Travel can be a wonderful thing, it’s why we’re here, after all. But it would be unfair and unrealistic to dismiss a problem that can affect us all: getting tired while traveling. Your body might start to ache after potentially long, uncomfortable flights or train rides, and jetlag won’t help, but the issue we are addressing today is deeper than that. If you’re tired from traveling it’s mainly due to one thing: Decision Fatigue. It’s what makes us wonder if our big adventure is worth it after all, but hopefully, after reading’s today’s post you’ll be better equipped to deal with it.
You Are Tired From Traveling Because Making Decisions Is Hard
Decision Fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs after our minds are tasked with repeated decision making, resulting in less favorable decisions and mental tiredness. A typical day at home doesn’t exclude you from making decisions, but there are many things that are already decided for us and thus we don’t stress over them. When you’re abroad, you’ll have to answer many questions every single day and make important decisions, such as: where you will be sleeping that night? what locations will you be stopping at throughout the day? which restaurant makes a better choice? should you trust this individual with your belongings? how are you going to get from one point to the other? Decision making can be hard, and it will undoubtedly be tasking.
Why Decision Fatigue Matters
A characteristic of decision fatigue is that, as the day progresses, your decisions become worse. You’ll be taking the wrong turn more often, choosing the wrong restaurant, booking the wrong hotel. Your decisions deteriorate after having so many choices to choose from, and having to make these decisions so often. It gets to the point where you don’t even want to make decisions anymore, also known as “decision avoidance”. When being confronted on whether to snorkel, mountain climb, visit a zoo, or touring a winery, for example, you might be so frustrated that you pick none and stay at home or in your hotel room.
Similarly, you might decide that someone else should start making the decisions, thus passing the responsibility onto your travel partner. This is a major source of conflict, arguments, and disagreements with whomever you may be traveling with as perhaps they aren’t prepared to take on the tough decision-making responsibilities.
All of this decision-making is causing your brain to work much harder than it’s used to, resulting in fatigue.
On top of making these decisions, your brain is also on high alert. You’re simultaneously trying to enjoy the sights and scenery while ensuring that your belongings are safe and that your group is not in any danger. If you’re anything like us, you’ll also be keen on any scams that may be coming your way so that you can prevent them. Coupled with the physical demands you are making of your body, it is easy to see why travel can stress us out.
3 Tips To Not Be Tired From Traveling
As is evident, travel can be resource intensive, but that shouldn’t get in the way of your trip or destination. Take a look at these strategies to keep decision fatigue at bay.
Try to plan as much of your trip in advance, as possible. It might be a challenge to do it, especially if you’re going on an extended vacation, but trust us, you will not regret it. By booking all of your accommodations, flights, and activities ahead of time, you won’t have to deal with such big decisions when you’re supposed to be relaxing or having fun. You can likely save some money too, which means less stressing over sticking to your budget.
Hire a Guide
A travel guide can be very helpful in showing you around an area and directing you to the best restaurants or must-see sites. It is because of their knowledge and experience that you can be confident in their recommendations and you will likely have a much better time than if you tried to find a place yourself. There are also many organizations which will do the planning for you and make sure every detail is taken care of before you go. They tend to be more expensive than if you had done it yourself, but you’ll have much less to stress over.
Meditation & Living in the Moment
Lastly, if you can’t plan ahead nor do you have a guide to help you out, simply meditate. A few minutes of silent, purposeful thoughts can clear your head and release any built up stress. Take several deep breaths and allow yourself to relax. You might even go get a massage for a few dollars if you’re somewhere inexpensive like Thailand. Remind yourself to live in the moment and go with the flow. Think of the worst possible outcome of making one choice versus another and ask yourself, is this worth stressing over? is this worth being tired from traveling throughout my whole trip?
Whether you are preparing to start your journey to travel, you’ve already come back and are processing it, or if you’re already at your destination, use these tips to keep yourself from being tired from traveling and try your best to stay focused on why you like traveling in the first place.