To the outsider looking in, a frequent flyer’s life is dazzlingly glamorous and chalked full of luxury eye masks, mid-flight cocktails, and five-star hotel check-ins. I mean, what could be better than jetting off to faraway destinations, seeing the world while getting paid for it? In reality, though, traveling can be challenging for amateurs and professionals alike. It can be tiring, frustrating, and even downright dangerous.
So, before you pass judgment on the digital nomads who seem to have it made, consider the most common downsides to traveling that often remain unspoken. By factoring in the good, the bad, and the ugly of traveling, you can ensure you’re prepared for every patch of rough air that may arise during your own excursions abroad.
Your unattended home will be at risk
When you’re on the road, your home is at risk. Burglars know that you’re likely to be out of town and will take advantage of your absence to break in and steal your belongings. If you have high-ticket items in plain view or live in a crime-ridden area, you may want to consider hiring a security service to keep an eye on your house while you’re away.
If a security team isn’t in your budget, certain technologies will help you protect your home while away, one of which is a virtual address from a provider like iPostal1. Virtual address technology is an invaluable tool for folks who frequently travel. Why? For starters, a virtual address gives travelers the ability to manage their mail on the go and forward high-priority packages and business mail to a secure location undetectable to porch pirates.
You will be homesick
It’s natural to feel a little homesick when you’re traveling. After all, you’re in a strange place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Homesickness can manifest itself in different ways. In some cases, you may feel sad, anxious, or lonely.
The best way to deal with homesickness is to accept that it’s normal and give yourself time to adjust. Talk to other travelers and make friends. Find activities that allow you to experience the local culture. Over time, you will start to feel more comfortable and less homesick.
You could get sick
It’s no secret that travel can be a germ-fest. You’re constantly exposed to new germs and bacteria, and it’s easy to pick up a cold or the flu while you’re on the road. To protect yourself, make sure to wash your hands regularly and drink plenty of water.
If you start feeling ill, don’t hesitate to see a doctor – many countries have excellent medical care that is much cheaper than in the United States.
You might get lost
Navigation can be tricky when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar place. You may not know the local language, making asking for directions difficult. You might also get lost because you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. To avoid getting lost, always have a map and a GPS with you, and make sure to pay attention to landmarks and street signs.
You will experience culture shock
Culture shock is the feeling of confusion and disorientation that often comes when you encounter a new culture. You may find that the customs and values of the place you’re visiting are very different from your own.
It can be a jarring experience, and it can take time to get used to the new way of doing things. Be patient with yourself. Try to learn about the local culture and immerse yourself in it as much as possible. The more time you take to learn about where you are, the easier it will be to adjust.
The food won’t be what you’re used to
Food is a big part of the culture, and it’s often one of the first things that people notice when they visit a new place. Unfortunately, the food in many countries isn’t what you’re used to. It may be spicy, greasy, or not taste very good.
If you’re traveling to a country with different culinary traditions, be sure to do your research and try some local dishes. You may find that you like them more than you thought you would.
You might feel uncomfortable
When you’re traveling, you will often feel out of place. You may stick out like a sore thumb because you’re not wearing the right clothes or because you don’t speak the language. You may also feel uncomfortable because of how locals are treating you. Remember that this is normal – it takes time to get used to a new culture. Be patient and respectful, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You will be exhausted
Traveling is exhausting. You’re constantly on the go, and it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep when you’re in a different time zone. To make things worse, you may have to deal with jet lag – that feeling of fatigue and disorientation that comes after traveling long distances.
The best way to deal with jet lag is to drink plenty of water, get adequate rest, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. And while you might be tired, don’t forget to enjoy yourself – you’re on vacation and experiencing new things, after all.
You may get robbed
It’s no secret that pickpockets and thieves target tourists. You may be more likely to be robbed if you keep valuable items such as passports, cameras, and laptops on your person. Always keep your belongings close to you and be aware of your surroundings to protect yourself. If you’re in a high-risk area, avoid walking around alone at night, and be sure to take a taxi instead of walking.
You could spend a lot of money
Traveling can be expensive, especially if you’re not careful about where you spend your money. Plane tickets, hotels, and food can add up quickly, and it’s easy to go over your budget if you’re not careful.
Try to book your flights and hotels in advance and pack your food for the trip to save money. You should also avoid buying souvenirs – they may seem like a good idea at the time, but they often end up being expensive and useless.
Traveling has a lot of benefits, but it also comes with its share of downsides. By knowing what to expect, you can prepare yourself for the challenges of traveling. No matter where your travels take you, be patient, respectful, and open-minded, and you’ll have an unbelievable time exploring new cultures.