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10 tips for dealing with travel fatigue
Exercise and eat healthy
It can be easy to forgo your fitness routine and opt for all of the rich, filling foods that you wouldn't normally eat at home. For budget backpackers, it often becomes a habit to buy whatever food is the cheapest, which usually means greasy and unhealthy. While saving money is important, so is your health, and for you to enjoy your trip you need to be 100%. Start out by drinking lots of water and going to the market, where you can buy affordable and fresh produce. Also, start some kind of exercise routine, whether it be visiting a local gym, running through a park, or attending an active class of some kind.
When traveling, people often feel like they must experience every little piece of the city. And, if you're only spending a short time in one place, the need to see millions of sites in a short amount of time can definitely be draining. Instead of trying to visit every single church, castle, museum, art gallery, park, and monument in town, narrow your list down to a few sites you're really excited about and spend more time doing less.
The actual travel part of traveling, the trains, plains, buses, taxis, cars, and boats, can be exhausting. While you may feel like you're missing out if you're not constantly on the go and seeing as many cities possible, you can also aim to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the city that you're currently in. Instead of only skimming the surface of a destination, you now have the chance to really get to know the culture at a slower and less tiring pace.
It doesn't matter if you're taking a luxury vacation or budget backpacking trip; when you're feeling travel fatigue, it's important to make yourself comfortable. That doesn't mean you need to buy the most expensive spa treatment on the menu or book a night at 5-star hotel, but adding a little luxury into your trip can help you perk up. Get a massage, relax in a sauna, or reserve a hotel room with a comfortable bed and cable.
At times, traveling can be stressful. Wondering how you're going to get from Point A to Point B in time to catch a flight, dealing with lost luggage, or navigating a particularly confusing city can really weigh heavily on your mind. Try to find a way to relax and clear your thoughts. Meditation works for many people, as can taking a walk in a beautiful park or laying out on a nearby beach.
Connect with family and friends from home
Thankfully, it's easy to stay connected on the road these days. Make a phone call, write an e-mail, or, better yet, video chat with your loved ones to help you feel closer to home. If you're feeling really stressed, its also easier to vent to the people who know who best than complete strangers.
Do what you WANT to do
I find that so many times when I'm traveling, I find myself doing what I "should" be doing. Someone tells you to visit a beautiful church, a historical castle, or an educational museum and you suddenly feel like you have to do it. If you don't like churches or museums, though, don't go. When feeling travel fatigue, you need to focus on really enjoying where you are and what you're doing, so seek out activities that you enjoy, even if they may feel less "cultural".
Give yourself a routine
For some people suffering from travel fatigue, the endless days of sightseeing and wandering around can really wear you out. Giving yourself a routine, at least for a short period of time, can help give you a real purpose and a reason to be somewhere. Check the job boards at local hostels and see if anyone is looking for short-term help or find a volunteer organization to work with. If you can't find a project on your own, SE7EN offers free and low-cost volunteer opportunities.
Make new friends
While alone time can definitely be helpful for relaxing and regaining your energy, you also don't want to spend so much time alone that you're bored and lonely. Seek out friends who feel excited about traveling and are not suffering from the travel fatigue syndrome. Their enthusiasm will hopefully rub off on you. Plus, simply going out for a drink, going for a walk, or getting dinner with new people can open you up to unexpected experiences.
Adjust your mindset
Although you may be sick of traveling, you have to tell yourself that it's only temporary and don't let it ruin your entire trip. Think about what a great opportunity you have, experiencing new cities and cultures, and try to spin any negative thoughts into positive ones. Wish you had a hot bath but the closest thing you can find is a bucket shower? Think about what a unique experience your having. Having trouble adjusting to the food? Remember you won't be eating it forever and will also have interesting stories for your friends back home.