disadvantages of traveling

The Surprising Downside of Wanderlust: 5 Real Disadvantages of Traveling

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Updated: 10 November 2022

Yes, welcome to a post all about the “disadvantages of traveling exist,” my friends.


I know, I know. You’re shooting me death glares from Chiang Mai, Berlin, Cuzco, Sydney, wherever you’re located right now. I’m sorry.

Hear me out, though, before you revoke my travel blogger card. I promise I’m writing this post for good reasons, haha.

The negative aspects of travelling including nagivating COVID-19 restrictions.
The negative aspects of travelling including navigating COVID-19 restrictions.

Travel is our passion. Believe me, I know. Travel changes us! We are now citizens of the world! We’ve jumped off planes, eaten bugs, hiked mountains, shared dorms with strangers, and visited the homes of great writers (at least I like to).

I’ve made many financial and social sacrifices to chase my globetrotting dreams. I know in my heart that those journeys are worth every penny. There are so many reasons why I love traveling so much. So many.

disadvantages of traveling include airport delays
One of the Drawbacks of Traveling is Being Stuck at EWR.

5 Surprising Disadvantages of Traveling

Well. Lemme tell you something else, my friends.

Travel, in addition to its wonderfulness, complicates your life. The travel bug is a disease. I wouldn’t change that disease, no way, but “the bug” can throw your personal life out of whack. Even bloggers acknowledge pros and cons of travel exist. We all experience them.

Shall I list the various disadvantages of traveling for you? Buckle in, my friend! You’re in for a brutally honest treat.

As a side note, I talk a lot more in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of solo travel in this guide, but feel free to start here for something more light-hearted. 

disadvantages of travelling alone exist but don't let them scare you!

Daily Conversations Now Bore You

Ouch. I realize this is a harsh statement, but it’s also way too true for me. So, so, so true. Please tell me that I’m not alone as I live this reality of lackluster conversation in my day to day life in New Jersey.

What do I mean about boring conversations? Well. For example, listening about someone’s upcoming hair appointment, soccer match with the kids, argument with the bank teller, etc. tires me out. I hate to admit it but here’s to honesty: a lot of the time, I mentally peace out of conversations at work and home. After traveling, I can’t relate to a lot of day-to-day small talk. I can’t even muster enough excitement for someone’s graduation or wedding unless we’re either blood relatives or best friends.

the mountains are one of the best things to do in wengen switzerland

I don’t intend to be mean. And I promise I’m not!

All I’m saying is that travel makes me feel so alive that other, more familiar topics pale in comparison and therefore don’t draw me in. I’m fully aware that standoffish behavior makes me look like a jerk sometimes. I also understand that not listening, truly not listening, to others is snobbish and unfair. I’m not proud of this behavior and make efforts to combat it.

So… yeah, my travel experiences prevent me from enjoying simple conversations at home. And it’s not cool.

is solo travel worth it? absolutely!

You Sound Like A Braggart

We’re all different in life. For example, I think Super Bowl Sunday is the lamest day of the year. My dad and brother bleed Philadelphia sports and go to tons of games. The teacher next door excels at algebra and geometry. Math makes me break out in hives. Embrace diversity. And remember that these personal likes/dislikes extend to travel, too.

Some people can’t or won’t travel. It’s a reality of life.

Sure, travel is a priority for me, but not for everyone who is close to me. These folks don’t necessarily want to hear about my life-changing experiences abroad in every. single. conversation. I’m TRYING to improve on this awkward habit of mine, where I start off every sentence with “one time in Paris” or “when I was in Vancouver” or “on my trip to Italy.”

feeling happy at schilthorn solo travel in switzerland

I really don’t bring up my experiences with the intent to make someone jealous. It’s not in my nature at all. Rather I am passionate and those phrases tumble out of my mouth unrehearsed… way more often than I would like. Sorry to friends and family! At the end of the day, unintended bragging is one of the disadvantages of traveling.

So, all you lovely readers out there in the internet world, if you have some good tips about sharing your travel stories without sound like a complete show off, please send them my way and I will give you cookies. Homemade cookies.

Missing an amazing sunset like this one is a disadvantage of traveling.
Missing an amazing sunset like this one is a disadvantage of traveling.

Relentless Itchiness (aka Unforgiving Wanderlust) at Home

Argh, I’ve gotten better with this third disadvantage of traveling, but the struggle is still “oh so” real.

Folks … All I do at home is plan my next adventure. I don’t write that to be funny or overdramatic. I’m dead serious. Immediately after work, I plop down at my computer and do one of the following: read travel blogs, check for low airfare, watch travel vlogs on youtube, or write an itinerary for an actual or fictional trip.

It’s baaaaad.

smiling in venice in june
Hi from Venice! Need a disadvantage of travel? Nowhere else is as cool.

Needless to say, I have a travel addiction flowing through my veins. While great at times, my obsession also means that when in-between trips, I don’t appreciate the present. Instead I focus on amazing experiences that lie in my future.

I need to remember that life is a gift. We’re not guaranteed another day. Hell, a car could hit me on the drive to work tomorrow. Would I really want my last moments on this planet spent daydreaming about a future date?

I’m not saying never read or research about travel ever. But appreciate the present a little bit. Even when you’re stuck in suburban New Jersey.

there are no disadvantages of traveling when it comes to scotland

Your Bank Account Will Hate You for Life

Let’s be real: travel costs money.

Yes, there are many ways to travel for cheap or even for free, but at the end of the day, traveling isn’t a super duper cheap endeavor. There’s a myth that travel is a luxury item, yes, but it’s still not like paying for a cup of coffee. You need to save money ahead of time. And, uh, there are times when you need to cut back on the groceries to fund your travel habits. Cough, cough.

If you read this blog, you can tell I have a bit of an obsession with Europe. Airfare from Philadelphia/New Jersey to Europe costs anywhere between $700 – $1500 dollars for a return ticket. No small lump of change.

padua has some high end designer shops

I’m lucky because I don’t have student loans (please don’t hate me). However I pay for every single trip with my own money, and teachers don’t earn the highest salaries. For me, every adventure has been worth its price tag, but I still wince seeing the money leave my bank account en masse.

So, yeah, expect some money saving troubles if you love to travel as much as I do. It takes planning.

the wonderful food is NOT a disadvantage of travel

Saying Goodbye Is the Literal Worst

Goodbyes never seem to end in my world.

My friends are scattered around the world. A lump forms in my throat whenever its time to say “goodbye” to my travel companions. Why? Because there’s a 95% chance that I will never see that person again.

Sure, we remain connected on social media, yet there’s still nothing quite as fulfilling as in-person interactions. Travel makes these reunions complicated and difficult. The friendships we form sometimes only thrive in our memories, which feels incredibly isolating to me, and I’m sure a lot of you guys are in the same boat.

I totally get it.

i love this dog in san francisco bay

Goodbyes suck. Enough said. I’m still not sure what the solution to this con of travel is, but if you find one, let me know. I guess all I can say is don’t become a heartless person and enjoy those friendships while you’re in the present moment. You won’t regret it even if leaving is painful.

Sure, there are disadvantages of travel abroad, but go anyway.
I don’t let the disadvantages of travel stop me and neither should you!

In what ways has travel complicated your life? What do you think are the main disadvantages of traveling? How do you “fight them” and continue your adventures around the world? Thanks for visiting my blog! You guys are the greatest!

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4 thoughts on “The Surprising Downside of Wanderlust: 5 Real Disadvantages of Traveling

  1. Rashaad says:

    Interesting way of looking at travel but I agree with you…

    (a) There are times I would rather not bring up the fact I’ve lived in Japan, France and the U.K. because it would certainly seem like I’m bragging (Actually, at the run-of-the mill job I had before I left for the U.K., I was hesitant to admit I was leaving it for the U.K. But the folks I told were happy for me). In some situations, I feel comfortable talking about my travel experiences. But probably only around certain people.

    (b) I definitely have an itchiness whenever I’ve been at home. Probably because I think there is always someplace out there more fun and exciting

    (c) I greatly worry about never being able to see some friendly people I’ve met abroad again. That’s a big reason why I have an itchiness when I am in the U.S. It gnaws at me that I haven’t been in Japan since August 2010. Hopefully, I can make it to U.K. later this year and France and Japan next year.

    • Rachel Elizabeth says:

      A) I’m the same way! I always worry about “showing off” at my job. I’m excitable so I wanna share my adventures with everyone, but at the same time, I’m nervous about alienating people.

      B) Tell me about it.

      C) I hope you can visit all those places. I know I’m blessed to meet so many wonderful people, but damn it, I wish I could take them all back to NJ with me. 🙁

      Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

  2. Cayce says:

    “Daily Conversations Bore You” THAT. Most of the time I am just pretending to be listening, nodding along, while thinking what a boring life you have or I can’t believe that you are looking forward to that (insert things like getting your nails done) I’m awful but I just don’t care.

  3. Ki says:

    This is so on point. I may be a hardcore NY sports fan and travel to see my Knicks and Giants, but ever since I caught the travel bug, if it doesn’t involve my passport it seems so basic! And I have to catch myself as well! A friend suggested pizza one day and I was like “chick please, I had pizza in Italy, no thanks!” 🤣

    I stalk SecretFlying and other sites every other minute, always thinking of my next move. I fund my vacations using part time income so I may still live comfortably but this entire struggle is all so real!

    I love your blog and enjoyed this, thanks.

    -Fellow Travel Addict

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