Did you know that travel burnout is a thing?
I know what you’re thinking: It seems crazy to get burned out on something so awesome. But the truth is, you can get burned out on anything! Regardless of whether you love it, sometimes, even travel gets to be too much!
I (obviously) love travel. In fact, I even love the things about travel that it’s easy to hate: the actual traveling part of it, the being alone, the constant hellos and goodbyes. Those things can definitely get to me, but overall, I love the whole process of traveling.
That said though, sometimes, you need a break.
Sometimes, the constant moving around, watching every dime that goes out from your budget, and even the physical exhaustion of traveling with a big bag can really become too much.
Travel burnout can feel like different things to different people (as all burnout does), but some critical signs for me include the following:
1. I start sleeping past 6 am. I’m naturally an early riser, so when my body is sleeping more and more, I know I’m truly exhausted.
2. Nothing feels fun anymore. Even activities I was really looking forward to start to feel like a drain on my energy.
3. I’m cranky all the time. If I’m in a place with people I love and I still can’t seem to pull myself out of my bad mood, it means I’m definitely in a funk.
4. I don’t feel like seeking new experiences. When all I want to do is sit in my airBNB or hotel room, something has to change.
5. Every destination feels the same. If a beach and a mountain are starting to resemble each other, that means I have a serious case of travel burnout.
So, what can you do when it starts to feel like you’re traveling too much? Is the only option to quit?
Nope! I’ve gone through this at least twice and have come up with some tips to help. The key is actually not to quit until you know for sure you want to. Maybe this is the last case of travel burnout you’ll ever have and maybe you’ll keep traveling happily. Maybe you are ready to hang up your backpack. Either way, it’s important to give yourself the mental freedom to decide which it is.
Here are some of my tips:
1. Find an immediate reset button – no matter what it is
When you start to feel travel burnout, you need to reset – immediately. Don’t wait for that “break” coming in a few weeks and don’t tell yourself you’ll push through. Find a way to have an immediate reset, regardless of what it is. It could mean staying in your hotel for an entire weekend and not going out at all. It could mean spending a day on the phone with your mom. Whatever it is, do it and do it now before you feel even more burned out.
2. Decide if you need a longer-term reset
One of the benefits of hitting your reset button immediately is that you’ll give yourself some mental clarity to decide if you need a longer-term reset. Maybe a few days of rest is all you need or maybe you would like to take a few weeks off traveling and develop a routine. Let yourself examine the possibility of a longer-term reset, if needed.
3. Head “home” for a bit
If possible, head “home” for a bit – whatever your “home” may be. Maybe it’s your parents’ house or maybe it’s going to stay with a college roommate. It might even be going back to some town you loved, totally alone. Getting to a space with comfortable surroundings that makes you feel at peace will make a world of difference.
4. Take the pressure off
Give yourself time to be a travel “slacker” for a few weeks. So maybe you don’t go and do everything on your to-do list. Maybe you have several days where you just have a low key dinner and watch bad TV in your hotel. We’ve all done it – but the key is to take the stress off. Let yourself do whatever makes you feel best while you are stressed.
5. Get some sleep
Yes, sometimes, it truly is as simple as this. Burnout comes not just because we’re mentally exhausted, but often because we’re physically exhausted as well. Just the simple act of getting a few days or even a week of extra sleep can sometimes work wonders!
Have you ever traveled so much that you felt totally burned out by it? How did you deal with it? Let me know in the comments!