It’s impossible to log onto Instagram or Facebook these days without seeing a friend or acquaintance’s pretty and fabulous vacation photos. That totally makes sense. Life is pretty rough sometimes and everyone is working longer hours and putting more effort into their jobs than ever before. Checking your work email before you go to bed and the second you wake up in the morning is definitely contributing to an overall feeling of stress. According to the American Psychological Association, getting stressed out thanks to your career is pretty common and often relates to having way too much on your plate or feeling like you’ll never, ever get promoted. But while a vacation is never a bad idea when it comes to your mental health, sometimes it seems like traveling just isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Here are 15 ways that traveling is overrated.
15 It’s Super Expensive
Let’s just be honest here and speak the complete truth: if you want to travel, you have to spend some serious cash. We’re talking flights, accommodations, food, and that’s not even mentioning all the money you have to spend before you even leave (hey, you need a new wardrobe, if only for all the Facebook photos you’re going to post). Plus you’ll end up forking over way more dough than you originally wanted to because there are also extra hidden costs, like paying to check your bags. Why is that a thing?!
14 Saving Money = Gross
If you’re a travel buff and have a serious case of wanderlust, your usual answer to the statement that travel is expensive is that it doesn’t have to be. But if you focus on saving money when you travel, your trip is going to kind of suck. You’re going to have to stay in a hostel and who knows what goes on there, or you’re going to stay in a crappy apartment in the center of town and literally hear every party that’s going on. If you save on your vacation, you’re going to regret it.
13 Flying Is The Worst
Your flight is delayed… again. This is unfortunately becoming way too much of a regular occurrence. You literally have no idea if your flight will ever take off, so you’re being held hostage at the airport. There are so many flying-related mishaps that can happen. Your bags can get lost and you arrive at your destination with no luggage, no clothes, no toothbrush, etc. Awesome start to your trip, right? When you finally do get on the plane – hallelujah – you have to deal with turbulence, that annoying person in front of you who puts their seat way back, crying babies, etc. Not all that fun.
12 Jet Lag Makes You A Zombie
It’s literally impossible to enjoy your trip in a foreign country if you have jet lag because there’s a huge time difference. You won’t sleep for days because your system will be stuck in your old time zone, and you might get hungry at really weird times because your body just can’t adjust. Then you feel guilty and horrible because you can’t even enjoy the trip that you paid all that money for.
11 You Have To Work Before And After
Unfortunately, traveling doesn’t make your day job just magically disappear. Your work will still be waiting for you both before and after. You spend the weeks leading up to your trip working like a crazy person to make sure that everything gets done in time. Then when you get back, you’ve got a mountain of work to catch up on and about a million emails to reply to (and no, that’s unfortunately not an understatement). Your memories of your fabulous travel experience are gone as soon as you sit back at your desk and learn that you missed so many important meetings that your head is now spinning.
10 You Have To Work On Vacation
The majority of us have to do a bit of work when we travel, either because we’re such workaholics we can’t stay away or because we freelance or work for ourselves and so the work never really ends. That basically is the opposite of a real vacation, right? Traveling is definitely overrated if you still have to keep in touch with your boss or your office when you’re gone. Plus the time difference will definitely make sending emails pretty complicated. You can’t really have fun and relax (which is the entire point of a vacation) if you’re still kind of working.
9 Everything Goes Wrong
If you’ve ever had a trip that was basically a total and complete disaster from the day you left until the moment you arrived home, you know this is true. Everything that can go wrong usually does on vacation. Your flight gets so delayed you have to take a shuttle bus to a nearby airport hotel and wait until an absurdly early time like 3 a.m. to wake up and finally fly to your destination. You wait in a line that is hours long to rent a car, and when you finally arrive at the hotel or condo you’re staying at, you’ve wasted the entire day.
8 You’re Too Into Social Media
How many times have you gone somewhere new and instead of experiencing the beautiful city that you’ve never been to before, you spend the entire time on your iPhone or MacBook? Guilty as charged, right? Everyone is way too social media obsessed and addicted these days to actually enjoy the traveling that they do. So there’s really no point in traveling somewhere if you’re just going to stare at your little phone screen the entire time. You already do enough of that at home and work and when you’re waiting for the subway.
7 You’re Too Stressed
It’s unlikely that one vacation is going to undo all of the daily stress that you’ve accumulated since who knows when. Your life is absolutely nuts from your relationships to your work to your hobbies to your attempt at going to the gym and eating well. So not only do you return from traveling feeling the same as you did when you left (just as stressed), you’re too upset to really have fun on the trip. You just can’t stop thinking about work or any of your problems, so you never really feel like you’re actually on vacation. Sad but so true.
6 You Don’t Change That Much
People are always saying that when you travel, you come back a totally changed person. Travel opens your eyes, they say, and makes you think about your life and the place that you live in a different light. But that’s not really true all the time, is it? Don’t you return home feeling like the same person? Most of the time, you’re so happy to be able to sleep in your own bed again and to get back into your normal routine and to see all your friends again. Your trips never really live up to that philosophical, life-changing promise of travel.
5 Traveling Is About Bragging
It seems like everyone these days is an avid traveler and has been bitten by the traveling bug. And boy, do they love telling you about it. They’ll talk until they’re blue in the face about all their supposedly amazing adventures, but all it does is totally bore you. People who brag about traveling are super annoying. They get this superiority complex and it seems to defeat the whole point of getting away. You always come away from interacting with those travel crazy people thinking, what’s the big deal? You just don’t get what all the fuss is about.
4 People Get Grumpy
If you travel with other people – and you probably do because solo travel is even worse – then good luck. Your family probably becomes even more annoying if you go on a vacation with them. You’ll definitely end up fighting with them in the airport and in the hotel since people have different schedules and beliefs about what they want to do. If you go away with your boyfriend or best friends, your relationships might not survive the trip. Just kidding. Kind of. If anything, you’ll realize that your so-called perfect boyfriend is definitely not all that perfect when you two get into a big fight because you haven’t eaten since 7 a.m. and have been flying all day.
3 You Feel Totally Out Of Control
Of course you go on vacation so you can leave your usual routine and busy schedule behind, and yet you actually start to miss that routine once you leave. Why? Because you’re a control freak at heart, even if you try not to be. You end up hating travel because you feel totally out of control. It’s true, when you travel anywhere you can’t control anything, and there are so many things that can make your trip go wrong fast. By the second day of your trip, you’ll be dreaming of agendas and plans and meetings.
2 Your Trip Is Over Way Too Fast
How many times have you returned home from vacation and thought, yeah, I could totally do with another week off? Every time, right? There’s something so crazy about vacations: they make you feel like you need another vacation ASAP. Weird, right? You would think you’d feel rested and ready to return to your normal routine, but that basically never happens. When you think of it like that, you might as well stay home. At least relaxing in the comfort of your own home/bed won’t cost you a single penny. And there will be no flight problems.
1 A Staycation Is Just As Fun
Sure, hanging out on a beach all day and doing nothing except reading magazines and drinking fruity and girly cocktails is basically heaven. But you can achieve that same kind of paradise and relaxation right at home. Take a few days off work and spend them exploring your own city. Sometimes you have to play tourist in your own city or town to really appreciate it. See a movie or play in the middle of the day (what bliss) or try a new restaurant for lunch every day. You’ll appreciate the time off work and spend way less and be much less aggravated. Sounds pretty good, right?