Travel burnout. I’ve been there before, and that’s where I am again. This is hard for me, as a travel blogger, to admit (and please don’t fire me, Leana!) How did this happen?
I started the year looking forward to all of our planned trips. We really just had three major vacations planned—a week in Florida at the beach for Spring Break, a Disney Cruise to Alaska and a trip to California over the summer. But then we sprinkled in a night at a treehouse and added onto our California trip with a few nights in San Francisco followed by an overnight train trip and a few days in Denver.
Then, unexpectedly, I had to make a few trips to Denver to see my parents. Add onto those several work trips for my husband, our regularly scheduled trips to see my husband’s family and my recent solo trip to New Orleans, and WE ARE BEAT. Exhausted. Done.
Just this summer alone, I’ve slept in 10 different beds. I can’t even get my suitcase unpacked before it’s time to start packing for the next trip. I just want to curl up in my own bed and sleep for a month.
Even though most of these trips were heavily discounted due to collecting miles and points through credit card bonuses (for which I am very thankful), they are still every bit as time consuming. Somehow, we’ve got to muster the strength for at least two more trips to visit family in Texas in November and December and possibly yet another trip to see family in Colorado. How will we do it?
I am not opposed to changing or canceling travel plans. I don’t want to travel just for the sake of traveling.
My family actually had a short two-night getaway scheduled for Labor Day weekend in just a few weeks. We had planned to stay in a cabin in the Texas Hill Country area for our anniversary (with our kids), but we canceled it in time to get our entire deposit refunded.
We just couldn’t get excited for the trip. The trip would have required us to drive up I35 on a holiday, which is notorious for traffic jams. Our 4-hour drive could easily turn into 6+ hours of highway frustration. Since the holiday weekend is quickly approaching, I couldn’t see us getting over our travel burnout by then.
I would love to cancel one of our fall family visit trips if I thought we could get away with it. Sometimes, less is more, and that applies to travel, too.
Planning Differently for Next Year
I know that we will get over this travel overload soon. We will catch up on sleep and get accustomed to our beds. Maybe it will take weeks or months, but it will happen.
We have a “dry spell” of a few months coming up. Once the routine of school and homework falls into place, we will probably start craving a change of scenery.
But, going through this burnout has forced us to reevaluate our priorities. Which trips are the most beneficial and meaningful?
When we look back at our trips this year, by far our favorites were our Disney Cruise to Alaska and our Spring Break trip on the Florida beaches. What do those two trips have in common?
Both of those trips allowed us to relax. We had downtime and didn’t fill every day with planned activities and schlepping around. We didn’t move from place to place after one or two nights, but had extended time in one bed/location.
So far, we have two major trips planned for next year. We are going to Hawaii over Spring Break and we have a condo booked for a month in the summer. And I can’t forget that I tentatively booked a repeat visit at the treehouse.
But for now, that is where my planning will stop. Sure, I can’t predict if I’ll have to fly to visit family members in the hospital or travel for other unexpected emergencies. But, I can step back and make a conscious decision to plan fewer, more relaxing trips. And maybe I need to say “no” more often to myself and others.
Who else is experiencing a temporary case of travel burnout? Have you been there before, and how long until you were ready to hit the road (or air) again?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.