The worst part of any trip or holiday, invariably, is when it comes to an end. Or at least it should be. You’ve worked towards and waited for this time away from home, planned, packed, unpacked and repacked and yet several days has passed in a matter of what seems like minutes. Not only that but you’re more likely to feel shattered than serene. Even the most relaxing holiday can be tiring, especially if you’re not keen on flying, have kids to look after or are on a high-octane city break and are trying to cram in as much as possible.
My own worst bout of travel blues came a few years ago. I’d been to New York City with my mother and grandmother as a present for my 18th birthday. Anyone who knows me even half-well knows of my obsession with The Big Apple, so when it came to going back to England at the end of the week, I was less than thrilled.
I recall the moment, kneeling on a seat in Newark Airport, looking back across the Hudson River at the city’s skyline. The likes of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings staring right back at my crestfallen face would create a moment unlikely to ever make it onto a personal highlight reel.
I was gutted. I’d had one of the best weeks of my life, but it was time to go. So I’m there, just staring at it, taking it all in knowing that their world will still revolve, and I won’t be able to be a part of it.
Well, until next time. And that’s exactly the stance I took.
As soon as I got home I started thinking about when I’d be back and where I was going next. The wheels were in motion. I knew that as soon as I made that booking, I would stop moping about the trip past, and start looking forward to more time away.
As it turned out, I didn’t end up booking it until like four months later, but I still got excited and started planning early which eventually led to me going back the following year. It’s a remedy that should work for pretty much everyone and anyone with PTD – post-travel depression.
Though it may not seem easy, it isn’t really that hard, either. I’m not suggesting within 24 hours of returning home should you have booked your next adventure. That’s not to everyone’s convenience. But there’s nothing stopping you from having a little look. Here are five tips to help you get out of that slump.
1) Do some research
If you want a nice and easy way of turning that frown upside down (I apologise for the cringeworthy cliché), then log on to the internet and start looking at places that may interest you. I often browse through flight websites and spend time checking out route maps, making little plans in my head.
Three of the better websites for UK travellers are Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air. They all do cheap flights, perhaps even some to destinations you’ve never heard of (Podgorica, Montenegro, anyone?), and there’s got to be something on one of those websites to pique your interest. Don’t forget to run searches on these websites alongside Skyscanner, too, just to make sure you’re getting the cheapest price and the most convenient flight times.
Or you could ditch the flight searching and look for a destination first. This can be anywhere from looking at a map to doing some wider-reading on that place you already have in mind.
2) Start saving
So you might not have the funds to splurge on your next holiday just yet, but that’s not a problem. Set some money aside, even if it’s little and often, and it will soon add up giving you cash reserves for when you want to sort something out.
If you can’t wait that long, most travel agents will accept deposits and run schemes where you can pay off your holiday incrementally. There are also some websites that have deposit booking, and hotel sites such as Booking.com and LateRooms also offer pay later options, meaning you can book right now free of charge and pay back the hotel in their currency either when you check in or check out.
3) Be a domestic tourist
Your rainy town or bordering city may seem like light-years away from the cobbled streets of Paris, or the beautiful beaches of the Maldives, but I can guarantee that there are things to do over here that you haven’t done before. After all, the United Kingdom wouldn’t have had the eighth-most international tourist arrivals last year if there was nothing to do here.
London isn’t the country’s only attraction either. Just the other day I went to Chester, visited the cathedral, walked the city wall and just had a little wander around. It gave me back a little a little of that city break feeling I’d had when away over the course of the year.
4) Write a bucket list
The other day I wrote a bucket list and put it up here on this blog. I’d never really thought about doing one before, but it is a potential way to get over travel blues. Get a notepad and pen, or open a blank document and jot down all the places you really want to go, and all the things you want to do and experience. That way, you can get eager to check things off and it may give you some sort of plan or idea for the next trip.
5) Book, book, book!
The most obvious way to immediately get over travel blues is to book something as soon as possible. In fact if you’re really alert to this, then you may already have already booked destination number two before even leaving for the first one, thus minimising, or even eliminating, the usual sadness.
If you have the money and some open space on your schedule then why not? Once you’ve booked and sorted everything out, the excitement will start to fester. Pfft, PTD… What even is that?