You planned what to do before your trip – how to tell the kids, what to pack, book the flight, or chart the roadmap course. You definitely planned what to do during your trip – where to stay, what to visit, where and what to eat. Did you plan what to do after the trip? After vacationing at the happiest place on earth, it is hard to come back to reality when your vacation is finished. To make your return home a little less “blue”, you may want to organize a plan for your return home from your trip.
1) Plan time with friends: Before you leave for vacation, make plans within the first week or two of your return with someone fun. That’s what friends are for – to lift your spirits. Our kids usually miss their friends by the time we get back, so we invite a whole family over. If you know someone else who is planning a trip to Disney, even better. You can share all of your tips while they are still fresh in your mind.
2) Frame the souvenir: Did you pick up any certificates or autographs while in the park? Frame it with a photo of the event happening. My son trained as a Jedi and fought Darth Vader. Now he has the certificate and photo to prove it.
3) Clean: Clean your house before you leave. I think I heard a simultaneous groan from everyone who read this tip, but I got this tip from my Mom, so it must be good motherly advice. I know cleaning is the last thing you want to do while you are packing and trying to get to bed early so you can have a fresh start on departure day. You do not need to clean the day before you leave, but maybe within the week before you leave. As my Mom always says, it feels so much nicer to come home to a clean house rather than a messy one.
4) Listen to Music from the Parks: Listen to music from attractions at the parks. You can close your eyes and almost image you are there riding the Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney sells music from both Disneyland and Disney World resorts. Although some songs overlap both albums. You may find more about these albums at New Official Music Albums Releasing at Disney Parks
5) Keep Walking: How many miles did you walk while you were at Disneyland or Disney World? Without even knowing it, you started a training program. Keep it up. As an added bonus, walking can lift your mood.
6) Spread Good Fortune: Give your time or a donation to a charity. More specifically, make a gift to Give Kids the World (GKTW). GKTW is a non-profit organization that gives children with life-threatening illnesses (and their families) a cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions. GKTW is highly ranked on Charity Navigator, siting it as a highly reputable charity. They also accept volunteers to assist them in achieving their goals.
7) Write about it: On the return trip, write about your favorite moments of the trip. Have the kids create a top ten list of their favorite moments. If they are not old enough to write, they can draw pictures of their favorite moments.
8) Scrapbook it: Did you get any free souvenirs, like maps, special event pamphlets, confetti, celebration pins, stickers, or Kidcot crafts? If they are flat, you can arrange them onto a placemat sized paper and have them laminated. This may not match your fine china, but it goes pretty well under a bowl of cereal. For bulkier items, purchase a shadow box at a craft store and arrange the items inside for display.
9) Purchase a souvenir to use every day:
While at Disney, pick up something that you can use every day once you return home. Each night my kids brush their teeth with their plastic Disney cups from the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop. When I need a break at work, I love glancing down at my Disney mug and thinking about my favorite moments of our trip. For more ideas, please read Incorporating Disney into Everyday Life by Angela Dahlgren, fellow blogger.
10) Postcards: Send postcards to friends, family, and yourself! Sometimes I like to see who gets home first – the postcard or me. Postage is available at the parks in various gift shops, but only at certain locations, so it may be easiest to take stamps with you. In the age of email and Facebook messages, it is a delight to receive handwritten correspondence in the “snail mail”.