Travelling is simple, but not easy. As everything else in life. For the past day and a half, I’m trying to find the perfect travel combo to Greece, and it’s ridiculously expensive. That got me into thinking about what I don’t like about travelling and to identify which are the bad sides of travelling. (Not for me, I choose to make the bad seem good :D)
There are some unwritten rules of travelling, which I’ve just started learning. Ok, some bad sides of travelling. However you want to call it.
Budgeting your travels
1. Travelling without planning is expensive (and planning is a time-consuming process)
As I said before, travelling on a budget requires planning. Often detailed planning.
Budget travellers don’t go with whatever works. Because not everything goes. Sometimes (to be read often) I need to find the perfect way of travelling to fit my budget while being comfortable (in a reasonable way)
2. Cancelling your booking is not free
Planning is about knowing what you want. I need to know the context, I need to know me. I firstly need to know what I want to experience.
What experience am I looking for? What will this travel give me? What do I get out of it?
After knowing this I can focus on finding and planning for that exact experience.
Some people ask me “why do you need this? You can always change your mind” (talking about a trip to whatever). Yes, you can always do that. But that’s a waste of time and money. And life. I definitely don’t want that.
So I need to decide first what I’m after because otherwise, it’s a waste. Cancelling your flight, your travel, your hotel booking, that costs you money. And for what? I don’t want to hijack my own plan. That’s just stupid.
3. Changing a name on a plane ticket is just not worth it
An airline is a business, not a charity organisation. And changing your plans costs money, as I already stated. Of course, changing the person on a plane ticket costs money and can be a great deal of money.
Sometimes it’s not worth it. Maybe just let it go. Maybe you should not go at all. I have no idea what’s best for your situation, but take that into consideration.
4. Cheap travel means travelling light
Budget means not much. And it refers to both money and stuff you need to carry with you. I always tell myself “Fill your life with experiences. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Having fewer things to carry along means flexibility, mobility and more opportunities.
A piece of big luggage can mean extra fees to pay: at the airport, storage room etc. And can take you more time to move around.
How travelling affects you
5. Travelling gets you tired
The planning will get you tired and worn out. And oh, the queues (e.g. airport, touristic attractions) will make you wanna do nothing.
Those long bus rides are my absolute nightmare. Whenever I think about busses, I think about that time I spent two nights in a row on a bus, because I was saving on accommodation and getting to my next destination. A smart choice for my budget but tiring experience.
6. Travelling is about uncertainty
Travelling is all about uncertainty. You never know if the train is going to be on time (I’m talking about less developed countries) if you are going to catch your connection or where you are going to eat dinner. But for me, it’s this constant rush that gets me thirsty for more.
I like getting myself to a new place, where I have to discover all the new and small things around me. It’s forcing me to get out there, to test my skills (social, adaptability, discovering, connecting, understanding).
It’s a tremendous lesson in life, which nobody can teach you and each one of us should experience it at least once.
7. Travelling could be addictive
The human brain works on this simple principle: Whatever cause us pleasure, the brain seeks for more. And if something causes us pain, it learns how to stay away from it.
Discovering the freedom of travelling can create an addiction for some, and there is no turning back from there. Some people develop addictions to drugs, food, alcohol, sex, smoking, gaming…. practically it can be anything that makes your brain tick the right box.
So travelling can become an addiction. Hence the hashtag #TravelAddict of which people are so proud.
But what happens in this process is that the traveller leaves everything behind, family and friends, in the pursuit of personal desires. Are those needs real and healthy? That’s for each one of us to discover. As in everything else, finding the balance is key.
8. After each trip, I find myself broke
Losing sight of any of the aspects from above leads to being broke. Travelling on a regular basis gets you broke. That’s why most travellers are bloggers, vloggers, digital nomads, or just work within the local community to pay for necessities like food and/or accommodation. Here’re some tips on what I do so save up.
Yes, travelling is a gift of life, but supporting it gets you tired and broke. Damn this addiction. Can’t I be just like normal people?!
And some more bad sides of travelling…
9. Price is not a good indicator for a service, but reviews are
I’ve talked a lot about money, more than I would have liked to.
But it’s a reality we all live in, in which paper bills make the world go around (or make us go around the world).
Everything comes at a cost, often money, but that does not indicate the true value of that thing. Instead, it tells you the demand for that product. Big difference. And what it doesn’t say is that there may be something else equally good or even better at a better price.
This reminds me of the awful experience I had when I rented a car in Lviv, Ukraine for a day trip and that terrible hostel in Tallinn, where I paid for 2 night, but left after the first night there. Yeah, read the reviews!
I know I may sound crazy to you, but the moment I’ve realised this, my entire world exploded into possibilities. (That’s an overwhelming world to live in :D)
10. Travelling in bigger groups is a lot of hassle
Pff, do I need to say more? I love people but depends on the amount of time spent together. You are just the same, don’t judge me!
The thought of being stuck with a group for a certain period of time makes me anxious. The hassle of deciding a schedule for the next day, not taking personally bad jokes, being forced to eat in a certain restaurant or booking a hotel in which you can all fit.
Like that time I got food poisoning in Morocco and went on a day trip with the group anyway. Probably the worst days of my existence.
So exhausting. And frustrating.
It’s frustrating because deep down, I always know what’s best, and that’s how we all fell about ourselves. (And I do promote travelling alone!)
11. You cannot do it all. Nightlife? Sightseeing? Or getting a tan?
Travelling is supposed to be fun. And relaxing.
But I cannot really relax with all that stress I put myself through when I have to decide what should I do with that limited time I have in …. (fill in the blank with the desired travel destination).
If I go out and explore the local nightlife I will have fun, but I will be tired the next day and sightseeing will seem more like a task than a relaxing activity.
If I choose to spend my day on the beach, I am missing out the vibe of the city and that cool art museum.
Once more, planning is key.
What do I need to experience? What needs need to be met?
These are the questions I need to answer before taking any decision. And this is how a travel experience should start.
It’s not about the place. Nor about the travel.
It’s about my journey and how it meets my needs. Getting the experiences I need is what makes a travel experience satisfying or not.
Is there something that should be added to the bad sides of travelling list? I hope this post about bad sides of travelling speaks to you, and if not, let’s chat on Facebook!