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5 Ways to Eliminate Travel Burnout

Posted by kdadmin on June 10th, 2015.

5 Ways to Eliminate Travel Burnout

For those of us who love to travel, burnout can be a real problem. Sure, on paper, it seems like a good idea to string a bunch of cities together and spend three days in each, but by the third city, it’s hard to remember where you are anymore. Much less how to enjoy the sights, smells, shops, restaurants, hotels and even people. Eventually, it all becomes one big slurry of foreign overload. But this can be avoided. Let me show you how.

Vacations are meant to recharge you. This can’t happen if you burn yourself out on the road. Do it long enough, and it will take you a month to get your head back on straight. I’ve been there. You don’t want to be. Now, after testing dozens of strategies over hundreds of thousands of miles, I make sure I take the following steps to avoid burnout. It works like a charm.

  1. Invest in excellent noise canceling headphones.
  2. Travel during shoulder season.
  3. Make every fourth day a slug day.
  4. Eat in at least one meal per day.
  5. Visit wide open natural spaces or large bodies of water.

Noise Canceling Headphones. Silence is an incredible gift when we are constantly bombarded by stimuli. It isn’t the honking car that’s a problem, it’s the constant hum of the white noise in the background, like when you’re on a plane, that saps your energy. I use Bose in-ear noise canceling headphones, model Quiet Comfort 20i. Yes, they cost $250. No, I will not travel without them. In my quest to find these, I tested over 20 different earphones. Bose were the best. Hands down. The thing I like about these is that I can easily have a conversation with the person next to me, but I feel like I am in a quiet library while they are being pounded by the din of flight.

Shoulder Season. Most people travel during high season. I avoid this like the plague. Take France for example. High season is mid June through August. Shoulder season is April – May and September – October. In high season a room can cost upwards of $400/night, but in shoulder season, that same room can cost as little as $120. Not to mention the crowds. For example: Le Lavandou, France, is a small town of 20,000 people. In high season, this can swell to over 100,000. It’s probably a zoo. I wouldn’t know. I never travel in the high season.

Slug Day. I can’t stress this enough. ALWAYS take one day off after three days of traveling and/or activities. When I followed a 3 travel and 1 slug day schedule, I was able to go for weeks without burnout. When I skipped a couple of slug days, I was burned out after 10 days. So, what’s a slug day? It’s a day in which you act like a slug. You barely move. You sleep late. IF you go outside, it’s only to walk by some beautiful wide open space or body of water. You order room service. You stay in your jammies. You watch bad TV, even if it’s in another language. You catch up on Facebook and read celebrity gossip. You watch reruns of Who’s Got Talent – UK. You eat very little, but what you do eat is light, meatless salads, fruit, and lots of water. You go to bed early. Slug day is designed to give your body a break from the intensity of travel. It works.

Eat In. Nothing burns out the digestive tract like restaurant food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You DO NOT want a wicked case of heartburn on your trip. Especially if you’re in some foreign land where they don’t sell the equivalent of Tums, or, worse, maybe they do, but nobody speaks English. Are you really going to take some “mystery medicine?” I don’t think so. The best method is to find a little grocery store or fruit stand nearby, and pack yourself a lunch, or a dinner, or both, every day. I try to alternate, but I do better with a packed dinner than a packed lunch, as lunch food tends to be less heavy.

Wide Open Spaces. Nothing calms me down like a large body of water. A wide open park works too, but not as well. Not only does a wide open space calm the mind with nothing to hobble a relaxing view, but water has a natural heaviness and serenity that just calms me down. This is why I always stay near the ocean. No matter how many planes, trains, automobiles, ferries or lunatic pedestrians that I have to navigate, a 20 minute walk on the beach washes it all away.

So there you have it. How to vastly improve your travel experience whether you’re traveling for several days or several months, either abroad or right here in Minnesota (see The British Are Coming … To Minnesota). Try these out. See how they work for you. We’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions. Better yet, send us pictures. Stay tuned for more like this next week. Happy Travels!

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