It happens to the best of us. We get burn out.
What’s awkward with that though is if your burnt out while travelling. The dreaded travel burnout. What are you supposed to do? Waste a day? Are you nuts?
Well.. yes actually. If you want to say that.
After days of non stop travelling and “go, go, go” and “see this” and “see that” it’s perfectly normal to want a day off. But what about the guilt? Here you are in an amazing new place and you want a day off? “For shame,” you might tell yourself, “I don’t know when I’ll be back.” But the simple truth is you’re wrong for telling yourself that and that’s it’s perfectly okay for you to want a day off.
You are human. And humans need a break from life sometimes.
Let me put it to you like this: What would you rather do – take a day off and rest and be rejuvenated, ready to take on the world, or do you want to push yourself to a breaking point where you can’t even enjoy yourself because you’re so tired and beat?
A lot of people think that because they’re abroad they need to make the most of it, and you will, because even on rest days you can still do little things. You can go to a local cafe and hang out, go for a nice dinner after a long sleep in, you can go for a walk down some off beaten streets and snap a few photos before calling it an early day. Maybe you can go grocery shopping and get a few munchies like cheese and crackers and get some beer or wine and hang out in your room and simply ENJOY being in this new and amazing place.
You’re allowed to sit back and take it all in, and then the next day? Continue on with your adventure refreshed and rested. We are so wired to be go go go that we forget to chill out and smell the flowers.
Some of my best memories come from rest days. In Australia I was travelling with my cousin in Sydney and we were hit with a crazy downpour so instead of going out we made breakfast in the hostel and watched a the Toy Story marathon that was on TV in our bunkbeds. In Munich Aaron and I were beat from a long journey from Prague so we grabbed a few beers and hung out on the balcony of our room reminiscing of the trip before going to bed early. It was so nice to just sit back and enjoyed the “Holy crap we’re in Europe” moment.
Not to mention one of my favourite memories was in Nara. Aaron and I went to the grocery store after feeding some deer and grabbed some packaged food and cups of noodles. There happened to be a Tim Burton marathon on TV in our room so there we sat, in the middle of Nara, cooked noodles in hand, watching Corpse Bride on the only English station there was. It was a pretty weirdly perfect day.
Rest days are important.
Here are some of the things I like to do on rest days:
- Go to a local grocery store and shop the local food. Make yourself a nice dinner or find a pre made one and simply hang out in your room
- Head onto Trip Adviser and find their number one places to eat and have a nice dinner out
- Check out the most popular local cafe and grab a coffee and treat and find a place outside or inside weather permitting.
- Go for a walk, it doesn’t need to be long or to any where in particular. Just immerse yourself in a new place
- Go shopping. Go to markets, malls, where ever
- Take a long shower and organize your suitcase. We all now how messy suitcases become and what a pain they are to re-roll your clothes. Take a few minutes to organize your life
- Take this time to update your Social Media for friends and family. I know I get stockerish when people on my Facebook are in other countries. Say hi to the fam and let them know what’s up!
How often should you have a rest day?
What I’ve learned from travelling so far is that’s it is best to have rest days on the day you arrive, once every two weeks, and for your last travel day to be relaxed rest day so you can appreciate everything you’ve done. Your bags should already be packed by this point so you are not rushing and being in a panic trying to get home. Read more about how to enjoy your last travel day HERE
What do you think of rest days? Have you ever had them? Share your thoughts down below!