Returning home from a family vacation can be bittersweet, but establishing post-vacation traditions can help keep the travel memories alive and foster ongoing connections with the places you visited.
A post-vacation tradition is a routine or activity you and your family engage in after returning home from a trip to make the return more enjoyable. Here are some creative ideas for your family:
Once you're back home, plan a special dinner inspired by your vacation. If you discovered a new dish or dessert that everyone loved, try to recreate it at home. For example, if you vacationed in Italy, you might prepare a homemade pizza and pasta meal. This fun family activity helps you relive the experience and provides a chance to talk about your favorite memories from the trip—bonus points for finding a streaming music station that plays music themed to the dinner.
Create a memory jar where everyone writes down their five favorite memories from the trip and places them in it. Then a week or so later, during a special post-vacation family gathering, pull out the jar and read the memories.
You could also create a tradition where you read the previous year's memories before the following year's vacation and have everyone write down the 3 to 5 things they are excited about for the new holiday.
Plan a family movie night and choose a film that relates to the place you visited or mirrors some aspects of your trip. For instance, if you went on a wildlife safari, you could watch a nature documentary or a movie like "The Lion King."
PHOTO SHOWCASING EVENING
Organize a night where you display the best pictures from your trip. You can project them on a screen or television. Have everyone pick their favorite photos and stories from the vacation. Then everyone shares with the group what they loved most about the trip.
Another fun activity can be turning this into a Photo Album (digital or printed), Trip Journal, Video Recap, or Scrapbook you create after each vacation.
MAP YOUR TRIP
Using a large map (either of your country or the world), mark the places you visited after each trip. This creates a fun visual reminder of your journeys and can serve as inspiration for future trips. You can even frame it to display in your house.
Create crafts related to your trip. For instance, if you went to the beach, you could make a shell collage. If you visited a national park, you could paint a picture of the landscape. Or make a shadow box of souvenirs everyone collected on your vacation.
VACATION PLAYLIST PARTY
Create a playlist of songs that remind you of your trip, whether tunes you heard on the trip or songs that capture the overall vibe. Combine the playlist with any activities above to make it a party.
The idea behind a post-vacation tradition is to create something your family will look forward to after every trip. Try one or a combination of them to keep your travel memories alive.