Last summer, I went on a trip that was one of my least enjoyable to date. After spending exhaustive hours with a friend who was far more selective than me trying to plan the details of our trip, and having just hosted my family in London for six weeks, jetting off for ten days seemed overwhelming. On the ground, bad customer service experiences and not enjoying the destination as much as anticipated led me to (literally) curl up into a ball in my hotel room and want to head home.
I suffered from burn out, badly, and I didn’t know what to do about it.
Since that time, I’ve become much more cognizant of how to manage traveling often without feeling weary. So, here are my recommended ways to avoid travel burnout.
What can you do to avoid travel burnout?
Before your trip
Sleep on a trip before booking it
When in the planning phase of any trip, it can be exciting to go ahead and reserve everything without much thought. I’ve found that giving myself a few hours, or “sleeping on it”, allows me to be sure that what I’ve selected is what I truly want. But in case you don’t do that then…
Book things that can be cancelled
I recently booked a trip to the Caribbean on a whim and almost instantly regretted it – the timing wasn’t right. Thankfully I had also purchased a vacation waiver, which let me cancel the flights and hotel a few days later.
*Tip* Orbitz.com often allows you to book hotel rooms and cancel them up to a day before.
When traveling with others, it’s always important to discuss what pace of travel and types of activities you are interested in doing. Whether you want to hit the ground running or peruse a destination at a leisurely pace needs to be decided (and potentially compromised) on.
Skip the trip
In some cases, skipping or cancelling the trip can be the way to go. Conflicts with work or getting sick have meant that I’ve had to pass up on travel in the past.
On the trip
Schedule down time every day
Whether it be having a leisurely breakfast or giving yourself a mid-afternoon break in the hotel room, having some down time can help break up a busy day of travel. And, if some of the activities you planned take longer than expected, you’ll have extra built-in time to compensate.
Set up a routine
Having some sort of basic routine while on a trip can help with feeling like you have a sense of control on your day to day experience. Simple things like planning to work out in the morning or having a group dinner in the evening can help with grounding.
Get a good night’s sleep
It’s natural to feel more stressed or off the mark when you don’t sleep well, so resting sufficiently is essential to avoiding exhaustion.
Know your comfort zone
Skydiving or swimming with sharks not your thing? While it’s usually good to push your boundaries of comfort a little while traveling, don’t do it to a point that makes you feel uneasy or anxious.
Spend some time alone
If you are traveling with a large family or group, sometimes the constant need to be outgoing and “on” can wear on you. Going for a solo walk or even simply stepping away into a quieter area can help with collecting your thoughts.
Have you experienced travel burnout? How do you cope?