This past week our family flew from Athens to Budapest. It’s not a long flight, and the time difference is only an hour, so I wasn’t anticipating being so exhausted the day after. My husband said that I should definitely blog about adding a day at the beginning and end of any trip to recuperate. Good idea honey :)!
There are several things that contribute to what I like to call “The Travel Syndrome.” This basically means that traveling can wear you out, even if it’s a day trip. The first thing that creates this exhaustion is cleaning. My husband and I always clean our house before we leave. Why would we do such a thing? Trust me, you are NOT going to feel like doing a sink of dishes or scrubbing the toilet right when you get home. Plus it is nice that the house is clean, and we won’t have to worry about it for a whole week (there are plenty of other things to do like unpacking and laundry). The second thing that adds to the pile is packing. I know, I owe you a blog on how to pack. I promise it’s coming sometime this month. Packing is a chore no matter what, but when you have small children, it means making extra time to concentrate on what you need to bring, pick a time to pack when your little one won’t unpack everything as you pack it, and thinking about what each person needs for the trip. So basically, it’s normal packing, with a few American Gladiator challenges thrown in (the original 1980’s Gladiators, NOT the recent TV flop). And finally, carrying baggage plus kids up and down and all over as you travel adds the soreness factor that sets in nicely the next day. Add all of these things together and you have some seriously pooped parents!
We are really thankful that we had a whole day to chill, unpack, and take a nap, because tomorrow Travis is going to start working (he will be working full time while we are here for a month).
Now think about this whole situation and factor in jet lag! Yikes! I have done this many times, and I have to say that it DOES get easier. I barely get jet lag anymore, although the kids still do, so that means I have to be up with them at 3am in the new time zone. But, traveling is still worth it to me.
So here’s what you do: Plan an extra day upon arriving at your destination for rest, as well as at the end of your trip once you’ve arrived home. Also keep some tylenol or ibuprofen handy. You will really appreciate it when you get back into the swing of things, and you are fully functional instead of a zombie.