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How to plan a home visit without going crazy

Published On January 12, 2014 | By Mark | Travel

When you’ve been away from home for a considerable length of time, and I’m talking a year or so here, planning a visit home can be full of pitfalls. Overbooking yourself, trying to cram too much in, not being able to be in two places at once – these are all common mistakes people make when trying to visit everyone in the space of a few days, whilst also catching up on general errands too.

So, how can you manage that home visit and make it successful, without upsetting all your extended family and exhausting yourself beyond belief?

It can be done.

Be careful what you agree to

When you first tell people that you’re going to be heading home, don’t be surprised if everyone suddenly becomes your best friend and wants to go out for a meal/a night on the town/meet for coffee/go for a drink. This is called novelty. Of course, you want to catch up with your close friends and family, and these are the ones you should focus on, so when you’re chatting on Skype or replying to random messages on Facebook in the weeks leading up to your visit, be careful what you say ‘yes’ to!

Prioritise

As before, make sure you focus your time and attention on those who truly matter. Family should always come first, and close friends are practically family so it goes without saying that your time should be spent divided between these two groups.

Don’t cram too much into a short space of time

You need to sleep too! Travel will take it out of you, so don’t plan too much for the first couple of days, and allow yourself some chill out time, with family for instance, before you head off gallivanting. It really is a case of planning.

Allow yourself some ‘me’ time

Going home isn’t all about seeing people, it’s also about spending time in the place you call your real home, so allow yourself a bit of reflection time, and also some time to run any errands you might need to do, such as renewing your driving licence, going to the bank etc.

Don’t make your trip too short

You will be busy during your visit home, so it’s always worth giving yourself a little longer, if that is possible. A week might not be enough, even though you may get travelling itchy feet again, so plan in a bit of extra time if you can, just so you’re not shattered when you head off again, and you’ve managed to see and do everything you wanted to during your visit home.

Be firm!

Learn the word ‘no’! If Great Aunt Nelly wants you to go to dinner, but you’re desperate to go to a concert with your friend, or you literally just don’t want to go, just say ‘no’!

Gather people in one place

If you find yourself being spread too thin, you popular thing you, then try and get several people in one place. This is best achieved when you’re trying to see lots of people at once, who you wouldn’t generally want to see one on one. A good suggestion is a meal in a pub or restaurant where you can catch up with several people at once. Bird and several stones springs to mind – genius!

photo credit: szeke via photopin cc

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