Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Pre-trip vacation rituals are a great conversation topic in English!

You may have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after a vacation.

It can be difficult to start working again.

Listen in to today’s episode to learn how to share about this common topic in English.

This is great for making connections with your friends and colleagues.

Summer Comes to an End

Lindsay asks Michelle what she feels about September.

Michelle responds by saying she feels fresh in September because the seasons are changing.

She adds that it is also bittersweet because the summer ends and school will be back again.

Lindsay agrees because she loves the summer.

Summer brings a freedom that is unlike other times of the year.

A lot of people may feel that summer is officially over.

Summer Fridays are no longer a thing and you won’t be going on any vacations again soon.

This relates to today’s topic where Lindsay and Michelle talk about productivity.

Michelle asks Lindsay if she feels weird when she comes back to work after a vacation.

Lindsay shares that she does.

She really unplugs when she goes on vacation so when she returns to do work she forgets how to do her usual routine.

Michelle finds that amusing and mentions she found this article from written by Monica Torres.

The title is 6 Things Productivity Experts Do When They Come Back to Work After Vacation.

Work After Vacations

It can be overwhelming and stressful to return to a ton of work after a vacation.

Lindsay shares that when she returns from a vacation, there is a very narrow opportunity for her to completely change the way she works.

She can make the choice to make improvements in her workflow but then she receives a snowball of emails and then she’s back to her usual ways.

She then mentions she’s interested to learn more about productivity from the experts mentioned by Michelle.

Michelle says that they will just be talking about certain points from the article and the rest you can read from the direct article linked in this blog.

She also encourages you to check episode AEE 959: What’s Your Productivity Style? How to Talk About It in English

Here are the tips found in the Huffpost article by Monica Torres:

#1: Have a to-do list done before you go on vacation.

Before you leave, you have to get your tasks in order.

Organize the things you need to take action on when you return.

It can be very helpful to lessen your stress on vacation knowing you’ve made a list of things you expect when returning to work.

#2: Do the faster things first on your list.

It can be a bit of a struggle to get back in the groove of work after a long vacation.

So, as mentioned in the article, it would be easier to get the easier stuff done first.

You’ll be more motivated to keep going if you are able to start crossing things off your list.

If you focus on faster and easier tasks to do, it will get you started.

#3: You can take an extra day of vacation to switch your mindset.

Lindsay finds this a good idea.

This is a strategy where you have an extra day from your vacation to prepare yourself for reality.

It’s not easy to jump back into your responsibilities.

Therefore, it would be a big help to just have a gap in between.

In this time, you can breathe and ease back into work.

Phrases to Use to Share About Pre-Vacation Preparation

Michelle asks Lindsay if she does other preparations before going on vacation.

Lindsay says she makes sure to clean up her house before she leaves.

She also ensures her laundry is done because when she returns, there will be more clothes to wash.

Michelle then mentions that they will share a few phrases you can use to talk about the preparation you do before going on a trip.

Here are some of them:

  • I make it a habit to _____ before I go on vacation.
  • I’m so much more relaxed if I get __________ done before I go on vacation.
  • If I don’t _______ before I get away, it makes me _______.


Use these phrases and terms to share what you do before going on vacation.

Here is a quick roleplay to show you how to properly use these phrases.

In this scenario, Lindsay is going on vacation and she is sharing her plans with Michelle.

Michelle: Are you excited?

Lindsay: Yes, but I have a ton to get done first. I make it a habit to do a deep cleaning before I go on vacation.

Michelle: Oh wow, I never do that. But I’m so much more relaxed if I get my big projects done before I go on vacation.

Lindsay: Oh yeah, if I don’t get a to-do list on my dry-erase board before I get away, it makes me anxious!


This topic is a good conversation starter.

Everyone has their own things they prepare before going on vacation.

You can share your own experiences and learn trips from others as you talk to each other.

It also builds a good connection with your friends and colleagues.

Another takeaway is that it can be stressful to get ready for a trip, but you can make things easier as long as you prepare before leaving.

You can minimize the overwhelm and stress of coming back to work or returning home.

What helpful tip will you add to your pre-trip rituals?

Share it in the comments below.

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