Long term travel can be tough. After a couple of months on the road, it becomes work and many people suffer from travel fatigue.
After traveling for months, you are no longer in that honeymoon phase of excitement you are just simply exhausted.
Every day has been one attraction, temple, trek or museum after another. Sometimes, after you have been busy being a tourist for weeks on end, all you want to do lay down and take a nap.
Signs You Are Suffering From Travel Fatigue
It can feel pretty strange when you are in a foreign country and other travelers are heading out in the morning for their tours and sightseeing excursions.
You think that you should be doing something too, but you just can’t motivate yourself, so you give into the fatigue and enjoy some time not traveling.
Here are some signs that told Dave and I that we just may have a little bit of travelers Fatigue…
1. Don’t Care About the Top Sites Anymore
For example: You go to the Taj Mahal, its cold, misty and foggy for three entire days.
You don’t care. You don’t even bother to go inside. Instead you go to the only heated place in town…the coffee shop.
2. You Skip The Top Tourist Attraction
For example: You have an opportunity to see the astounding Amber Palace in Jaipur India…
Instead you go to the mall, walk around and buy some socks.
3. Had Enough of Local Food and Traditions
For example: Your hotel has traditional food and musicians playing on their rooftop restaurant.
It has everything you would want for a night out in India…
You go to Pizza Hut instead. Not once, but twice.
4. Skip the Must do Tours
Not far out of town, there is a village filled with dancers, artists and local cuisine. They offer tours to go out there from the evening.
You choose to stay in bed and stream “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. On your computer’s free wifi.
5. Skip the City Tours
For example: You have two days in Delhi before flying out. It is pleasant outside. It’s not too cold and the sun is out. You are centrally located close to some of the cities best attractions…
You order room service and channel surf between HBO and the BBC
6. Cut Short Your Trip
For example: You should be heading east to Varenassi in central India. You have planned to travel all the way to Calcutta…
Instead you buy a last minute ticket to escape for a month to Sri Lanka.
7. Throw the Budget out the Window
Example: You are on a tight budget, you can’t go over budget or you won’t have enough money to get through the trip. The last thing you want to do in dip into your credit cards, but you can’t take backpacking anymore.
You’ve thrown the budget out the window and you couldn’t be happier.
Time to lay on the beach and enjoy your travel in style. It’s the only way you can get back into traveling again.
So, now that we’ve had a month to detox in luxury and yes, we blew the budget, we’re getting ready to go back to India backpacking again.
8. Excitement of Travel is Gone
The excitement of travel has come back to us.
We dealt with our funk on a beach in the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
We recovered from our traveler’s fatigue. All it took was a a few days laying in the sand, playing in the surf and relaxing by the pool. That is how you cure travel fatigue. Stop traveling for awhile and then get back to business.
38 thoughts on “Seven Signs You Are Suffering From Travel Fatigue”
THANK YOU for writing this post, after 5 months of Latin America I am tired of travelling. I went on a tour of Barrio 13 in Medellin this morning and now just want to hire an AirBnB for a month and live a normal life, with normal friends, with regular contacts, routines and a wardrobe. I’m supposed to be travelling for another 7 months and at the moment I am craving a normal life again… stability.
I love Downey posters, do u know what movie it is?
.-= wmofree´s last blog ..Ice World 2002 TV =-.
That is from Sherlock Holmes
Ha Ha Ha! love it! If any place can give you travelers fatigue it’s India!
.-= Dianne´s last blog ..Life is a lot like Jazz, it’s best when you improvise =-.
Haha, I can relate with that. When that happen, we move to different country, or even a country far away. Occasionally we will do a long-ish term stay, maybe a week or two, in somewhere budget, close to the beach. Relaxing and get ourselves reorganized.
.-= Dina VagabondQuest´s last blog ..Cockatoo and flying fox paradise =-.
sounds like you wanted a change of environment or then gain maybe you’re right, you just got tired of moving around too much. sometimes i get the ‘sickness’ of trying to see everything at once, squeezing every possible activity in a day, which eventually burnt me out.
do we really need to see all?
.-= flip´s last blog ..What’s the Future of the Travel Agencies? =-.
travel fatigue can be really tough especially if you have to face some frustrating situations…
after such an intense travel experience, as you guys, you well deserve some time off!
we are guilty too of many nights tv-watching but always up early in the morning for a long day full of adventures.
.-= marta´s last blog ..Snapshot of the week: let’s fly away =-.
Oh wow this sounds so similar to our India experience I can’t believe it. We too spent time in more than a few Pizza Huts and may have even went to the movie theaters twice, but those things saved our sanity.
Hey Lianna, so happy to hear that we are not alone! We went to the movies in Mumbai and it was amazing. We lost ourselves for a few hours. You just have to do it once in a while for your sanity.
Ah traveller’s fatigue… I know it all too well. Instead of checking out the beautiful valleys of Bukitinggi in Sumatra, I sat in a cafe sipping hot chocolate and soaking up free wifi not once, but on three separate occasions.
I am amazed I was able to tear myself away from the aircon in KL’s choping malls to head up to Taman Negara National Park for a couple of nights but I am sure glad I did. Although I am looking very forward to three nights of vegging out, catching up on internet stuff and watching the Olympics.
Bring on some more travel – but not for a couple of weeks!
.-= Kirsty´s last blog ..So Long Sumatra, Thanks for the Fruit Shakes =-.
Kristy. Ah, the shopping malls in KL! We couldn’t tear ourselves away either. But so glad when we did. Malaysia had amazing National Parks. glad you made it to Taman Negara. I agree, taking time is the key. We have finally settled into slowing down and not worrying so much. It only took us 3 months of traveling to figure it out!
Oooh, last time I tried to reduce travelers’ fatigue by sleeping on the beach, I ended up with an ugly sunburn!! Of course, I met some of my favorite other travelers when they walked by and pushed me and said, “Hey, Dude … (and, no, I’m not a dude) you should turn over!” ha ha
Hope you get rested soon!
.-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog ..Travel Tip Tuesday: Don’t Make These Five Mistakes When Planning Your Trip to Italy =-.
Sometimes you just have to slow down. It can be a blur of trains, planes and buses and even if you’re in a magnificent location, your body and mind just want to stop. There is nothing wrong with. It happens to the best and most open travelers. No shame in that.
To me that means that you have been taking in all the sights and sounds before and now you’re trying to process it all.
This is also a great ad for slower travel – staying for weeks instead of days if you can.
.-= brian | No Debt World Travel´s last blog ..Are You Broke, Married, Have Kids or Older? Consider a Round the World Trip =-.
Thanks for the positive feedback. It is true it makes you slow down and process what you have been experiencing over time.
You can get information overload and maybe travelers fatigue is just the way of dealing with it all.
I can relate to travel fatigue, but in my case I gave up cycling through Africa to RELAX in India. Most people either love India or they hate it and maybe you’re leaning towards the second category. Hope Sri Lanka will be what you’re looking for.
Ha Ha! I love it. Giving up Africa to relax in India. Let me tell you, sometimes we think of heading to Africa to Relax 🙂 I don’t think we hate India we just need a little break in order to enjoy the rest of it. Sri Lanka should do just that!
I can relate! Even on relatively short trips when the pace is fast, travel fatigue can set in. What I can’t stand are the feelings of guilt when you’re back home and didn’t do the things you set out to achieve.
.-= Gourmantic´s last blog ..How Your Blog Can Turn Your Holiday into Work =-.
Travel fatigue can strike anywhere. Hopefully there will be no regrets on this trip 🙂
After a few weeks of hard core travel, I enjoy taking a break and just relaxing. If you are going to be on the road for awhile, you need it. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy
.-= Nomadic Matt´s last blog ..Hostel Etiquette =-.
Well put Matt. You will go crazy if you don’t take that well needed break!
I am not sure I would call this Travelers Fatigue, feels more to me like you stopped being a tourist, and can call yourself a Traveler. There is a day when one accepts they live traveling, and they are not on vacation. There is no need to be walking around all day like a tourist.
Andy in Sosua, Dominican Republic
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.-= Andy Graham HoboTraveler.com´s last blog ..Andy HoboTraveler.com Travel Journal – Tue, 02 Feb 2010 06:18:10 =-.
Thanks for your comment Andy. We like your analogy and never really thought of it that way but we will now!!
Thanks for the comment Andy. We never really looked at it that way before but we will now!!
India is a tough country and I can understand how you would get tired of it after a while. If you need a break from the chaos, I really think Thailand is a good option. It is almost . . . but not quite . . . like being in a western country and a lot easier than travelingin India.
.-= Akila´s last blog ..thai feast: asia scenic cooking class =-.
Hey Akila, I agree, Thailand is a great option, we do love it there. Having been a few times we decided on something new and opted for Sri Lanka. What a great choice!
This is so true! I experienced exactly the same in India, even down to channel surfing between HBO and the BBC, and throwing out travel plans to go to Kerala in favour of slowing down for two weeks on Palolem Beach, Goa!
I think India especially invites Travel Fatigue, but it can strike anywhere – I’ve written about it hitting us in Peru
The key is not to exhaust yourself in the first place. Don’t try to fit too much in, schedule in plenty of time to simply relax and soak up the atmosphere, and try not to rush for too many early buses. Easier said than done when you’re in that first, energetic flush of a new trip!
To get over it, I find the best solution is to simply accept it, roll with it, enjoy the western food, air con and trashy films and wait for it to pass. Usually a change of scenery does the trick, as you say!
Here’s to guilt-free travel fatigue!
Hi Emma, You have a great point. I think that we tried to fit too much in. We kept on the move and you just can’t do that in India. It is also our first time running the blog full time while we travel and I think that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to keep coming up with fresh content for our readers.
and I think that you are right, as soon as we accepted that we had enough, enoyed the tv and food, we were ready to get back on the road and explore.
We usually don’t start getting tired of non-stop traveling until 6 or 7 months straight, but we go slow always with LOTS of unplugging & leisure days along the way. We also have a lot of time in nature that I think is important.
In almost 4 years of world travel, we have not had any travel fatigue yet, but we’re not in India yet either, although rural Morocco, Turkey and really anywhere new can be intense.
Weather DOES impact travel, especially extended travel. Traveling in cold, rainy, miserable weather, is just not fun….more so with a kid, even though we have done our share.
We now know, “too hot? Too rainy? too cold?” time to change locations! 😉
Enjoy your beach time and never forget that scheduled time to rest, reflect, rejuvenate, unplug & just do nothing is essential for long term travel!
.-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Seth Godin, Linchpin, Education & Travel =-.
No doubt a large part of your traveler’s fatigue stems from the fact that much of your travels in India turned out to be more frustrating and exhausting than you’d anticipated.
I know you found some parts of India to be beautiful and relaxing, but when much of your time is spent fending off hawkers, haggling with vendors for a fair price, trying to avoid the filth and pollution, and dealing with stressful transportation issues, that would exhaust the patience of anyone.
I had to smile when I saw the photo of your hotel room & TV, because I noticed the tea service tray – that’s not something you see here in the US – but it reminded me of the 2 month hiking trip Rod & I made through western Europe and the UK a few years back….everywhere we stayed we found that ever-present tray welcoming us, and sometimes it was the only thing that helped me de-stress and stay sane at the end of a long day, knowing that I could relax with a cup of tea or two and a couple of cookies…..such a civilized experience!
.-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..Suzy: The Finale – Suzy Speaks! =-.
Yes Trisha, things were a little bit more frustrating than expected and this no doubt contributed to our fatigue.
The tea service tray is great and to see it here (because we have them in Canada) was a comforting sight.
Sometimes a tea and some cookies can do wonders for the psyche.
Hi Deb & Dave,
Although you two claim to be seasoned travellers, your last few blog posts make you sound like a bunch of western teeny boppers who’ve never set foot in a developing country. I’m sorry you’ve had a “hard” time but to collectively call India filthy and not even go to the Taj Mahal is a sign of stupidity and not traveller’s fatigue.
My girlfriend and I are currently travelling in India (from Australia) and although find parts of India very dirty and some of the people quite unfriendly, our overall experience has been quite enjoyable. And yes, occasionally we love a quiet day and a western meal at McDonald’s, it’s not to say we’re looking for an escape from the country. We’re also travelling for two months, are at the halfway point of our trip, and are more than looking forward to the second half.
Among other things, I’m also surprised that you’ve found places like Bombay more enjoyable than some of the more “Indian” places. I lived in Bombay as a kid and although I love that city for it’s energy and vibe, I also consider it to be one of the dirtiest and full of money-hungry hawkers/beggars. And if you’re really that experienced, did you not do any research before you arrived? For if you had, you wouldn’t have expected a comfortable/western experience. A part of enjoying India is relishing just how different it is.
Anyway, each to his/her own, but i just wish you’d shown a little more respect to this old country.
Hope your Sri Lanka trip is more *comfortable*.
Thank you for your response. I think that it is great that your time in India has been enjoyable. The great thing about travel is that it is a different experience for everyone. But I think that it is unfair to judge other peoples experiences so harshly. These are merely our observations and in no way are we disrespecting the country. If you take the time to read through our blog you will see that we enjoyed many places in India which included a visit to the Taj MAhal which was fogged in the whole time we were there. Sure some places we thought were filthy and if you believe that this is naive perhaps your judgment of Bombay is also off the mark. Calling it one of the dirtiest cities and full of money hungry beggars perhaps was your view but ours was different and we believe peoples opinions should be respected.
We didn’t come to India for a western experience, but to be a so called seasoned traveler doesn’t mean you have to enjoy the filth of a country.
Travel fatigue is different for everyone and so is how you deal with it.
Great article – and I can say that while not in India – we have done the same types of things when we are travelling- recently we got off a 14 day Med Cruise in Barcelona and had one last day of holiday – all we wanted to do was order room service and watch tv – we watched 7 episodes of the TV series “Damages” instead of exploring the architecture of Gaudi!
Oh well such is life!
Have a great time recovering in Sri Lanka!
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..Jan 25, Flying with Kids – How to Avoid Tantrums on Airplanes and other tips and trick for travelling with kids. =-.
Thanks for the comment. I love that so many people have done the same thing. Sometimes it is nice just to spoil yourselves with room service and english T.V.
We are currently experiencing this in Bangkok. We decided to to spend a higher amount per night and have ourselves our own studio apartment with free wifi, comfy bed, and TV with some English channels. Got some groceries for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Even manage to spend an entire day without leaving the apartment as we had leftover Indian food to eat for dinner! But we believe its good to spend a few days in the row of downtime and have found ourselves doing this all across the world during our trip, especially before we switch countries!
Enjoy the beach life! We just left the beach life of Thailand and are on our way up to Laos. I already miss the ocean!
Ahh, you must be loving your own studio apartment especially with all of the trimmings. Great way to recharge those batteries.
We will enjoy the beach life for sure!!
Have an awesome time in Laos you’re gonna love it!
Hi Dave & Debra,
I so relate to this. Such a shame not to have the energy to enjoy what you’ve been dreaming about. But then, recognizing the signs and doing something about them is important. A bit of self renewal – budget be damned – you’ll be on course again.
Take good care of yourselves,
.-= Janice´s last blog ..The Sundance Kids: an ode to the volunteers =-.
Thanks for the words of encouragement Janice. Our budget may get a little bruised but our vigor to get back at it will be renewed.