How to prevent Travel Burnout

It’s inevitable, if you’re on the road for any extended period of time, you begin to miss the comforts of home. Yes, Machu Picchu may be beautiful, but after weeks of camping and taking whore baths showers with a wet wipe, you begin to miss your own bed. You can recall the smell of your house and you yearn for something as simple as having a closet to hang your clothes in. There’s nothing wrong with that; most of us were brought up enjoying these comforts daily and thinking nothing of them. But when you are on the go, you miss that sense of home and familiarity. So, how do you cope?

  1. Have a routine – Did you used to go running every morning when you were back home? Maybe you would start your day off with some meditation? Keeping these habits going while you travel is one of the best ways to feel “at home.” Just because you are in a new location, it doesn’t mean you have to change your entire way of living! Do you love doing yoga? Great! Find a yoga class to attend while you are in Peru. Are you a fan of meditation? Awesome! Find a quiet place to relax, or have an online meditation coach to help you talk through things. (Check out my friend Shaun here! He’s the best.)  Personally, I love going to the gym. When I arrived in Bali, I found a local gym and purchased a one month membership almost immediately. It helped me tremendously to be able to continue my morning routine in a foreign country.
  2. Personal Time – Sometimes when we travel, we can get a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for the laymen). Pub crawl until 3 AM? Sign us up! Sunrise yoga the next morning? Can’t miss out on that… Sometimes we get so excited that we try to do everything. But that’s a surefire way to get burnt out…and quick! That’s why it’s important to carve out some “you” time. Go for a walk alone, or grab a book and a cup of tea and zone out for a few hours. It’s almost essential for maintaining sanity when you’re constantly on the go. Even a 20 minute power nap can give you the rejuvenation you need to carry through the day!
  3. Chat with Friends – When you’re on the road for a while, you meet plenty of new people and make tons of new friends. But as I’m sure you are aware, meeting new people and having “travel”  conversations can be exhausting and redundant. (Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been here? Ect…) That’s why it’s important to be able to call your friends from back home. The ones that you can talk to for an hour and just share silly stories with. The people that you can virtually hang out with while they go about their day. The ones that you don’t have to talk to, you can just exist with, and know that they are there. You know, your tribe.
  4. Treat Yourself – Most long term travelers are budget travelers, which means we forgo things like haircuts and pedicures in order to get that next plane ticket. But sometimes you need to stop and indulge a little. Just to remind yourself why you do this. If you’re used to staying in hostels, stay in a hotel for a few nights. If you are flying a lot, upgrade yourself to first class one of these times. Personally, I made sure I took FULL advantage of the $5 massages offered around Bali to keep my sanity in check.

People rarely talk about the difficult side of travel. The hours spent getting from place to place. The getting lost, and not having wi-fi, and not speaking the local language. The carrying your heavy backpack for hours on end. Nobody talks about running out of money, or your stomach turning on you when you aren’t used to the “local” foods, or getting something stolen at your hostel. Nobody talks about getting lonely and missing your friends from back home. Travel is glamorized, I’m guilty of it too…of course I want you to share in the fun that I’m having! And yes, it is absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But it is also the most challenging thing you will ever do. To step outside of your comfort zone, to be tested by new people, and to go beyond your “social norms” to navigate in a new land. Travel is exhausting, exhilarating, AND challenging. But it is the best investment that you will ever make. Because these are the moments that change you.

56 thoughts on “How to prevent Travel Burnout

  1. Bianca Karina says:

    I find it helps when I get adequate sleep. On my latest trip i kept waking up far too early in order to get everything I wanted to do, done. Then toward the end I didn’t set an alarm clock and wasted almost half a day sleeping 🙁

    • wanderlustinghippie says:

      Yes! That is so important. A girlfriend of mine recently went to India and she said she couldn’t get good sleep because of all the noise and motorbikes outside of her window. It makes it really taxing during trips.

  2. ashlynbrownell says:

    I’m looking to do some long-term travelling, but was quite worried about this. Whenever I travel and get out of my usual routine my body gets all messed up. I think these tips will be a life-saver! Thank you so much

  3. riceandrepeat says:

    I totally agree with the fact that on vacations, we feel like we need to try everything! Like, I would rather be completely burnt out and do and see everything than miss a lot! But I find that whenever I look back on my happiest vacay memories, they are random moments of relaxation and fun. I gotta remember that and slow down next time. xx

    http://www.riceandrepeat.com

  4. Tania says:

    Love this, its so true. After a while you do get a bit homesick and tired. It’s so easy to subscribe to FOMO and you find yourself exhausted!

  5. koalatravelstheworld says:

    Can I add a few as a fellow long term traveller? (;

    – Watch a feel good movie
    – Eat comfort food
    – Get some endorphins in! Go for a run etc!

    Loved this list! & Am glad I am not alone in feeling travel burn out!! (:

  6. Justine Cross says:

    Yes, yes, yes… such honesty!! You’re right that no-one does seem to talk about the less rosey side of travel – this list certainly helps with that though. Personally, I need to get better with routines… this always falls to the wayside when I’m out travelling!

  7. Matt Chacon says:

    This is incredibly helpful. I just took a road trip down the east coast and this wouldve been incredible information thank you! im sharing this with all my friends

  8. Matt Chacon says:

    This is incredibly helpful. I just took a road trip down the east coast and this wouldve been incredible information thank you! im sharing this with all my friends

  9. alexsteltzer says:

    This is so so so true! I went on a cross country road trip myself with my husband for three months in a renovated camper. I love these points.

  10. Life with Larissa says:

    I love this! When I went on my first solo trip to Europe, I was experiencing a lot of this. And the FOMO is too real. Whenever I travel somewhere, I want to do anything and everything, and by the end of the day, I’m literally falling into bed, exhausted. These are great tips to remember to really make a trip amazing (well unless it’s a really short trip…then you can have some personal time when you get back home hahaha 🙂

  11. myglobalattitude says:

    Well articulated article with amazing tips. I’m not a long term traveller but I do many short trips. Keep up the good work xoxo
    Carolina

  12. Alaine says:

    Good tips! I agree especially with the routine bit! These are mine: Try to sleep and wake up around the same time (it can also be a challenge with nights out, etc). Eat vegetables for extra vitamin boost! Make sure to get active while traveling for longer periods – whether it’s a brisk walk to your destination or some gym/class or in your accommodations. Your body will thank you for keeping up the fitness.

  13. Olivia says:

    Great post! I absolutely agree to have some sort of routine, even if it’s washing your face and what not at night that will help you settle into not being in the same place every night. In my recent trip, what helped me from not getting overwhelmed was repacking my bag every time I left a hostel. Having my items in the right place when I opening by bag up at the next place was an absolute comfort. #gltlove

  14. Sandy says:

    Yes! I love staying hotels- I try to do one night for every 2 weeks of travel and it just makes such a difference to give yourself permission to do nothing for the night. I love that you’re acknowledging it.

  15. Jo - Over the Edge of the Wild says:

    I think that your having a routine point is really important, not just for preventing travel burnout, but in general with long term travelling. I was away for a bit over a year and have really struggled to get back into consistent routines, even a couple of years after finishing my trip. It’s something I’m really trying to work on and will be prioritising keeping that when I finally get to leave again.

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