Four Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy While Traveling


Traveling is an adventure! Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned or hoped: buses get delayed, mosquitoes swarm you and all you can think about is dengue fever, you might lose some money or get ripped off, you might get sick, or sweat buckets in tropical locations. If you are not careful on long journeys there might be a time you get burned out, or your travels just aren’t as fun anymore. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you stay mentally sane while traveling.

1. Stay Present. If you are on a longer trip, chances are there are times that you will want to end the trip and go home. Home will seem like everything you have ever wanted. You will start daydreaming about your comfortable bed (or in my case, my amazing flat pillow), all of the people you miss or countless other things. Here is what you need to remember: when you get home, at some point (possibly very soon after returning), you will want be traveling again. You will crave adventure, exotic food and distant lands. It’s human nature, and also the cow’s nature, to want the grass that is on the other side of the fence. Just remember, all you have is the present. This moment right here. Enjoy it.

2. Podcasts. These will be your best friends on loooong travel days, when you are sick in bed, or waiting in line. They have saved me on countless travel days. The podcasts I listen to are normally one hour long and are so entertaining that eight hour bus ride feels like three. Some podcasts I enjoy: This American Life, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, The James Altucher Show, Joy the Baker Podcast, Rich Roll Podcast and The Moth. Aurelien likes to listen to the Freakanomics Radio podcasts.

Feet + Beach

3. Slow Down. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it needs reminding. This is important for mental health. Don’t try to pack in everything and see every sight in a city, it’s just not possible. If you only have two weeks in a country pick two or three cities, or even just stay in one city. The longer you are in a city, the more you can relax at a coffee shop, meet locals, sleep in, take a few days to just lounge by a pool or wander around an art museum. Whatever you desire. Also, don’t feel pressured to go see the MAIN attraction that everyone tells you to see if it’s not your thing. If you are in Paris you do not have to see the Louvre or climb the Eiffel tower. Save your money for something that excites you.

4. Budget Wisely


Traveling can be stressful if you are concerned about money. Unfortunately, from our experience, things will always cost more than you planned on. Instead of feeling helpless about your spending, it’s important to come up with a system for keeping track of your expenses. At the beginning of our trip we found Trail Wallet and we are glad we did! Trail Wallet is a budget app that allows you to track all of your purchases and put them into categories of your choosing (transportation, accommodation, food, entertainment, etc). This app has kept us accountable and shows us when we are going over budget. Knowledge is power and it causes less stress. When we see that we have spent too much on accommodation then we look extra for a cheaper place in the next city. P.S. this app would be also good for budgeting at home. When we get back I think I will keep on using it!

I hope these tips have been helpful. Here is to fun and stress-free traveling!

For more health tips check out Annalisa’s health website.


6 Responses to Four Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy While Traveling

  1. Marty April 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    All your posts are great.

    • Anna-Lisa April 9, 2014 at 2:49 am #

      Thanks Marty 🙂

  2. Erin April 8, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Thanks for including Trail Wallet Anna-Lisa! We’re so glad you’ve found it useful. Knowing the state of your finances definitely helps you stay in control and reduce stress.

    I also totally agree on travelling slowly—the most stressed travellers we’ve met are travelling way too fast and have lost all enjoyment for it.

    Simon is addicted to podcasts too which help him survive those long bus journeys. Another one we like is Planet Money which has stories that give a human perspective to economics.

    • Anna-Lisa April 9, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      Thanks Erin! You two are pro-travelers so it’s good to hear you agree with my tips. 🙂

  3. Will April 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Good advice, I don’t listen to podcasts much on the road, but I definitely should start during downtime or when traveling from point to point. Thanks!

  4. Kathie October 20, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    Another way I’ve found is ‘go somewhere undemanding’. In many people’s view Goa may not be ‘real india’, just as Bali isn’t ‘real Indonesia’ and Singapore isn’t ‘real Asia’ – but they’ve all saved my sanity by providing a no-hassle break, complete with familiar food, when travel weariness set in.

I would love to hear from you!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

%d bloggers like this: