Travel Insider: Do you experience a post-holiday glow, or post-holiday gloom?
Bucket list blues
A new survey suggests most Irish holidaymakers return to work feeling rested and recharged. Can this possibly be true?
Do you feel recharged after a holiday, or return to work with the post-travel blues?
According to a new Expedia survey, Irish people have the highest level of 'vacation-fuelled' happiness in the world - with 72pc of us more focused at work after holidays, and 93pc feeling more rested
I'm surprised. I get the whole 'post-holiday glow' concept, but for me it rarely makes it past the arrivals concourse. I love travel (heck, I've made a career out of it), but the return to normality is always a bumpy ride.
It's the same after Christmas. I dive into a feast of food, family and friends. But talk to me after the holidays, and I'll be stuffed, blue and broke - with the next pay cheque several weeks in the distance. Focus on that!
Holidays can be enjoyed in a gazillion different ways - staying home, lazing on a beach, swanning around New York. But they all share certain things in common. They are highly anticipated; they whisk you out of the nine-to-five and drop you into a super-rosy, parallel universe where you spend more, do thrilling things and fill your Facebook feed with exotic snaps of... erm, freshly shaven legs by the pool.
Isn't a slump inevitable after that?
The trick, I think, is to see it coming. Accept the adjustment, remember that it's short-lived, and try to channel any holiday resolutions into one or two small, sustainable changes. Then get to planning the next trip.
According to the Expedia survey, 48pc of Irish workers would give up alcohol and 46pc would skip social media for a week... just for a single extra day's holidays.
It's last chance saloon for Lapland. Sunway's one and two-night trips are sold out for 2015, and Falcon (falconholidays.ie) has limited availability on day trips departing Dublin on December 12 and 18.
Day trips involve a direct flight to Rovaniemi, where guests are greeted by Santa's elves and taken directly to Santa's Secret Grotto for a day of fun and a visit with the man himself. Prices start from €639/€539pp for adults and children, and remember to bring your driving licence if you fancy a spin in a snowmobile!
One way to get through the post-holiday blues is to have another trip to look forward to. For skiers, sweet spots to note are the second and third weeks of January - among the cheapest of the year for obvious reasons.
Crystal Ski (crystalski.ie), winner of Best Ski Tour Operator at last week's Irish Travel Trade Awards, has seven-day packages in Andorra from €300pp, France from €326pp and Italy from €354pp going to press. Check Topflight (topflight.ie), Highlife (highlife.ie), and Direct Ski (directski.com) for more off-peak ski deals.
NB: Prices subject to availability/change.