The ‘travel blues’, the ‘holiday blues’ and the ‘backpacker blues’ are the feeling you feel when you get home from a trip or holiday and feel a little down and depressed.
We can feel this whether we’ve been on a weekend city break or a 6-month South East Asia adventure. However coming home after a long trip, whether that’s a backpacking trip or a year living abroad, is the time we’ll feel this most intensely.
Not only is life boring in comparison to our adventure-packed days on the road, but we also have to deal with getting back to reality which probably means finding another job, finding a new place to live, catching up with friends who we haven’t seen for a while, and throughout all of this we battle with the feeling that we feel so different inside after this huge adventure, yet everything at home looks pretty much the same as when we left.
It’s not uncommon for travellers to be planning their next trip in their head before they even get home. Travel does that to us, it’s addictive… in a good way! We meet new people, learn about new places and before we know it we’re in Thailand planning our South America trip next year!
‘I’ll go home, work for 6 months, live cheaply, save hard and go away again, easy!’
The thing is, is that when we get home, that thought seems to change. In the past few years, I’ve met so many people who go home after a trip and they never leave again to do a big travel trip, even though they wanted to when I met them and when they were going through the travel blues.
For some, that’s ok, but for others? I think it’s something they’ll regret. It’s very easy to ‘get stuck’ at home once those travel blues have gone. Financial commitments are agreed to, relationships start, good jobs with good prospects seem hard to leave, and there’s this pressure that we should ‘stop travelling and settle down’.
Well, from a person who has returned home multiple times after long trips but has always left again one way or another, I have some tips on how to help you get over the travel blues, tips on how to settle in at home after backpacking and most of all, tips to help make sure you leave again soon! Let’s go!
How To Get Over Travel Blues
1. Have a Realistic Goal!
Have a country or area of the world in mind that you want to visit next and set a realistic time frame for going. Don’t say you want to leave in 3 months as realistically you may not save enough money in this time (if money is the factor) and you’ll only end up disappointed.
Having this goal will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it will help you focus on saving money ready for that trip and not committing to too many things at home that may cause you to get ‘stuck’.
I’d even go as far as telling you to write down where and when you want to go, write down all the details, everything you’re dreaming amount, and work on manifesting this so it happens!
2. Stick to Budgeting at Home.
Most of us are pro-budgeters when we travel but as soon as we get home, that slips and this isn’t going to help you save quickly for your next trip.
To help save money, remember how cheap things are when you travel, especially in places like Asia. Remember how far that £50.00 spent on a few beers at home could get you when you travel. (FYI £50.00 could get you 625 x 8p beers in Vietnam!)
Don’t stop your social life when you get home but do suggest budget options to friends and tell them that you’re saving for your next trip already. Maybe you’ll even inspire them to see what savings they can make so they can go travelling too!
3. Be a Tourist in your Home Country.
Just because you’re home it doesn’t mean the travelling and exploring has to end. Over the years being away has made me realise just how beautiful the UK is and moving to London meant I could explore a new part of the city every weekend without going far.
I also think it helps to remember what people said when you told them where you’re from. For example, if you’re speaking to an Aussie they think the UK and Europe are awesome and so many of them are desperate to visit. In return, I tell them how lucky they are to be Australian because I loved living there.
Look at your home country and home city or town from a tourist perspective and you might just see it differently than before which can help keep those itchy feet at bay for a bit.
4. Appreciate the Little Things You Have Now.
Now is the time to appreciate all the things you missed when travelling. Whether that’s being able to cook whatever you want when you want, drive a car, watch Sky TV, have a brilliant internet connection, a comfy bed, your own room (this is a biggie if you’ve been spending a lot of time in hostels!), appreciate it now before it’s gone again and it will give you some extra bit of joy in those ‘travel blue’ days.
5. Use the Friends still Travelling as Motivation.
Another way to make sure you leave again to go travelling after you return home is to keep in touch with people you met travelling, especially if they are still travelling. Use them as a motivation to know that soon you’ll be back out there and living that carefree, full of adventure life once again. It’s so easy to forget what it’s like to be a backpacker and have no responsibilities as soon you get home so this will help keep that memory fresh.
If you want to use me as your motivation, make sure you are following me on Instagram!
6. Use this Time as Planning Time.
I like to have a good idea of where I want to go on my next trip, the best route and what there is to do in each place. Use this time at home (and the good internet connection) to plan your next trip- look into visas, itineraries, travel costs, things to do. This will keep you focused and excited.
A Saturday evening spent at home in your bedroom in order to save money isn’t as bad when you are researching destinations!
If you’re in the planning stages now, have a look at my Destinations page as hopefully I’ve been somewhere you want to go and I can give you some advice!
7. Don’t be in a Job you Hate.
This is a big one. If you come home pretty skint and you just need to save a bit of money for the next 6 months or year it’s easy to take any job you can, but honestly, my biggest advice is to at least try to get a job that you don’t mind getting out of bed for!
Being home can be hard enough if you have the backpacker blues and you don’t want to be completely wasting and hating your time at home by being in a job 5 days a week that you don’t like!
8. Book a Flight!
Finally, sometimes the best motivation we can get to save more money and leave again to go travelling is to book a flight and fully commit!
Make sure you’re realistic about the date you book this for (remember tip 1), you don’t want to be too keen and not have enough money by that date, but at the same time, don’t operate out of fear and book it really far in advance either.
Having a flight booked and knowing when you are leaving again also makes it so much easier when people ask (and they will ask) ‘so when are you off again??’ as you can give them an exact date and stop any apprehensions that you might just ‘stay at home and settle’… because let’s face it, that’s not the life for us!
There’s nothing like a good Skycanner session and a bit of Skyscanner Roulette to see what cheap flights you can find!
Thursday 15th of August 2019
This is such a great post! I’ve never than a really long trip (3 months was the longest) but I can still identify with many of the points you mention.
It doesn’t help that whenever I go, I always try to experience the place like a local would and always ask myself “could I see myself living here?”.
For me the last point is the one I always stand by. I tend to book flights for my next trip pretty much as soon as I get back. It’s great to have something to plan and look forward to whether it’s a month, 3 months or 6 months away.
My next trip isn’t until mid December now but having the flights and hotels booked, and researching all the restaurants, cafes and places to see makes the wait much more bearable.
Thursday 15th of August 2019
I’m glad you can relate to these points and they definitely still apply if you take shorter trips too! It’s awesome you have your December trip booked already with plenty of time to plan and look forward to it :)
Wednesday 8th of June 2016
Loved this post! You are one of those facebook travel inspiration friends for me right now. Where you off to in October? :)
Wednesday 8th of June 2016
Ah that's good to hear! I wrote this last year so October was when I left to do the Middle East and Asia and see you again! :D You seem to be making the most of where you are now though! X