I love to travel. Although I’ve only relatively recently started to explore my passion for seeing the world, on some level I’ve always loved it. Even when I booked a two week, beach style all-inclusive holiday, I was poring over guidebooks and reviews and seeking out places of interest to explore. Holidays were not just about the relaxation and the sun and the sleep. They were about so much more. About stoking the fire of my enthusiasm for cultural experiences.

So I should be full of excitement and joy when reflecting on the past two years of my life – of all the experiences I have had, all the travel I’ve managed to fit in around my busy work commitments.

But mainly I’m just tired. And I think it’s because I’m dealing with travel burnout.

Dealing with Travel Burnout

I’ve always prided myself on being a pretty excellent city-breaker. I can get in and out of a city in 3 days, blitz its foodie hotspots, it’s cultural icons and walk amongst the best architecture it has to offer and then jump on a plane back home. Slipping quietly through a new city like a ninja – unseen, quick and sneaky. I’ve got a “to-go” packing list, with my basics already stored in a carry on sized suitcase, my boarding pass downloaded and my itinerary on my phone.

I’m really really good at planning and executing the perfect city break.

Except, travelling every month, often more than that, in short bursts around my day job has finally taken its toll. I have two trips left this year and I can’t even tell you if I’m dreading them or looking forward to them. That is crazy! And that is also very very sad.

Why do I feel like a mess after constant travel this year? I'm dealing with travel burnout.Click To Tweet

Dealing with Travel Burnout

The fact is, that fitting travel around your day job on a long time basis is actually not that straightforward. I’ve taken fairly limited leave this year and taken the majority of my trips over the weekend, taking the odd Friday or Monday off to extend the trip. That sounds great, but once you’ve used up your weekend time for travelling, where you are on the go and on your feet, it leaves no time for normal weekend activity. You know, like washing clothes, household, life admin. And when you are travelling consistently, when do you get the time to do this?

And when do you get the time to sleep, recover and watch all those boxsets on Netflix?

The other difficulty with constant short break travel is the travel time. That sounds counter-intuitive, as you are often flying for less time, with little to no adjustment in country. But in order to maximise both the time spent actually city-breaking and the cost of flights (that constant travel all adds up) I often find myself on outrageously early flights, from an airport that actually isn’t that close to me. The stress and the additional strain takes it toll and all adds to that feeling of burnout.

Dealing with Travel Burnout

But all the technicalities aside, is it actually my fault? The way that I travel? That I just can’t take a step back and do things carefully, more slowly?

You see, I’ve noticed a slight desperation in my actions and my mindset when I travel. I need to soak it all up, do it and visit everything  – or else I feel like it is a waste. I’m so scared I either won’t ever go back to a place or never make it through my bucket list that I just race and race. It’s caused issues with my own health and it’s definitely made those closest with me not want to travel with me. Gosh, how sad. Why can’t I just turn up and chill the hell out?

Dealing with Travel Burnout

There are a few things I’m going to do to deal with this sense of burnout. Because I love to travel, but I don’t want my passion to overtake me and to suddenly feel like I can’t or don’t want to any more. I’m going to take a step back and think about what is really important when I travel. Is it the tick list or is it the fact that I’m there?

  • One of my best city breaks this year in Amsterdam was the most chilled out, incredible weekend and despite terrible flight delays I came back feeling refreshed and relaxed. We didn’t rush, we didn’t have a list and instead had more time to eat, chat and wander. I want to try and replicate that on my upcoming trips this year.
  • For my next city break I haven’t booked the first flight out and the last flight back. I’ve booked a leisurely lunchtime flight out and my trip home has me landing at 6pm. I’ll get less time in country, but I will have a much less early start and a much less frantic trip home.
  • I’ve never been one to spend on travel extras, wanting to get the most bang for my buck and saving my cash for food and fun when I get to a destination. However, I am going to try out a booking into a lounge at my next flight from Stansted so I can relax and unwind before flying.

I’d love to hear your tips and advice on this topic. I’ve been in denial for quite some time now, but its clear to me that right now, I am dealing with travel burnout. Whatever the cause, I want to cope better with regular travel – I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments about dealing with travel burnout!

ENJOYED THIS POST? PLEASE PIN IT!

Travel Burnout | Travel Tips | Travel Hacks | How to Travel | Travelling Tips

Travel Burnout | Travel Tips | Travel Hacks | How to Travel | Travelling Tips
Travel Burnout | Travel Tips | Travel Hacks | How to Travel | Travelling Tips

Subscribe to the Weekly Email!

Need some positivity, inspiration + sass in your life? Pop your email in the box and in return you'll get a weekly dose of kick-up-the-bum wonderful.

  • Oh Sam, I feel like I could have written this post as I was feeling this was earlier in the year too! One thing I did was allow myself to go away without the need to get “content” out of it. So rather than just running roung ticking trendy food places off the list and photographing everything in sight, I actually enjoyed it as a holiday. I did end up writing about the two trips I did this on, but that’s because I had such a great time and wanted to share it, rather than because I felt like I had to xxx

  • I think you’re experiencing a natural progression as you get older and more experienced with travel. It’s natural to want to slow down a bit, spend some time just sitting and watching the people go by, instead of rushing off to the next big attraction. My travel style has gradually shifted during the last 20 years of travel – I used to be a lot like you, planning extensively and packing in as much as I could for as little money as possible.

    Now, I recognize my need to sleep well in a clean and quiet place, and I know that some attractions just bore the pants off me, so I just don’t bother with them. At times, I still feel guilty for not seeing more and doing more, but ultimately it leads to me enjoying and remembering the things I do much more!

    J

  • Donna Capara

    I travel monthly from NY – JFK to Charlotte, NC where my boyfriend now lives. The planning to get there in record time – 5 hrs – door to door is nothing short of a symphony of motion. To accomplish this, every step of my journey is calculated from which LIRR train car to ride in to delivers me to the escalator up to Air Train at Jamaica Station. Having my MTA card ready to slip into the confusing turn style that I rarely get right the first time despite I’ve only been there two or three weeks earlier. I’ve been lucky that 99% of my flights were on time…nothing like rushing to wait. Addressing the home front is another challenge, prepping meals for adult kids that really can manage on their own (mother’s guilt) – having plenty of cat food on hand and reminding various off spring to scoop (cat mother’s guilt). I typically take extended weekends from my part time job where my co-workers aren’t sympathetic to my plight and tiredness, (tongue in cheek). After all it’s not everyone who gets to slip away to an alternate reality on a regular basis, it’s a hard job, but someone needs to do it. Enjoy your travels, make the memories and count your blessings.

  • Donna Capara

    I travel monthly from NY – JFK to Charlotte, NC where my boyfriend now lives. The planning to get there in record time – 5 hrs – door to door is nothing short of a symphony of motion. To accomplish this, every step of my journey is calculated from which LIRR train car to ride in to deliver me to the escalator up to Air Train at Jamaica Station, to having my MTA card ready to slip into the confusing turn style that I rarely get right the first time despite I’ve only been there two or three weeks earlier. I’ve been lucky that 99% of my flights were on time…nothing like rushing to wait. Addressing the home front is another challenge, prepping meals for adult kids that really can manage on their own (mother’s guilt) – having plenty of cat food on hand and reminding various off spring to scoop (cat mother’s guilt). I typically take extended weekends from my part time job where my co-workers aren’t sympathetic to my plight and tiredness, ;). After all it’s not everyone who gets to slip away to an alternate reality on a regular basis,; it’s a hard job, but someone needs to do it. Enjoy your travels, make the memories and count your blessings.

  • Jub Bryant

    I agree with My Fives Acres (god dammit, use an actual name ahha). It does seem like a natural progression you’re going through. The passion is likely still there, but we sometimes do take things to far.

    I like some of the steps you’ve taken to solve the solution rather than just moan about it for sure. As a ‘full time’ on the road lad, I’ve realised I couldn’t give two hoots about seeing some things and stick to seeing my ‘thing’, which is sports.

    What is your ‘thing’ that you really love to see in new places? Maybe it is ticking off the list, you just need to figure out how to refine the process…could you take two city breaks to the same destiantion each year?

  • I;m definitely the same – I’ve started booking much friendlier flights and it’s made it sooo much better. I need to have an evening before work otherwise it just feels like chaos! x

  • It’s an interesting article ! I wonder if the next phase is to actually live abroad for a period of at least a year. That way you can really settle into a place and relax, safe in the knowledge that there’s absolutely no pressure to rush around sightseeing or catching onward connections – you don’t have to cram it all into a short time. It’s a nice feeling !

  • Krista

    Just a great article, love the honesty and perspective you have! I get what you mean, when I was in the heart of my traveling I lived abroad in Europe and would do weekend travel but always had a home base to come back to, sometimes that makes all the difference!

  • Biang Bustos-Velazquez

    I love this so much, i totally get you! Before i had such a mentality of “this is a once in a lifetime trip” type of pressure. Now i take it slower and am fine with experiencing what i experience and think about another visit in the future!

  • Sabrina Bos

    I can totally relate to this when I was younger!! You will soon notice that the places you will remember most were the places where you had the most beautiful experiences or met the most amazing people – not how many landmarks you ticked off 🙂 and totally agree on the flights! I try to avoid early/late flights where ever I can! Safe travels 🙂

  • Shibani Sharma

    Such an awesome post. I too have a full-time job, but I travel at my own pace, not on all weekends. Just the occasional ones, some extended ones and some random leaves. This way I keep my passion for travel plus I don’t exhaust myself!

  • thecurioussparrow

    Very relatable! We’re so desperate to explore every inch of this incredible world we live on, take advantage of cheap flights and great deals and travel as much as we can, while we can. However the frenzy can be detrimental to our health and could lead to complacency (“Yet another church….even more 2000-year old ruins…”). It’s so important to listen to your body; your energy levels, how excited you feel, how well you’re sleeping etc. If you’re waking up tired or dreading the next trip, cut down a little. Quality over quantity! At least until you feel more enthusiastic again 🙂

  • ThatAnxiousTraveller

    You sound exactly like me! 🙂 I can totally relate to this – I travel quite a bit for work in addition to travelling for pleasure, and if I don’t get at least half a week for recovery, I really feel the effect on my health. On a recent week-long trip to Italy, I was getting up at 6.20 every morning and falling into bed when I got back at 10 – I definitely learnt afterwards that sometimes travel is just as fun when taken slower!

  • Snow to Seas

    As many others, I can totally relate to this post too! I worked full-time as a teacher for a few years, and whenever I had time off, I would book a trip. When on “said” trip, I would make it my mission to do as much as humanly possible. I never took the time to rest from work. By June, I felt like a zombie. Now, I don’t put as much pressure on myself to see and do everything. I take it easy and do what I feel like doing in the moment.

  • This is such a great, and relatable post! I too rush round cities trying to see and do it all in minimal time while trying to live life to the max yet find myself not enjoying it as I should. You’ll feel like a new person travelling in a more leisurely manner and airline lounges really are such a treat!

  • Brenda Gisselle Mejia

    I think that a lot of this has to do with your own travel expectations. You have set already an amount of things you want to achieve on your city breaks, and that is stressful, because not getting to do all of them or not doing it the way you planned make you feel like you failed.

    As you mentioned, try this new swaps for your next trips. I know exactly how exhausting it can be to travel sometimes, even if you love it so much.

435 Shares
Tweet
Share
Pin
Buffer
Flip
Stumble