Tips & Techniques, Travel, Wellness / Self-Care

Travel fatigue explained and how to recover from it

Exhausting vacations are a thing.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Aug 20, 2022

Summer 2022 has been called the summer of “revenge travel”. Many people who opted not to travel since the pandemic started have found refuge in the loose regulations this summer and decided to take off to Europe and other places. However, what most people forgot is that traveling is exhausting.

 

When you spend too many days or weeks continually being “on alert” when traveling, you become completely exhausted. It shows itself as apathy toward travel activities that ordinarily pique your interest and a lack of desire to experience local cuisine and culture. Travel fatigue is a sensation of extreme weariness and detachment, similar to other forms of burnout.

 

This summer, I went on an almost three-week long trip home. I am usually used to the change in time resulting in jet lag, but having gone to 2 cities instead of the usual one, I ended up feeling more exhausted than I normally would. So here are some ways that you can recover from travel fatigue.

 

Unplug and meditate

This may sound like silly advice, but travel not only disturbs your circadian rhythm, but it also causes you to become overstimulated in a way that would require a major reset. Once you’re back from your trip, and after recovering from jet lag, try to find times during the day where you limit overstimulation by unplugging and engaging in meditative exercises.

 

Meditation doesn’t always have to look like yoga or breath work. Some activities, such as cleaning and cooking, can also be meditative.

 

Establish a routine

The biggest thing that travel does is disrupt any routine you had in place. While this is actually one of the perks of traveling—feeling like you are not bound by things and running errands—it actually does shift you off your center. We are, after all, creatures of habit.

 

As soon as you get back from your trip, try to establish a routine for yourself. This could be a skincare routine, a specific nighttime ritual, or a daily walk at a specific time. Anything that makes you feel grounded.

 

And lastly, take it easy

We often rush to see friends and family once we get back from a trip. But that will only add to the travel fatigue that you’re feeling. If you are able to, try to limit your social outings in the first week after returning from your trip, just to find your balance again and be able to catch your breath and recover from the physical exhaustion of travel.

 

When you’re back to your full self, don’t forget to cash in your savings with an airline travel card. So next time, you can travel on points.