I Fear I Am Addicted To Travel & That Isn’t A Good Thing

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I Am Addicted To Travel

I Fear I Am Addicted To Travel & That Isn’t A Good Thing

I am exhausted.  Just truly beat and I feel kind of defeated.  My grass is long, I have other yard work piling up and I can never find the time to catch up. There is soccer, bowling and homework filling my nights and weekends.  My days and nights blend together, the way life is with small children. I find myself struggling to stay awake, struggling to keep up. But I still get on that plane and go.

When I am on a trip I find myself longing for home and when I am home I find myself longing for that next trip.  Am I alone here?  Does anyone else find themselves longing for one or the other.  On the flight home when exhaustion kicks in I swear I am going to take a break from travel. Just days later I am planning the next great trip, missing that itch of having something on the horizon.  I love the chase of the booking almost as much as I like going on the trip itself.

Hi my name is Mark and I fear I am addicted to travel, and I am not sure that is a good thing.

I Am Addicted To Travel Philly

My Travel Patterns Don’t Help

I have a weird travel pattern.  Most of my trips are of the short, weekend variety.  And I rarely, if ever, go on a trip for more than week.  One part of that is my wife has much more limitations on vacation time than I do. Because of that we often fly out Friday evening and come back Sunday afternoon without her needing to take days off. The other part of it is that I am a homebody by nature…which honestly makes no sense!

I love being home, surrounded by my comforts, sleeping in my bed, not working on my crappy travel computer.  Life is just easier and simpler at home, it has an effortlessness about it. But off in the dark corner travel sits tugging on my shirt and whispering in my ear. The sad truth is that I listen to it’s whispers more often than not.

I will say taking many short trips is more exhausting (and a bigger hit to my frequent flyer accounts) than fewer, longer trips.  When you are in a place for only a few days you tend to be more driven to see things.  On short trips I don’t stop to take time to just relax and really enjoy it.  I end up sleeping less than I would at home and I feel it when I get home.

sweatshirt

This Year Has Been The Busiest One Yet

This has probably been my busiest travel year yet.  Because of my knee surgery I was out of commission for close to 3 months and I think I tried to cram a year’s worth of travel into 9 months.  That is a recipe for disaster.  I also had more work related trips than usual which I think will only ramp up in the future as we try to bring more events to our readers.

I am currently in the middle of a 12 week span that has me on 7 different trips.  That is a mix of work travel, family travel and a baseball trip. I look at all of the travel and just cringe. But I also look forward to each trip individually.  I look forward to checking out Harry Potter at Universal with my kids, Washington D.C. with my son and nephew and I love meeting other miles and points people so the Chicago seminars and Vegas meet up are welcomed sights.  That doesn’t mean my body won’t be beaten and tattered when I come out on the other side. But I honestly couldn’t see not doing one of the trips and I fear that is because I am addicted to travel.

I Am Addicted To Travel AC

Does Having A Flexible Job Actually Hinder More Than It Helps?

This is the best job I have ever had.  I am one of the lucky few that made their hobby, their love, into their work.  I had never envisioned doing anything like this but I thank Shawn, and our readers, for giving me the opportunity.  But I fear it might hurt me more than it helps me in this aspect.

Being able to work from anywhere there is an internet connection is a freeing feeling.  And being able to complete work whenever you want is a life saver when having small children. I do think those two things lead me to thinking I am a little too big for my britches though.

I post articles pretty much every day and even though I can work while traveling I hate doing it.  You can see where this is going.  That means that I need to cram 7 days worth of work into 4 or 5 days on a regular basis.  This leads me always feeling like I am behind and that I can never quite catch my breath.  That is also why my yard work is desperately lacking right now 🤦‍♂️. Quit laughing yard work is a big thing in my family 😂.  There are some things you pick up from your father that never leaves you!

Having said all of this I continue to book trips and sometimes stack them on top of each other.  The scary thing is that I am sad if I don’t have travel in the near future to look forward too.  It is almost like a need (addiction) that I can not control.

I Am Addicted To Travel NYC
My son, nephew and sister visiting NYC on our last siblings and sons trip.

My Plans Going Forward

I have made a silent pledge to myself, a mid year New Years resolution so to speak.  I am going to try to stick to traveling no more than 1 time per month next year.  To people outside of this hobby I sound like a complete tool with that sentence.  But to those of you like me then you know what that means.

I think this will eliminate the exhaustion that I often feel after long or multiple trips.  This will also allow me to properly get ahead on work for upcoming trips instead of always playing catch up.  It should also lead to me feeling more rested and hopefully my yard looks better next summer too!

Final Thoughts

I am really curious to hear if anyone else faces these struggles.  Do you swear off travel for a time being only to be searching future trips days later?  Do you need to have a trip in the near future to calm your soul?

I think that this year kind of got away from me and I have no one to blame but myself.  I need to find more balance in my life. Hopefully I can defeat this travel addiction and find a happy medium.

I also plan on taking more road trip vacations next year which are easier to accomplish and lead to less exhaustion in my opinion.  The silver lining of all of this is my points balances should start filling up again versus constantly dwindling.

I already have some amazing trips on the books next year like Kyiv and Prague, Maui and a miles and points meetup/trip to New Orleans.  But I have been better at spacing them out.  Hopefully I can keep up with that and stick to my resolution!

Share your thoughts, experiences and advice below.  I look forward to reading it and discussing it with you.

55 COMMENTS

  1. I remember the exact moment I became a travel addict! I was on a flight coming back from my very first European trip, and a solo one at that. I started looking at the route map while on the plane and something just clicked in me. It was 1985. I’m sitting on a plane now coming back from visiting my 48th, 49th, and 50th states! But I have been to more countries than states.

  2. I don’t travel for work and I don’t have kids so it is a bit different for us. I am definitely addicted to travel we are either planning a trip, on a trip or recovering from a trip. This year we have been to Laos, Malaysia, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Ireland. We still have another trip in November to Qatar, Oman, and the UAE. Then in February it is off to Taiwan and the Philippines. Very rarely I don’t feel like planning anything and will take a break but travel is my hobby and my passion.

    • It sounds like an awesome travel year Georgia! I think it is a lot easier without kids but you can still get that fatigue at the end of multiple trips. Do you ever feel that way?

  3. Best to do all you can while you are healthy & your wife works. Either changes & so will your abilities to pursue your passion as much as you can now.

    • I think that is a part of it – that I want to do as much as I can while I can knowing it will only get more difficult in the future.

  4. Thanks for bringing this dark side of the hobby to the light! I think if many of us were honest with ourselves, we’d admit some aspects of this being addictive! I know over the years, this game has consumed more and more of my time. I like the high of the credit card approvals, along with planning trips and reading the blogs. I really don’t like the feeling of not having a trip on the docket, yet part of me is getting tired of planning and I’m not finding the same joy in many of the trips as I use to. I really need to take a good look at what is really going on within myself! Thanks for being so honest and I pray that you get the insight you need!

    • Thanks for sharing Lynn. I think taking a break from anything, even something we love, can be beneficial. Slowing down may bring back the love we once had.

  5. 100% addicted to travel and travel hacking. I broke my leg earlier this year and the only way I got out of my depression after a month was to plan a trip- to Italy. I was still on crutches but I made it happen. Then less than 4 weeks later, I went with my fiance to Japan, Singapore & Philippines for 3 weeks. I can’t wait until the next trip and get sad being home too long.

    • Gary I have considered it but I do enjoy doing it when I have the time but I may just need to prioritize where I put my time and maybe those things are not worth it anymore.

  6. I think my biggest problem is that I have a bleepload of miles (from business spend) but only use them about every other year when I take the family to Bermuda or other places requiring flights for 6. Now and then if I need to go to a conference, I will use some miles, but only if it’s “cheaper” to use than the actual ticket. I know I shouldn’t hoard them, but that’s the opposite of where you are. Hoarder versus a go places-er. LOL…There is a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. However, in my defence, I have been saving UAL miles to take fam to Nz in 2020 – 25th anniversary, wife turns 50, etc…. but then eyeballing a stopover in Hawaii to break up the flights, and then we’re spending and not using miles. At least you’re not this guy….the one who just figures the miles then stays home…LOL

    • Jim I am envious of your balances I will say that 🙂

      That sounds like an awesome trip and all of the hoarding will be worth it! It is a dream trip for many and I hope to get there one day.

  7. Mark, I feel this way All. The. Time. Traveling for a living, I’m mostly alone unless I can convince the hubby to take time off, or convince a friend to join me. But lately, as soon as I get anywhere, I just want to go home, and vice versa. I’ve canceled a trip later this month, and I’m trying to slow down and be more intentional. When Alaska was on my calendar and I was just dreading it, something was definitely not right! But if I get a gig somewhere exotic, I’d hop on a plane tomorrow! Sigh.

    • 🙂

      I feel you 100% on the Alaska part. When we are not getting excited for an awesome trip then we know it is time to dial it down a notch. Thanks as always for sharing Shawna!

  8. Your comments are felt by many business travelers. Like you, if I’m not on a plane then I start craving a flight. I love traveling and love being home. People often don’t understand the trade off you have to make when you travel. They all think you have lots of free time to go and do things when you are working.

    All my business travel doesn’t alleviate the desire to go somewhere when I want to leisure travel. My finding is that the travel gets harder on you as you get older and it takes longer to bounce back physically.

    • That is the tough thing for business travelers, even though they are traveling for work all of the time it is not like they are actually traveling. So even when they get home they still have the desire to go which many people that have not done it don’t understand. Thanks for sharing Leanne!

  9. ‍♀️You. Are. Me.

    Glad to see that what I have been feeling is really a thing and I’m not the only. Glad to hear that when I speak if cutting down to only 15-20 there are people that know I’m not a tool, just a human with a unique skill set that can bad and good – depending on where you are when your looking at it. lol. Seriously though. Thank you for posting. I needed this as I’m doing laundry from the trip I just got back from so I can pack for next weekends adventure. Because like you, family life owns the week and I set off on the short weekend trips. Over and over again.

    • I rarely think business travel works out the way people think. Most business travelers want nothing more than to be at home.

  10. Oh get over it. Alot of business people are on a plane everyday going somewhere. I know, I did that for many years. I got a thing from Marriott where I am lifetime Titanium and it said I had spent over $3MM on their card and spent nearly 1000 nights in their hotels. On top of that I spent 2 years nearly living in a Sheraton. Plus lots of nights in other hotels. All together, it was years away from the family. Thankfully, my kids and wife, turned out OK, not sure about me yet.

    You have a choice in where you are going and when. Most business people have no choice, but have to go see plants, vendors, customers, etc. We get in late, leave early, and never see the sights in a town. My friends thought my travel was wonderful. They think when I went to Boston I got to eat and have fun in that town. Nope, got my Hertz rental and drove to some no where place in CT.

    I racked up so many points that every person in our families got free trips to Europe and Hawaii. I got caught by AA selling points and they nearly took all my points. Sold enough points to buy a nice car though.

    You will not get sensitivity from me, or the many people that have traveled for a living.

    • I have done if myself in the past Byron and never want to do it again.

      I don’t see how comparing one thing to the other has any weight on what I am talking about though…

    • Without the first and last sentence, Byron, this would have been a great, supportive post. Anytime someone is vulnerable and is told to get over it, it really strikes me as unnecessary and just mean.

  11. Mark I think I’m in the same boat. I don’t know how to put it, but after weeks of scouring “Flyertalk – Premium Fare Deals”, scoring a crazy premium class deal just gets that adrenaline pumping. Like the CX Vietnam error fare, Air NZ error fare, the crazy Singapore J deals, and even crazier Hainan ex-ORD deals. I’ve been practically doing a trip a month on average for the last year, going wherever the error fare/deal takes me. I definitely envy bloggers like yourself but also I must say living that life on the road is beyond exhausting. Throw a girl without as much time off in the picture and the relationship invariably suffers. I feel ya and I’m feeling the same way too. But hot on the heels of the last trip when I said no more, I just impulse-booked a Emirates F trip to MXP via DXB for my birthday. I’m ecstatic, yet sad.

    • Haha that last sentence sums it up perfectly GL. I swear I will slow down time and time again and yet every time I feel the need for the next thing days later.

  12. I am a travel addict. Being retired means that I have complete flexibility. Yet, I have so many trips planned that there are times I rarely have a free moment. My travel pattern is similar to yours – longest trips are rarely more than 10 days, lots and lots of weekend trips, and I am a homebody when not traveling. I burned out a couple of times and take a break for a month, then get antsy again. Have a love, hate relationship with my addiction. By the way, hope to meet you in Chicago.

  13. I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying, even though I don’t think I’ve traveled quite as much. I am positively giddy when I book a trip, and I always have at least 2 or 3 on the books at a time. Don’t be afraid to cancel trips. I’ve done that several times when I’ve over-scheduled, and in fact I canceled two trips at the end of this summer (road trips with hotels on points). As your kids get older, you might find your travel frequency goes down naturally. My oldest is in high school and we don’t pull him out of school for trips anymore. Also, he started playing competitive tennis, which reduces our ability to travel on the weekends. This past summer, I tried to cram a lot of travel into the school break and I was met with some opposition. Friends and boyfriends/girlfriends become a bigger deal to high-schoolers, and that creeps in on family travel time.

    • Great points Nancy. I wonder if knowing that travel will only get tougher in the future makes me feel like I need to do as much as I can now. Something I need to consider for sure.

  14. I think part of it for me is that there are things I’m unhappy with in myself and my life and planning a trip and being away seems like the easiest way to deal with them without ever really solving them. I’m away so much I don’t have to change anything about my life.

    • I think that is a big part of it and I thank you for sharing it and putting it out there Emily. Great comment!

  15. This year I have been cutting back significantly, and enjoying time at home more, but yeah I still love travel and I will still keep all my status, but nice not being the 250+ nt/yr guy any more.

    • I don’t know how you road warriors do it Nathan. I did 200+ nights for a year when I was 22 but I could never do it again.

  16. Hi. My name is Rick and I’m an addict. Yes I know how you feel. I’ve been addicted to many things in life and it all seems to come down to something to take me out of where I am. Booze, drugs, food, travel, golf, food. Oh I said food;)

    Understanding you have the problem is step !. Now that you admitted it, you can conquer it.

    Best of Luck. See you in Chicago

  17. We did two 2 week vacations this summer overseas and even with all of the walking put on like 12 pounds with hotel breakfasts, lounges, restaurants etc. I find it really hard to eat right and on a schedule when travelling.

    • Eating properly while traveling is a huge struggle for sure and one I fail at often. It probably adds to the exhaustion too because my body is all out of whack from not eating how I normally do etc.

  18. I am at the end of close to 4 out of 6 weeks on the road. Some business and some pleasure. I feel many of these same things, especially this year considering how often I have been traveling. At this point I’m not sure I can deny that travel is a bit of a problem for me at times. Seeking balance is so important and something that is often easier said than done. Really great article!

  19. I sympathize completely. Comes with having a family and being a parent. You have to make trade offs, and travel looks like it’s one of them. If it helps, think about quality rather than quantity. Make each trip more meaningful, not by seeing more stuff, but by spending enjoying things that you love. But first and foremost, you must take care of yourself. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

    • We are still working out the details and seeing if it will all come together but it is looking like it could be possible in February.

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