best place to start is with my FREE 7-day mindfulness course).
  • Simply enjoy where you are (think of 5-10 things that you love where you are to help focus)
  • Focus on the activity you are doing at that very moment.
  • Take time to relax
  • Engage in fun hobbies
  • Explore new to you areas in your city/town




Being on vacation is all about slowing down and living intentionally. It can be hard to come back to our face-paced life and extend those amazing feelings of being on vacation, but it is possible.


What are your favorite ways to bring the vacation mindset home?



Looking to add a little more mindfulness to your life? Check out my FREE 7-Day Mindfulness E-Course and learn how! This course is packed with mindfulness tips, tricks, and resources for you to use and learn!

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Kate Findley
4 years ago

Wow, what a great post! When returning home from a vacation, I’m always initially happy to return to my routine and, believe it or not, get back to work, but then after a few days, I start to feel a little depressed and I was never sure why. Now I realize the fact that I spend hours each day in front of a screen and don’t socialize as much as I used to probably has a lot to do with it. Will definitely be implementing your advice. And cool tip about the clutter, I never would have thought of it!

4 years ago

I can’t wait to go on vacation to be able to try this… I have to be patient for a couple of months. But no reason I can’t prep for vacation this way. 🙂

4 years ago

Lovely post.
I really need to work on all of these thing – except the food part – got that down haha.

Jean Neuhart
4 years ago

Great post. Not only are you saying what to do, you’re also giving examples on how to do it. The phrase “be more intentional” really jumped out to me. Giving thought to doing the things you want to do can help to make the time to actually doing it. Thanks for sharing!