How To Overcome Travel Fatigue

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travel fatigue

©Exploramum and Explorason – both adults and children can experience tiredness with long-term travel

How to overcome travel fatigue

Long-term Travel Is Not For Everyone

Contrary to staycations or short term 3-5 days vacation, traveling for a long-haul can cause travel fatigue.  Extended travel involves being always on the move, staying in different places or hotels, seeing different cultures, meeting different people and traveling for a long period of time, say one month to more than one year.

It’s a thrilling experience indeed to constantly travel. Many people have this impression that if you are doing this long-term travel journey, you are considered lucky.

Well, true at some point but it actually depends on the situation.

travel fatigue

©Exploramum and Explorason – travel is not all rainbows and sunshine.

Rainbows And Sunshine

Travel is not always rainbows and sunshine. In the beginning, there is always the excitement in the journey. But, believe it or not, a traveler no matter how enthusiastic he or she is in the start, will have to be weary in the long run risking travel fatigue.

It Becomes Just Another One Of The Same

With longterm travel things just start to be the same.  Mountains will just be ‘another mountain’. Falls, rivers, lakes and the beach will just be ‘another body of water’.

After a whole day of moving, sometimes you just want to STOP.  You need to rest in your hotel room and sleep all day.

travel fatigue - photo used with copyright permission from Grasya Bangoy

©This Grasya – Find a comfortable and clean accommodation to relax in.

Travel Fatigue Is Real

Some people who don’t travel often may not understand this, but there are struggles when traveling long-term.  It may not be as fun as it was during the first few days or weeks of the journey as travel fatigue creeps in.

How To Stop the Struggle

There are actually lots of suggestions to overcome travel fatigue. Depending on the lifestyle, one might choose to travel slowly to catch up with the body rhythm.

travel fatigue

©Exploramum and Explorason – Take time to find a base and rest

Finding A Base To Rest

Some travelers find a base, a home or a hotel to just stay for a few days or weeks before embarking on another journey again.

It is best if this base is very comfortable because a weary traveler sometimes doesn’t want to go out and explore. This base has to have everything a traveler needs if in hibernation mode to recuperate from their travel fatigue.

Comfort Food

Comfort food helps a lot too.

The challenge is if you’re in a country where the food does not suit your taste buds, it will be difficult to be happy and motivated. That’s why it is best to bring familiar comfort food at the start of the journey, so when downtime arrives, the comfort food will serve its purpose.

If the food you’re craving is not readily available, you can always prepare a similar dish. Or better, find someone near the area who knows how to cook a familiar dish and do a cooking session together. This will bring a familiar feeling, plus you’ll be less homesick too.

Solo Traveling

For those who are traveling solo, there will come a time when you will be missing having company. If you suddenly feel lonely, ask around for people near the area, and do meetups.

You can find groups online via social media or other community websites and join them. You can also meet people in church if you want to meet people of similar faith.

If there’s no one around or if you are just too shy to meet new people, video chats are a great way to catch up on life with everyone back home.

Recharged And Ready To Go

All these points above reenergize a person, and when the human battery is full, the goal of traveling long term can be pursued again.

travel fatigue

©Exploramum and Explorason – Find a comfortable place to rest, relax and recharge

Questions and Comments

  • Have you ever experienced travel fatigue?
  • Where did you stay?
  • What did you do?
  • What tips do you have for other travelers that might experience travel fatigue?

105 thoughts on “How To Overcome Travel Fatigue

  1. I’m currently recuperating from that so-called Travel Fatigue ^_^..

    I’m actually enjoying the simple joys of being home and hopefully, my human batteries and travel funds will be full again so I can resume that longterm travel. Thanks for posting this Ruth

    • Sounds wonderful Grasya, recharging those batteries is so important. I know you have a passion for travel and looking forward to seeing your new adventures soon. Ruth

  2. Travel fatigue is SO real! Glad I found someone else who can relate. I’ve found that any more than 2 nights in a hostel will trigger this, so while traveling full-time I require a private room or apartment every now and then to recover or I will get overwhelmed 🙂

    • Yes – it is horrible and the worst thing is others can condemn you for it. It needs to be addressed or you burn out. I think the private room does the trick – where you have your own space! All the best on your travels, Stephanie. thanks Ruth

  3. Thanks for all the tips! I definitely find it’s worth indulging in some home comforts whenever travel fatigue hits. Spend a bit more money to stay somewhere a little more luxurious, stay in bed all day if you want to, with no pressure to see all the sights. Just ‘be’ – read, listen to music, lay in a hammock, relax! For me, Bali was the perfect place to unwind – this place is gentle, peaceful and slows you right down 🙂

    • I agree with you Claire, it is rather a nice feeling to book into somewhere that has a little luxury. you can just feel that little bit better, especially if you are usually using hostels. Happy travels, Ruth

  4. Thanks for these suggestions. It’s so hard sometimes to just rest in the hotel when your mind is telling you to get out and explore everything. I have not tried the comfort food suggestion might try that on my next big trip.

    • I’m like you and need to explore but even an explorer needs quality rest. I think I’ve learned the lack of sleep in noisy hotels or hostels can affect me a lot. Yes, comfort food is a good trick and works wonders! – Happy travels

  5. Travel is exhausting, especially if you’re road tripping or hopping from place to place with little time to rest. Great points here – definitely need to get rest.

  6. Being British but living in Australia I have certainly experienced Travel Fatigue. I have made the trip between the two countries a number of times solo with my 2 young children. I shall be making it again in the new year with a 6,4 and 1 year old so will be exhausted by the time we arrive!

    • That’s a long trip, Rebecca. I hope you get to rest up somewhere nice either in the middle or at the end. We always try to break our flights up by stopping in SE Asia for a bit. Happy travels, Ruth

  7. So glad that you addressed this! Sometimes I almost feel ungrateful when I get tired of travelling! I always book a private room when I start to feel like this, as I think it is the constant conveyor belt of new people and repeated introductions and small talk that gets me! The kind you find in hostels and common rooms! Sometimes, I just want to be unsociable haha!

    • I hear you Demi. I agree. I once got to the point where someone could have offered me the most exotic cruise for free and I would have turned it down. I just wanted to stop and take time out. We all need to recharge our batteries!

  8. This is a great post. When I was travelling long-term, I would always factor in some down days. I would find somewhere comfortable (preferably beautiful) and read for a few days. This disengagement from the unfamiliar world around me helped me recharge and then I was ready to move on and face the next adventure or challenge.

    • Glad you have some downtime with your travels, James. Recharges those batteries.
      The world is a big place and no matter how hard we try, we can’t see it all.
      Cheers Ruth

  9. This is all too real. When I had been one the road after a few months, I found myself getting lazier, seeing and doing less, and not being excited about traveling. Take a rest for a week or two and staying in the same place can really help with the travel fatigue. I’ll have to try the comfort food one next time too 🙂

  10. Omg, yes! Travel fatigue is real! Years ago, I thought I would be a “good” traveler, since I had moved abroad several times. I was so surprised to realize that it’s actually easier moving abroad than traveling abroad. Having a home base is so much more “normal” and calming than constant travel. Love your tips for beating this next time… so I don’t have to move to my next destination to survive it. Lol!

  11. I actually experience travel fatigue quite often, even though I usually don’t travel for more than two weeks at a time.

    But I spend my holidays and most weekends hiking in the mountains, so when I return home, I’m physically more tired than before the travel.

    Since I love mountains so much, I just have to live with it. 😉

    Anyway, thank you for this article, I’m definitely going to check out more posts of yours. 😀

  12. Great post on travel fatigue. We always start our international trips in big cities(and try to fly in later in the day) so we can walk lots to stay awake until about 9:00. Then we take time released melatonin and sleep well. We do the same the next day. This process has helped prevent travel fatigue.

  13. As a full time traveling family of 6, we often feel travel fatigue. As we are in an RV, we find that we need to just park it and stay in one place for a bit to recharge. Allowing ourselves to not need to go out and explore a new destination for a week or two can often get us back on track.

  14. Travel Fatigue survivor here! What really helps is if you are doing a long haul trip is to spend a day or two in your stopover location so you are not exhausted when you finally arrive. I have also found for long term travel its good to have a base point. That really helped me when I was traveling a lot.

  15. Having my own space and being able to purely relax rather than be out and about exploring new places helps me with travel fatigue. I like reading whilst burning a familiar scented candle to relax. Familiar comfort food does help too!

  16. Yes, travel fatigue gets to me after a few weeks on the road. I find a few days at home (yep, still have a home to go to) gets me rested and reenergized for the next trip.

  17. Of course! Travel fatigue hits me very often actually! 🙁 (Slowly getting older, eh!) I normally go back to my base and slow down my travel pace to try to recuperate! I feel it hits me more when I have a lot of night traveling like overnight buses, etc.

  18. Travel fatigue is no joke! At the end of a long trip to Europe this past summer, my family and I weren’t even that excited to see Paris. The catacombs were pretty cool, but at the end of the day, we just wanted some fatty American fast food. From now on, I think we’re gonna cut our trips a bit shorter ; )

    • Paris can be like that! I did not even get to the catacombs the last 2 times we went. Shorter trips can make you rush things a bit more. Try traveling in shoulder season when the queues aren’t so long will also help

  19. Travel fatigue is soo real and exhausting…especially with elderly. It took almost 2 weeks for my parents to settle after travelling around holyland. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

  20. Oh yeah. Travel fatigue is very real. When we are on the road as travel writers we generally move from hotel to hotel every 2 nights. The check-ins and check-outs are a real hassle and time consuming. Taking plenty of notes and photographs, trying to find the uniqueness of every place is exciting and challenging for a while, but travel fatigue sets in quickly. Add to this jet-lag, driving or flying from place to place. Regardless, we are travel addicts.

    • At one stage, I used to bring jello crystal packets. On arrival, I’d make a few cups up and pop in the fridge when my son was little. He had an instant comfort light snack without leaving the hotel room.

  21. People often have this fantasy like imagination when it comes to travelling. They don’t realize it can get tiring and travel fatigue is truly real. I have experienced it and getting some rest, being with family is the best way to bounce back 🙂

    • It is easy to read other people’s jam-packed agendas and see their photos and we forget how tiring it is when we end up doing the same thing ourselves. Social media often makes people want to outdo each other too

  22. Some great suggestions here. I travel a lot but never for extended periods. I like having my base to come home to. I’m hoping before too long though that I’ll be able to spend a bit longer in anyone place to really get to know it that much better.

  23. Travel fatigue is a real factor that most people overlook. What i normally do when i feel like i am a bit fatigued on my travel, i just have enough rest in a very confortable place (while trying not to feel guilty for resting instead of exploring the new area).Thank you for sharing these amazing tips.

  24. Travel fatigue is so real, so thanks for bringing this topic to light. So many of us just glorify travel without talking about some of the downsides, and travel fatigue is one of them. That being said, it’s worth it, but it’s still real!

  25. Great that you’re raising awareness of travel fatigue! Agree that it’s definitely real (I’ve experienced it a few times) but somehow it always seems difficult to explain to family and friends back home who think that travelling is non- stop fun! After getting travel burn-out I now try to travel a bit more slowly – whenever possible!

  26. Yes, this! I totally experienced travel fatigue on a month long trip around Italy. There were so many amazing sights to see but after a few weeks it was a case of – oh, another amazing cathedral, or yet another incredibly presented and delicious meal. For me I think it would have been better to have had two shorter trips than one month travelling. Sounds ungrateful, and it was an amazing trip, but sometimes less is more? Thanks for sharing your tips.

  27. I totally know what you mean! We’re exploring Europe in our motorhome, and even though we travel slowly and stop whenever we want, there’s always a push to ‘keep going!’ Sometimes coming home is the best!!

  28. This definitely resonates! The longer we’re on the road, the more tired we get. We decided to carve out more time for rest and we feel less guilty about not seeing everything, or exploring every day. Completely agree that finding a base to rest is crucial to staying healthy for long-term travel! We’re currently housesitting / petsitting in Istanbul and it’s been really nice to sleep in, establish a bit of a routine.. :)!

  29. These are some really good tips. My longest travel has been for 15-16 days, so just one day rest before resuming work was enough to get rid of the jetlag and fatigue. I really look forward to the day when i go on a long trip and read this post again to really overcome travel fatigue

  30. Such good advice – we generally call our travel fatigue the fact that we are “templed out”. We’ve slowed down lots since we started travelling nearly 5 years ago – there are many more airbnb’s in our lives now, and 3-4 nights in a place rather than 1-2. And I’m much more selective of what I actually want to see, rather than seeing things just because they;re on everyone else’s list!

  31. I’ve been experiencing huge bouts of this recently after a long trip to South America. Travelling for so long definitely takes its toll but like everything in moderation, it can be fine.
    A huge Netflix binge always helps me.

  32. I’ve travelled none stop in South America throughout 2017-18 and can totally relate. I never knew it was called ‘travel fatigue’ but makes sense. Thanks for the timely insights – I’m soon due to return soon.

  33. Great tips! There is no doubt a point that packing and unpacking every several days wears on me. Having a longer-term home base is what I need to recoup and recharge. Just doing everyday things and not having a plan for a week or two also helps a ton.

  34. I agree 100%! The struggle is real. I have been traveling non-stop for 5 months now, and sometimes I feel it is just too much moving around from one stop to the next.
    Recently, I am taking it slower. Staying in the same place for 4 nights rather than just 1 or two. And not filling every day with activities, having whole days to just relax is the way to go for me.

  35. I actually experienced travel fatigue on almost every trip longer than two weeks, and what I found really helps is to stay put and blend in with the locals as much as possible. Go around only in your neighborhood, make it your own. Shop for comfort food at a supermarket or just order takeaway if that is an option, then crash in your hotel room and binge watch Netflix. Felt like at home in no time 🙂

  36. I really appreciate this post as I am planning a month long trip for our family. The debate I have had with my wife is about burnout and overstimulation. I have planned “zero” days where we make no plans but hanging out in the hotel. Maybe that will be enough, but then again maybe it won’t be. These are very good tips for this reality that we may face down the road.

  37. I guess travel fatigue does set in at some stage and especially if you are on the road for a long time. But luckily have been spared the same till now. But sometimes you do get a feeling of overdoing things. The best way is to slow down and maybe take a break and return recharged and rejuvenated.

  38. Thanks for the tips. I agree that we need to recharge after days of traveling. We need time to rest and let our body recuperate because travelling long term is not easy, and definitely not for everybody. 🙂

  39. It’s so good you wrote about this. And yes, one is considered lucky to even have this problem, and I see the point, but still, every lifestyle has its own perks and challenges. I travel quite intensely, too, though not full-time, but this makes it even more intense, since I don’t want to “waste” my travel time to recharge. But after 2-3 weeks I definitely feel the need to stay in one place and chill out for a few days at least.

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