Learn how to overcome post-travel depression
It’s finally over. The trip you’ve been anticipating and planning for months just ended and you are now back home. And you can’t help but feel a little down.
Post-travel depression is a very real thing, and it can hit anyone, even after traveling for short periods of time (though it appears more often at the end of longer trips). Don’t worry though, I’m here to help! In this blog post, I will discuss 10 tips on how to deal with post-travel blues and make the transition back to your normal life a bit easier!
Why do we get post-travel depression?
The reason why many people experience post-travel blues is because of the change in routine. When you’re on vacation, everything is new and exciting: you learn new things, see new places, and meet new people. But once you return home, all of the regular obligations and responsibilities that you usually have (work, bills, things you put off before you left) can seem mundane and overwhelming.
Additionally, many people miss the feeling of freedom (found even in the little things like getting up when you want) and the adventure that comes with being in a new place or the people they met while traveling.
10 great tips on how to overcome your post-travel blues:
#01. Do the things that you missed doing while traveling
Eat at your favorite restaurant in town, spend quality time with your pet or go out with your friends. Do all the things you missed doing back home while on holiday!
People are a bit weird and we often want to be in a totally different place than we’re currently in. I mean I cannot remember how many times I missed the comfort of my home, my family, my cats or even eating certain foods (I was so desperate for cheese when I returned from Japan, it wasn’t even funny) and sleeping in my own bed while on vacation. Then as soon as I got home, I wanted to be back traveling, because I missed the freedom and the novelty of it.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to reach out to family or friends (especially to people you know they’ll understand) for support if you’re feeling down.
#02. Focus on your other hobbies
Do you have any hobbies (apart from traveling of course) that you really like doing?! It is the perfect time to focus on them! Distracting yourself with other activities that you love, can help take your mind off of the trip and make the transition back home a bit easier. So grab that paintbrush, tend to your plants or start redecorating your home.
If you have a travel blog where you write about your adventures and try to help others plan their own, then that’s ok too. Personally, I know this helps me, so why shouldn’t it help you too?
#03. Avoid social media, especially Instagram
While social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can also be a source of distress for people who are experiencing post-travel blues. Seeing pictures and posts about other people’s vacations can make you feel even more down than you already are. Instagram in particular, can worsen your post-travel depression since the travel community is pretty huge there and it’s a very visual app.
So try to limit your time on social media or even avoid it entirely, at least for a while. Instead, focus on staying connected with the people you met while traveling in other ways, such as through email or text.
#04. Try to be active
When you’re feeling down, it can be easy to stay in bed all day or spend hours watching TV. However, staying active can help improve your mood. Exercising releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that help you release stress and create a feeling of well-being. So try to get out and do something active, whether it’s going for a walk, going to the gym, or just playing with your pet.
#05. Tidy up your home before you leave for your trip
This tip is for before the travel blues even come knocking on your door: try to leave your home as tidy as possible before you go away on your vacation. It may sound like a silly tip, but it can actually help a lot. We often pack our bags last minute which usually means that we make a total mess out of the house right before we leave for our holiday (if you don’t do this, I just want to say that you’re amazing and you should just skip to the next tip!).
But the issue is that when we eventually return, tired and sad that our trip has ended, we also have to face all the mess we left before which can make the transition back to reality even harder. So before you leave on your next trip, take some time to tidy up your place. This way, when you come home, all you’ll have to do is relax.
#06. Relive your trip through your travel memories
When you’re feeling down, it can be helpful to remember the happy memories that you made while traveling. You can do this in any way you like or feel comfortable with:
- write about your vacation in a journal or on a blog
- edit and organize your travel photos
- make a scrapbook of the trip
The start might be a bit hard, but as the time passes by, you’ll likely find yourself smiling at your travel memories. Besides, this will also help preserve them.
Usually when I miss traveling or even when I’m feeling down for whatever other reason, just scrolling through my travel albums on Facebook is enough to lift my spirits up.
#07. Make a change
This can be something big like taking a new hobby or something as small as rearranging your bedroom. The important thing is to show yourself that you can experience new things at home as well. This can help you realize that not only by traveling you can bring novelty to your life.
#08. Pamper yourself
Have a spa day at home, make yourself a fancy drink, have a delicious breakfast, or buy a new outfit. There is not a single reason why you cannot feel as spoiled at home as you do during your travels.
There are many different ways to pamper yourself, so find what works best for you. It can be a fun way to treat yourself and relax after a busy trip.
#09. Make a list of the things you didn’t like during your trip
Try to remember what you didn’t like about your recent adventure. This is not to stain your wonderful memories, but rather to find reasons to be appreciative for being at home.
So.. the hotel bed was too hard and your back hurt? Hated the jet lag? Fell tourist traps? Got blisters on your legs from too much walking? Take a piece of paper and write everything down! By the end of it, you should feel pretty grateful to be in the comfort of your own home, getting some well-deserved rest.
#10. Start planning your next trip
Coming home from an amazing holiday and knowing that your next one will not happen any time soon, might make you say: “I’m not in any mood to plan a trip right now!”. But trust me, as soon as you start researching for your next vacation, you’ll slowly start feeling excited again. And the good news is, you don’t even have to leave your house to do it.
So go ahead, start planning your next trip! It doesn’t matter if it’s just a weekend getaway or a month-long adventure. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to.
10 tips on how to deal with post-travel blues: Recap
- Do the things that you missed doing while traveling
- Focus on your other hobbies
- Avoid social media, especially Instagram
- Try to be active
- Tidy up your home before you leave for your trip
- Relive your trip through your travel memories
- Make a change
- Pamper yourself
- Make a list of the things you didn’t like during your trip
- Start planning your next trip
It’s also important to remember that post-travel blues are temporary and they will eventually pass. The symptoms may last for a few days or even weeks, but eventually, they do go away.
In the meantime, try to focus on the positive aspects of your trip and the memories you made. These memories will help you get through the tough times and eventually you’ll be able to look back on your experience with fondness.
I remember when I returned from my 2-week trip to Malaysia and Thailand back in 2019. I had such a good time and experienced so many wonderful new things that I started feeling sad about leaving as soon as I stepped into the airport for my return flight. And this continued for weeks on end. It was my worse case of travel blues to date. However, the silverling is that these longing feelings did vanish in the end.
Post-travel depression can happen, but there are ways to overcome it. By following the tips I’ve outlined in this post, you can get back on your feet and start enjoying your day-to-day life again. Have you ever experienced post-travel blues? What have you found to be most helpful when overcoming these feelings?