TRAVEL
10/18/2013 12:58 pm ET

12 Reasons You Definitely Need A Buffer Day After Vacation

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When we jump from blissful vacation mode into real-world mode too abruptly, stress often reaches a higher peak than before we left. All too often, that fresh-out-of-the-sand buzz evaporates into a panicked flurry while we hustle to catch up on a week's worth of chores.

Curb the mental chaos and cut your vacation by just 24 hours (or even 12!) in order to win a buffer day. Yeah you're home a wee bit earlier, but you'll have precious time to recover from your trek and catch up on abandoned responsibilities before another week hits you full-force.

Here's your to-do list for a buffer day that will make you feel oh-so relaxed come Monday.

1. Sort through both your email inbox and your real-life mail inbox

2. Upload (and edit, and post, and tag) your vacation pictures

3. Go grocery shopping for the week

4. Call your friends and/or family to catch up

5. Journal or blog about your recent adventure

6. Do your laundry

7. Watch the TV shows you missed so you don't panic at plot holes this week

8. Recover from jet lag with plenty of naps

9. Make one-hour prints of your vacation photos to keep at your desk

10. Take your dog for the walks he skipped

11. Pay your house sitter and collect their spare key

12. Completely unpack your suitcase, down to the tiny toiletries that usually linger for months

Good work-- you are now ready for real, post-vacation life!

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