From the moment I book the trip to the moment I depart, I’m often feeling high from all the amazing experiences. My first trip to Japan was over 15 years ago, and I recall being so excited to go. It was the first time I experienced jet lag and tremendous exhaustion. You’d think, as a young teen that it wouldn’t be so rough. I suffered from jet lag when I arrived and exhaustion at the end of my trip. The experience was beautiful, but boy was I tired. Have you heard of anyone say they need a vacation from vacation? I know that feeling.
Since that initial trip to Japan, I’ve had some hefty number of flights. On my first solo trip around Asia, I took 14 flights in 5 weeks. Not so bad, right? I then further increased that and repeated the insanity 3 years ago, taking 14 flights in just 20 days when I went to Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and returned to Thailand for my second time. Last year, Tom and I spent a month in Europe and the month following, flew out 4 more times around the US. Two months later, we went on a 6 week cross country road trip through the United States. Finally, for my latest trip, I was away from home for 8 weeks.
With my immense love for travel, I quickly learned that you can fly all over the world and travel for really long periods of time without feeling burnt out and exhausted.
Today I am sharing my travel tips on how to avoid trip exhaustion, whether you’re spending 2 weeks or 2 months away.
3 Tips on How to Avoid Trip Exhaustion
1) Be Realistic on How Much You Can Truly Handle
I’m the type of person that used to go-go-go. One summer during university, I held 2 full time jobs for 6 weeks, working 80 hours a week from 8:30AM to midnight. I’d start a shift early in the morning at one job, and as soon as I finished, I’d have half an hour to get to my other job in the evening. For me, this translated to how much I can handle on the go with 15 hours of stimulation, and time and time again when I was working at any 2 jobs, 2 weeks would come around and I’d be spent. So, when it came to planning for vacations, I’d plan to explore cities non-stop for approximately 2 weeks before needing to flying out to a beautiful beach to rest and recover for a few days. After feeling refreshed, I’d jump back into travelling city-to-city for another 2 weeks and repeat. I understand this is extreme for some, but this was my limit and I never pushed myself to the point where I was too tired. Luckily, I don’t have that habit of non-stop walking with no rest during travels anymore. Now, I love to find cafes, admire the view, sit down for a great meal, and stop to take everything in a little bit longer. With age, this has worked out well and my limit happens to still come out to about 2 weeks. What is yours?
2) Choose Activities that Feel Like You’re Resting in Between Busy Days
Regardless of how you travel, making some time to relax during your trip will help you come back refreshed. I don’t mean, stay in your hotel room all day. Tom and I have booked resort spas, joined organized half day tours, taken local city yacht cruises, visited the local beach for the day, sat at cafés with great views for hours, spent extra time sleeping in and have taken advantage of breakfast in bed. Special little splurges like these can help you wind down and relax. Book a full day at a local spa resort, do a city cruise and end up laying down for a picnic at the harbour admiring the skyline or ocean view – whatever it is, organizing a full day of what feels like rest, or extra time to yourself will help you with being refreshed the following few days. The best part? You’ll still be enjoying what the city has to offer, but will get to sit back and relax. And, if none of these are available, visit a local cafe, enjoy their local delicacies, desserts or coffee. The key is to keep it simple for the day, then you can be on the go the following few days feeling refreshed.
3) Review Your Flight Schedule to Manage Jet Lag Before, During and After Your Flight
I can say that I am incredibly lucky that I don’t suffer from jet lag the way I once did. There is something about being a passenger in a moving vehicle that makes me tired, so luckily I often fall asleep on the plane. Before you fly, understand what the time difference is between your destinations and manage your sleep a day in advance so you’re not wasting a day away when you arrive at your destination. I usually consider the departure, arrival time and flight time. If it is difficult for you to get rest on the plane because of a short red eye flight, nap before your flight, or do the all nighter and consider making your first day one that includes rest and relaxation. I rarely like to just sleep too long in the hotel because it feels like I’m losing a day, so if you’re like me, find a local beach with a lounge chair to rest on. You can snap a few pictures for instagram if you must, order a beachside beverage and sleep. If your destination happens to be experiencing cold weather a spa where you can rest by the pool or in ergonomic beds after a nice massage might do the trick.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helps you with planning your next trip, minus the potential exhaustion that can come along with it! Do you get travel exhaustion? If so, how do you manage yours? I’d love to hear.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ.
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