Beating the Travel Blues While You’re on the Road
We all know that travel has many benefits, like broadening your perspective and helping you build new relationships with people from different cultures.
But there are also some downsides to travel that most of us don’t talk about openly.
Just because we experience them doesn’t mean they have to ruin our trip or make us feel bad about ourselves.
The key is knowing how to deal with the problems before they get out of hand and turn into something more serious like depression or anxiety.
There’s no need for anyone to suffer in silence when dealing with feelings caused by their travels – whether it’s feeling homesick, missing loved ones back home, struggling financially, or just not fitting in.
In this article, we’ll look at the most common problems that can get in the way of your trip and how to deal with them head-on.
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Table of Contents
What is Traveling Blues?
Before we dive in, let’s talk about what travel blues actually is.
The phrase is a bit misleading because it doesn’t just apply to people who are homesick when they’re on vacation.
The traveling blues can be caused by a lot of different things and it’s important to get an understanding of the symptoms so you know what you’re dealing with.
Travel blues is a type of depression that happens whenever you travel. It’s something that many people live with, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid.
The key is to know how to protect yourself from feeling the effects when you get them (and believe us, everyone does!), and get over the traveling blues as quickly as possible.
It is often caused by a number of mental factors or conditions:
You might be bored and lonely in your hotel room. Or you might just be missing home and the creature comforts that it provides.
It’s totally normal to experience feelings of homesickness when you travel, and it can happen at any and all stages of your trip.
You might be hanging out with friends in a new city, having the time of your life, but still missing spending time with a significant other back home.
On the other hand, the post-travel blues are experienced after a trip is over and you’ve returned home.
You may feel disappointed that the trip didn’t live up to your expectations, or maybe you were just expecting more from it than was realistic.
It’s easy to compare your experience with the trips of others who have been to the same places you’ve visited. This can make you feel less satisfied and leave you disappointed or frustrated.
There are times when people might feel unable to express their emotions about a trip because they’re afraid of sounding ungrateful.
Travel can be a luxury, which we all want to enjoy, but it’s only fair that you’re allowed to feel overwhelmed by the experience.
That is why it is important to realize and identify when the traveling blues are affecting you.
On the other hand, it can be hard to tell whether the feelings you’re experiencing are just a natural response or if they might be a sign of something more serious that requires help from an expert.
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it, so don’t hesitate to call your doctor or a mental health professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
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What Causes Travellers blues?
We often get the travel blues because we’re too hard on ourselves.
It’s easy to forget that it’s OK to not enjoy a trip as much as you thought you would.
Travelling can cause some strong feelings, and often the ones you least expect from!
There are a few reasons why people feel the travel blues, and it’s important to know what they are so you can deal with the problem.
Here are some of the most common reasons why people get the traveling blues:
Being on the road may seem like a lot of fun, but it can start to become a hassle when your money starts running out.
You might be unpleasantly surprised by how much your spending habits have changed since you went on your last trip.
Or, if you haven’t taken time out of work to travel before, it’s possible that you aren’t able to bring in as much money as usual when you’re away from home.
This can cause a lot of problems when you are always worrying about your budget.
How should you solve money issues when you’re on a trip?
If you do not want to be kept awake at night by money troubles, make sure you’re aware of the worst-case scenario.
It’s better to expect that your spending will be slightly higher than usual and know how much extra cash you’ll need for this kind of thing.
You could also try looking for ways to earn more money while you’re traveling.
Working online is one of the best ways to do this, as you can work from anywhere.
You never have to deal with money troubles on a trip again when you set up your own freelance job.
Another reason for feeling travel blues is when you are faced with unexpected sickness while away from home.
Getting sick during your holiday can be the worst possible thing, depending on your level of comfort.
You might feel like you’re stuck in a hotel room with nothing to do, or maybe you feel too ill to go out and see the sights.
This is not only frustrating, but it also puts a damper on your plans for the trip.
If you get sick while away, try to make the most of your hotel room and order in some hot food.
You might also consider working remotely if you’re able to manage it, as this can help you feel more productive during your illness.
Whether you are having some disagreements with your traveling companion or having issues back home, traveling can make it worse.
When you are away from home, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your normal life and the people who are important to you.
If you’re experiencing problems with a loved one or friend before going on holiday, try not to let these affect your trip.
Don’t go looking for trouble and make sure you’re giving everyone the space they need.
It’s important to try and resolve any issues before you go on holiday so that when you are on your trip, you are relaxed and stress-free.
What should you do if your relationship becomes difficult while traveling?
If things are tense with your partner or friends when you’re traveling, try to spend some time on your own.
This will give you some breathing room from all the stress and hopefully allow you to find a solution!
Loneliness on the Road
Being lonely on the road is a very common reason for getting the traveling blues.
It’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on your social life when you’re away from home for a long time.
If you can’t find anyone to easily connect with, it might make your trip feel bland and boring.
What should you do if you start feeling lonely?
If you notice that feeling lonely is beginning to affect your trip, you should make an effort to change this.
It might be hard at first because you’re not used to making new friends but it’s possible if you put some effort in!
Getting out there and finding people with similar interests is always a good start.
One way to find people when you are abroad is to attend local meetups. Your new friends could be just a few clicks away on sites like Meetup.com and MissTravel.com
Another is to check out some of the social clubs in your destination’s area, such as a salsa dancing club or football team.
This might mean moving out of your comfort zone so you have nothing to lose!
If you’re missing home, don’t worry it is a common feeling and many people experience homesickness.
This is because being away from home makes you feel like you’ve lost your comfort blanket for a long time, which can be difficult to deal with at first.
What should you do if you start feeling homesick?
If feeling homesick begins to affect your trip, there are some things you can do to make things easier.
Start by making a list of all the things you miss about home, then try to fill the gaps when you’re away.
This could be anything from catching up with friends and family online, seeing if there’s any food or products you can order in, and even buying souvenirs.
If your homesickness doesn’t end, remind yourself that you’ll be back home soon and try to enjoy the rest of your trip.
Sometimes homesickness can affect your trip so much it becomes a downward spiral.
Once you get home, think about what went wrong and remember that this won’t always happen when you travel again.
A big trip can be very stressful and it’s only natural if you feel rundown at some point or another!
It’s important to recognize the signs of burnout while you’re away so that if and when it happens, you know how to deal with it.
If you’re feeling burnt out, it may be hard to keep up with your normal routine and that can affect your trip.
What should you do if you start feeling burnout?
If you notice signs of burnout while traveling, take a break from sightseeing and plan an activity just for you.
This could mean taking a walk in nature, going to a spa, or finding somewhere scenic to chill out for the day.
You could even try meditating and visualizing yourself back at your best.
Another way to beat travel exhaustion is to make sure you get enough sleep. If your days are long and tiring, chances are that your fatigue will affect everything else.
If you’re working on a tight schedule, try to have a rest day or go out at the right time when it’s less busy!
It’s important to recognize any warning signs for burnout while traveling, especially if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Conflicts back home
It can be very hard to enjoy where you are if you are worried about problems back home.
You might feel like you are neglecting your responsibilities and this can make everything worse.
One way to try and solve this is by having a chat. It might make sense to talk it through with someone or you could even write it down in a journal so the weight isn’t on your shoulders anymore.
If you’re unable to sort out anything before leaving, get in touch when you arrive at your destination!
If there are bigger problems and you feel they need sorting out, make sure you discuss these with your family or friends – it might be the case that they want to take care of things so you can enjoy yourself.
However, you do need to let go of any issues for now and just focus on having fun!
Being surrounded by bad company during your trip can have a negative impact on how you feel.
It might not be the case that everyone you spend time with is bringing you down, but just being around bad energy can make things worse.
Protect yourself from this as much as possible and surround yourself with people who will lift your spirits up!
If there are some people in particular who are bringing you down, it might be a good idea to remove these people from your life.
It’s not always possible to get rid of the bad communities entirely but the less time you spend around them, the less of a negative impact they will have on you.
If your community is the problem, it might not even be people – perhaps you’re in a city that’s bringing you down or there are issues with the traveling itself.
It can help to think about what exactly is causing this and try to make changes where possible.
Things go wrong during the trip
When you are traveling, there will be things that can happen unexpectedly, some good and others bad.
If something upsetting happens, but you cannot do anything about it, remember that there’s always something you can learn.
Going forward, you will be able to handle things better because of the experience and it might even make your trip more enjoyable!
We’ve all been there – something goes wrong or you get into an argument with someone and you feel like giving up on the trip.
Don’t go down this route if at all possible. Make sure to give it a day, then try and sort out the problem that is getting you down.
If your bad experience has put you off traveling or made you question it, take some time to reassess.
Remember all the good things about traveling and focus on those to remind yourself of why you enjoy it so much.
If everything is bringing you down, perhaps there are other factors at play that need sorting out.
If this is the case, make sure to resolve these issues before you go traveling again! It may be time for a vacation from your trip.
Traveling can be incredibly rewarding and it isn’t all bad, but if you are struggling to enjoy things then something needs to change.
Don’t feel guilty about coming home if everything is weighing down on you – remember, there will always be another time for traveling!
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How Can We Prevent the Travel Blues?
Now that you have an idea of what causes travel blues, it is time to figure out how to prevent them!
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
- Get organized before you travel and prioritize what is important for your trip.
This is not to say you should be rigid, but it helps if you have some idea of what you want from your trip.
- Travel with others who make you feel comfortable! It’s always good to spend time with people who enjoy the same things as you and who are laid back.
- Do things when traveling that you love and embrace all of your experiences; both good and bad!
- Let your friends and family know if you’re struggling! It’s easy to forget that there are people willing to help.
- Look for ways to keep things in perspective and remember all the good things that brought you to your destination.
- Allow yourself rest days to catch up on sleep or just to take a break. There is nothing wrong with just doing nothing every now and then!
- Try exercising when traveling, it will help alleviate stress. Exercising is a fantastic way to relieve a number of mental health issues. For example, it can help depression and in some cases prevent anxiety.
Physical activity also releases endorphins, which are ‘happy hormones’ that make you feel good!
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and for your trip. It can be easy to get caught up in the fantasy of traveling.
If you are constantly comparing your experience to others, it will sour what should be a good time.
Remember that everyone has different experiences and opinions!
- It’s okay to come home if things aren’t what they should be! There will always be another time for travel in the future.
The next time you go traveling, try and prepare yourself. It can be worth thinking about how you feel after traveling and what could be contributing to the travel blues.
There are so many amazing reasons to travel and you should never let your negative experiences put you off from doing something that is so rewarding!
There are many ways to prevent the travel blues. One of the most important is to be mindful while you’re on your trip and figure out what may have contributed to it in order for you to not repeat these mistakes again.
It’s also helpful if you know ahead of time that there will always be another opportunity, so don’t let one bad experience put a damper on future trips!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand the travel blues and how to prevent them.
Now go out there and have some fun! And try not to beat yourself up too much about it…