Ahh the post travel blues – we’ve probably all felt them! Let’s lay out the scenario.
Going on an amazing trip is almost always an exhilarating experience. Be it a road trip close to home, an all-inclusive vacation in a sunny destination, or a backpacking adventure in Southeast Asia. You spend so much time planning where you want to go, booking the flights/hotels/etc., thinking about all the things you will do (and eat!) and dreaming about your vacation. Then, it’s finally GO TIME! You step on that plane, feeling the excitement as you go to your seat, stow your carry-ons, sit down and click the seat belt. It’s time to turn your phone off, sit back, and relax as the plane takes off. This is one of my favorite parts of going away, when the butterflies of excitement really start going in my stomach, and I feel good! The next is landing in a new destination (or even an old one that I love).
10 Best Tips for Dealing With Post Travel Blues
Time to Return Home
After a week or two (or a month or whatever amount of time) of exploring on my amazing trip, it’s time to return home. I don’t know about you, but this is what I always dread. This is even more so after we’ve all been having to stay home during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now traveling is possible again, and I want to make up for lost time! Returning from your trip, jet lag, and the post vacation blues really impact my mental health.
Getting on that airplane to go back home feels like walking to the gallows. Time to get back to everyday life, return to working – never a good feeling! You begrudgingly go to your seat on the return flight, thinking of all the things you need to do when you get back – bills to pay, go back to work, get that oil change in your car, flip through the pile of mail – you know, the day-to-day stuff that seems so boring and/or stressful in your everyday life.
This is when the post-trip blues really sets in
Getting back to the daily grind of life after you return home is never all that fun and you just wish you were back on your amazing trip in some foreign land instead of heading out on a trip to the grocery store or return to working. Most of us travelers have been there, so you are not alone with your post travel depression!
Post Travel Blues Quotes
There are many smart people who said smart things about overcoming post travel depression. ‘There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.’ said Bill Watterson. We know Bill, we know. Isn’t this one of the reasons we are suffering from the post vacation blues? Ed Sheeran said it best: ‘It’s OK to not be OK.’ And yet, there are things you can do to combat that sad feeling after an amazing trip ended! It’s not the same as actually going on an adventure, but the following things may help with overcoming post vacation blues.
How To Deal With Post Travel Blues
1. Give yourself time
This is especially important when you’ve been overseas and are suffering from jetlag. Give yourself an extra day or two before you return to working to sleep it off, get back into your time zone, and do important things like stocking up on groceries, and going through the mail that has piled up during your absence without getting stressed out.
2. Get Organized Again
Your bags are half unpacked, there’s stuff everywhere, you need to do the laundry – but you feel the post vacation blues. The best thing you can do to get your mental health back in order and slide back into everyday life is to get organized. Staring at your luggage won’t magically transport you back on that beach or into your car during your road trip, so unpack, do the wash, put everything away, and practice gratitude for the beautiful home you have.
3. Stare longingly at trip pics
Once you got over the jet lag, start editing your photos and videos from the trip you just came back from. This way, you can relive some of the exciting and beautiful moments and thus alleviate the post holiday blues. And once they are edited, go ahead and share on your social media channels with a caption describing what you did and how you felt. It will surely bring a smile to your face and make you practice gratitude for the wonderful adventure you just had as you share your travel experiences with your followers!
4. Write about your trip
Writing is one of the most cathartic and therapeutic things you can do when you feel the post travel depression after you return home. I usually take the stream-of-consciousness mode of writing which really helps me put my thoughts and feelings out there. Write about your fantastic road trip, all the things you did, how you felt about the places you visited and the people you met, and how you are feeling now after returning from your trip. Put those memories to paper! It will help you feel so much better when the post travel blues hits. Heck, you can even write a blog post about your travels!
5. Talk to people
If you went on that amazing trip with a friend or loved one, talk to them about it. They are probably going through the same set of emotions you are post holiday. Feel gratitude towards the wonderful travel experience you had together. If you went solo, reach out to a friend who is a frequent flier because, chances are, they have often felt the same way and may have some advice. Talking to someone certainly helps!
6. Take a day trip
Sometimes exploring your home state or country can satisfy the need to explore and beat back the post travel blues, even just for a little while, and make you feel good. Besides, you may find a great new place you a learn about and love, right in your own back yard. Staycations are excellent for your mental health. Practice gratitude with the small adventures you are able to have after returning from your trip!
7. Take an international cooking class
Everyday life doesn’t have to be boring! There are cooking schools all over the place these days, so if you enjoyed the food in the country you just visited, see if a local cooking school is offering a class in that type of cuisine. It will bring you back to the happy times from your visit, all while teaching you a new skill you can then share by cooking for friends and family at home! Your mental health will get a boost from recreating a part of your amazing trip!
8. Join a meetup group with like-minded individuals
In just about every city, there is a travel meetup group where you can connect with others to talk about travel, learn from each other’s experiences, and possibly plan trips together. Finding like-minded people is a great way for overcoming post vacation blues!
9. Join online travel groups
Facebook and other social media sites host a plethora of travel pages where all people talk about is travel and give each other advice as to what to do, where to stay, where to eat in certain places and encourage each others travels. A huge boost for your mental health after you return home! If you feel the post vacation blues, you’ll find like-minded souls. I’ve personally found a lot of value in joining these groups because most travelers are in the same boat as far as shared values are concerned. It’s a great way to stay connected to the world of travel in your everyday life. I think Her Adventures is a good place to start 😉
10. Plan your next trip!
Sometimes the research, planning and booking is almost as fun as actually going somewhere, and it is sure to lessen the post travel depression. It always makes me happy and puts a smile on my face as I plan out all the possibilities for my next amazing trip. It allows you to daydream a bit before it eventually becomes a reality and you have new incredible travel experiences!
These suggestions won’t replace actual the travel experience, but they should help with the post travel depression and your mental health, even just a little.
(Now, I must note, there is a serious difference between post travel blues and actual depression. So if you are legitimately experiencing post travel depression symptoms, please seek professional help. If you have suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.)
About Melissa: Melissa works as a tv/film accountant and is a mom to two little travelers. She loves to do a combination of budget and luxury travel! Other interests include photography, travel writing, & spending as much time as possible at the beach (despite now living in the desert). You can check out her Insta, Pinterest, or her very own blog!
IRL, Melissa works as a travel writer and tv/film accountant and is a mom to two little travelers. She loves to do a combination of budget and luxury travel! Other interests include photography, travel writing, working out, and spending as much time as possible at the beach (despite now living in the desert). She is known as @worldlyroamer on social media.