We’re at the tail end of summer. Many of us are looking to squeeze in…
We can get so caught up in planning a vacation, but naturally forget or have little time for the coming home. If I have time (and sometimes that’s a BIG IF), I like to buy some things for my fridge after a long exhausting journey home. Nothing crazy, just enough for one or two meals. No one likes to come home after 10 hours of being in transit just to turn around and buy milk.
Some of my favorites items for an easy return from vacation.
Fresh unopened Milk, yogurt and other dairy products.
Unopened dairy products like eggs and yogurt have a super long life—especially the organic stuff! I don’t know why, I’m not a scientist. Here’s where I must give a big shout out to Parmalat, or whatever shelf stable milk you can find for cereal or morning coffee. This is the stuff that can be stored without refrigeration until it’s opened.
Another item that has a surprisingly long shelf life! After nights spent in a hotel, how great does a homemade hot breakfast sound? If you have sad looking vegetables before you head out of town (like peppers and onions), chop them up and freeze them. You can easily sautee them in a little olive oil or butter and add to your eggs. You can even freeze greens, like spinach or kale. Toss them in a Ziplock and stick them in the freezer. It’s a good way to get veggies into your body after a series of airport McMeals.
Long lasting fruit.
Apples: good. Citrus fruit: good. Bananas and berries: bad.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy bread before I leave, but if I have half a loaf, I will stash it in the freezer prior to leaving. Break it out for toast, or—better yet—French toast!
Coffee and Tea
My whole family knows if mom doesn’t have a proper cup of tea with milk in the morning, no one is happy until she does. And I want that tea (or coffee) in my own house, wearing pjs and not worrying about my neighbors seeing my bedhead as I dash down the street to my local coffee shop.
There is a time and a place for frozen dinners, and returning from travel is one of them. A frozen pizza, enchiladas, veggies, chicken nuggets—they don’t sound too exciting before you leave, but you’ll hug yourself for being so thoughtful on your return.
Boxes of macaroni & cheese.
Need I say more? Oh and did you know you can use plain yogurt instead of milk in boxed mac and cheese? It is seriously delicious.
Other staple pantry items.
Cereal, favorite crackers, oatmeal, granola, peanut butter, marinara sauce, dried pasta.
Other simple tasks that make your return easier:
Clean Out the Fridge
Throw the takeout containers away. Get rid of questionable leftovers. Freeze cheeses, meats or veggies that area salvageable and can be used at a later date. Chop fruit and freeze for smoothies. Coming home to a science project is no one’s idea of a good time.
Take Out the Garbage/Recycling/Run the Dishwasher
Unless you like funky garbage smell!
Unplug Kitchen Appliances/Bathroom Stuff
If you go through the ritual of unplugging everything, there will be no question as to whether or not you left the coffeemaker or your hair straightener on.
Put New Sheets on the Bed & Fresh Towels in the Bathroom
After a long day of travel, climbing into a bed with fresh sheets is heavenly. Same goes with clean towels already read to go in the bathroom.
Check the Washer and Dryer
Raise your hand if you’ve come home to mildew-y clothes you forgot in the washing machine! It’s an easy mistake to make, and so so so yucky to discover.
Do you plan ahead for your return from vacation? What do you do before you leave?