How Long Of A Vacation is Too Long?


It’s been 7 days since I last saw my home. Two complete days of driving across the country, five days of fantastic weather in Florida. It’s been a great vacation, but I’m going to tell you a secret.

After being on vacation for a week, I’m more than ready to go home.

I realize I’m not your average vacationer. Most people are excited to go on vacation and sad when it’s over. On the other hand, I’m as excited to pack up and go home as I was to go on vacation in the first place. My vacation mood follows a predictable pattern, and my wife sees the signs even if she doesn’t understand them.

Days 1 & 2

Giddy as a little kid going to the fair for the first time. I’m ecstatic to forget about my job for a while, get some extra sleep, and r-e-l-a-x.

Days 3 & 4

I’m loving life, soaking in “the good life.” My batteries are recharged, and I’m looking for new adventures around every corner. I develop a curiosity about what’s going on at work, and I check my email in the evenings.

Day 5

As a creature of habit and structure, I suddenly notice that I’m out of my usual rhythm. It bothers me a little. I crave the schedule of everyday life. I begin to respond to work emails.

Day 6

My fuse has grown considerably shorter, and my snappiness towards those around me has increased noticeably. I sneak away and spend time by myself so I don’t ruin the fun of those around me. I can’t get comfortable at night to save my life. My bed at home is so much more comfortable. The water pressure in the shower is terrible. I hope the person watching our cats is cleaning out the litter box. I can only imagine how many surprises the cats have left around our house over the last week.

Day 7

I’m obsessed with when we’ll be going home. I have a giant clock ticking backwards in my head. My family threatens to put me on a plane and send me home by myself. For just once in their lives I wish they would follow through on a threat. I’m up at 5:30am staring at the walls. I have no idea how my family can sleep. I think I might hate them. I get in the van, put my hands on the steering wheel and fantasize about driving home.

Day 8

Complete black out occurs after this. My family tells me my response to every question is simply, “Yes. Whatever you would like,” accompanied by a nod of my head.

Obviously this is all in good fun, however my mood does change right around day 4 or 5. That’s really the tipping point as to when I begin to prefer everyday life over vacation. We’re on day 7, BUT we’re packing up and at least taking actions to go home. That helps my mood a lot. Wish me safe travels on our way home, and hope that I get home before I reach total blackout.

How about you, Clever Friends? Do you have a limit on how long a vacation can be before you begin to crave normal life?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I think about a week is the limit for many. We did Disney World last year and that was 8 days and I was ready by the time it was done. I wasn’t to the point where you were, but I probably would have gotten to the snappy phase within another day or two.

    • I’ve been to Disney World, and my timeline accelerated. That’s a stressful vacation. LOL. I’m joking of course….while it was stressful (especially with young kids), great memories were made.

  • I don’t even BEGIN to relax until about day 6. I’ve only done it once, but a 3-4 week vacation is perfect for me. A four or five day trip is just a tease.

    • I’m able to shift gears immediately into relaxation…..I think I’d be stark raving insane after 3-4 weeks. 🙂

  • Two weeks is the longest that I’ve been away from home. I was overseas and time went fast and I could have stayed longer.

    For domestic traveling, it takes about 10 days away for me to start missing familiars and familiar surroundings.

    • Everyone’s timeline is different….I think I could go 10 days if the timing and the surroundings were just right. Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

  • It depends on where I am and who I’m with. If I’m with my family and have a comfortable place to sleep at night, I could be gone happily for weeks.

    • Oooh, good point….a good place to sleep is key. Most hotels, unfortunately have beds to hard for my personal tastes. But with a great bed…..I might be able to make it longer!

    • True story, Clarisse……planning can make a huge difference. Keep busy, do the things you like and vacation will see much more enjoyable!

  • Too funny, this reminds me of my husband. His “time away from home” limit is about three days, and increasingly, so is mine. One of our biggest arguments was whether to book a five-day trip to Mexico for a friends’ wedding or a 7-day trip. My husband won and we booked 5 days, and I was ready to leave by day 3!

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