You've just spent days upon days trekking through the jungles of Thailand, café hopping in quaint French villages, meeting crazy travelers like you in exclusive Tokyo nightclubs... so why are you so sad?
Post-vacation blues: so real, they have their own Wikipedia page. It's an incredibly frustrating condition that your friends are definitely not going to understand: how dare you be bummed out when you just had such a great time abroad?
But that's just it, isn't it? When compared with your Caribbean scuba diving adventures, daily life is a drag, man.
Typical symptoms that you're suffering from post-holiday blues include:
Feeling overly tired and/or restless
An inability to focus
Overt sadness, perhaps without any obvious cause
A longing to be anywhere but home
If you find yourself listless upon returning from your killer trip, chipper up. We've put together this collection of iPhone apps to help you deal with both the symptoms and the root causes of post-travel blues.
Your first step to feeling great wherever you are is taking care of your body. Even if you've been careful not to overdo the piña coladas, the stress of traveling inevitably takes a toll on your general state of health.
Jet Lag Rooster: 7.0/10
Get back to your usual levels of energy, fast. Kick jet lag in the butt with Jet Lag Rooster, a super simple calculator that gives you step-by-step instructions for reseting your body to a different time zone. Tell the app where you're going and what time you're getting there, and it'll quickly crank out suggestions on when to seek and avoid light. Just one tap lets you set reminder alarms, too.
If all the schnitzel you ate in Berlin has you soft around the edges, get yourself back on track with Noom Coach: Weight Loss. It's the easiest nutrition coach we know of, walking you through healthy living each day step-by-step. Logging meals is super fast, and the design of the app couldn't be easier to use.
Funny enough, the best way to have more energy is to demand more work from your body. Don't spend hundreds on a gym membership just because you ate a few too many croissants in Paris; download You Are Your Own Gym and learn how to get in shape using bodyweight exercises in your own home. The 10 week-program of free video workouts is short, sweet, and sweaty.
No matter how much you love your job, heading back into the office after endless poolside cocktails is a challenge. The overflowing email box, the inevitable missed deadlines, trying to play catch-up with your colleagues... it's a barrel of monkeys. You better get focused and organized, fast.
The amount of things that need your urgent attention upon returning from a trip is enough to make anyone claustrophobic. No need to wrap your skull around the complications of Evernote (unless you're that kind of organizational neat freak, anyway) - if you just need to jot down reminders and to-do lists, Simplenote's your minimalist notepad dream come true. Helpfully, it syncs your notes across all your devices, too.
Sometimes all you need to keep yourself on track is a stopwatch. Toggl Time Tracker is just that, decked out with a few goodies like tagging and project labels that help you see where you're putting in your hours. The app syncs your data across devices, of course, and you can even send clients billing timesheets for their particular projects.
Being thrown back into your daily grind can make it seem like all those days away amounted to nothing at all - but you know that's not true, and you have the photos to prove it. Organize and share them to make your trip more real in your memory.
No need to start up a fully-fledged travel blog: the simplicity of tumblr makes it our favorite app for sharing all the photos, videos, and other tidbits you've collected while traveling. The app makes it super easy to post anything you like from wherever you are (you could even do it while on vacation to create a play-by-play log of your adventures as they happen), and of course it syncs with the web version.
Meet the way cooler, modern equivalent of the post-vacation slideshow: Cluster, the private photo sharer. Divide your contacts into specific groups, like Family, High School, Wolf Pack, and so forth. When you upload photos, choose specifically who you'd like to share them with - the sanitized pics of you visiting museums can go to your granny, the wild snaps of you with lipstick on your collar and tequila on your face should be shared just with your closest buddies. You can even collaborate on albums together with friends you made during your trip.
Mild to severe depression can set in post-vacation. Feeling low about your day-to-day is no joke: take your sadness seriously, and use these tools to boost yourself up to normal serotonin levels once more.
Day One Journal: 8.9/10
In contrast to your wildly varied backpacker days, going to work and coming home can seem dreadfully repetitive. Journaling is a great way to appreciate what you're actually doing with your time, and Day One Journal is by far the best iPhone app to do so. Distraction-free wrtiing is easy within a graceful, thoughtful design. Add photos, feelings, and activity notes within each text entry, or keep it as minimalist as you please. Markdown support and cloud syncing across devices.
In contrast to the slow reggae rhythm of the swim-up pool bar, your urban jungle existence can seem terribly rushed. Take a moment to pause with buddhify - mindfulness to go, the best guided meditation app on the market. It takes mere minutes to train your neural connections to relax and be present, no matter where you are.
Just because you're back doesn't mean you're stuck. Daydreaming about travel is a fine medicine for the post-beach blues; actually scheming up your next getaway is even better.
Set your wanderlust on fire with TouristEye. Tell it where you'd like to go, and prepare to goggle as zillions of super cool activity possibilities are displayed before your eyes. Save the ones you want, and soon enough you'll have your dream trip planned out in front of you. Not sure which part of the globe to check out first? Lists like "The Best Coffee Bars In The US" are there for your travel inspiration.
Once you've settled on your dream trip, then come the nuts and bolts of actually putting it together. TripIt is your one-stop shop for organizing all the ticket confirmations, hotel bookings, restaurant and rental car reservations, and further itineraries, all in one place. It's a central hub for all things travel, so you never have to search through your email archives for that confirmation number ever again.
A big bonus: TripIt even alerts you when a better seat is available on your flight. You'll wonder how you lived without it.
There are a select few folks for whom nomadism is a way of life. Most of us, though, have some kind of nest somewhere - and it's up to us to make it as kickin' rad as possible. Deck out your day-to-day with these goodies and discover how sweet your own city can be.
Pocket Casts: 9.1/10
Don't knock podcasts 'til you try 'em. Give the zillions of free high-quality podcasts and videos available through Pocket Casts a shot on your morning commute, and you may suddenly find you have far more interesting tidbits to offer at the water cooler. There's something here for absolutely everyone, ranging from the grisly, true murder mystery of Serial to the fascinating scientific inquiry of Radiolab. Episodes can be downloaded for later listening, or you can stream them in the moment if you have a wi-fi connection (or one of those fabled unlimited data plans... you jerk).
Have you ever thought about using TripAdvisor in your own city? It's the most far-reaching, useful, and informative guide we know for discovering what's great in any corner of the earth, whether you're on a journey or you're curious about the café down the block. Read honest customer reviews of restaurants and attractions and add your own. Put together a tour for yourself of where you live, and the traveler spirit never has to ebb.
Shaken free of those post-vacation blues yet? Seriously, try podcasts and thank me later. What other apps do you use to lift yourself out of a post-cheeseburger-in-paradise funk? Talk to us in the Comments below.